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Group Space

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There are three main uses for group space:
  1. To store large amounts of data that's not appropriate for your home directory.
  2. A shared area where several people can collaborate on the same files.
  3. To work on something that may be handed over to someone else after you leave or move to another project.
A typical group space path would be: /afs/

Requesting group space

All requests for a new group space, or for more space to be allocated to an existing area, should be made via computing support. The cost depends on how much space you ask for, and whether you ask for it to be backed up. This table gives an idea of possible combinations and costs:
SizeCost+Mirror+Tape backup
Up to 200GB £0 +£0 +£0
500GB £250 +£250 +£250
Over 500GBis priced for each additional 500GB, as above.
These are one-off costs, not recurrent costs. For requests in size between 200GB and 500GB, the costs are variable and depend on things such as how long the space is needed and what it's needed for.

Group web space

Group space can be made available on the web, if desired.

Things to bear in mind

  • By default space is provided on our redundant SAN storage in the Forum. This protects against the failure of a single disk or power supply.
  • Mirroring makes an extra nightly copy of your data to disks held at Kings' Buildings, to protect against disaster befalling the Forum server room.
  • Daily tape backups are done at Kings Buildings, with daily backups being kept for 6 months, and monthly backups kept for 13 months. In the event of a disaster, restoring from tape will take longer.
  • Extra space bought lasts effectively forever, or until it is no longer needed.
  • Staff involved in research are now entitled to 0.5TB of storage on the central Datastore service. Half of this can be allocated to a group area on Datastore. Further storage for these areas can be purchased - but note that this incurs a yearly charge, unlike the Informatics options. For more details, see Data storage options.
For large volumes of data that may change reasonably often, there is a trade-off in the way AFS space is allocated to that data. Cache space holds copies of changed data, and if the rate of data change is significant, the space used may exceed the area's allocated quota or filespace. Some overhead is included when AFS space is allocated, but if your data is likely to change significantly over time, please mention this in the request, so that we can consider allocating a bigger overhead.

For truly huge space requests, for example tens of terabytes, it may make more sense for your project to buy its own SAN storage. Again, contact computing support if this may apply to you.

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