Research Data Storage Issues and Plans

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Over recent months, many of you will have direct experience of some instability in the core storage that underpins most of the BEAR services. The Research Data Store (RDS) infrastructure is ageing and approaching capacity. The better news is that plans for its replacement are well advanced with the primary orders already with suppliers. We are currently waiting for confirmed delivery dates before announcing the timetable for the upgrade work which will happen at some point in December and/or January. We realise that the recent outages have been extremely frustrating and that not having access to your data is disruptive to your research. We also appreciate your patience while we take the steps necessary to address the issues.

We are faced with a number of challenges, largely as a result of the success and unexpectedly rapid growth of the service as well as the drive to integrate all BEAR services for a better user experience. This is a sophisticated system with multiple dimensions allowing great flexibility in how data are used. The new architecture has been designed to meet the needs for robust research data storage into the next decade, to retain all the positive features and provide the solid foundations to add more. It will address current issues, expand capacity and enable us to take advantage of the opportunities to increase efficiency.

While we wait for the upgrade, please let me reassure you that the Team is working hard to pre-empt issues and manage the situation when it becomes service affecting. Please accept our apologies for any ongoing disruption.

Dr John Owen
Head of Advanced Research Computing