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Research Data Storage Facility

We now have a new ACRC website on the main Bristol University system, please visit the new ACRC RDSF pages for our latest RDSF advice.

Who can use the Research Data Storage Facility?

The University Research Data Storage Facility (RDSF) is available to researchers from all disciplines, to store their research data securely over the long term, and has the capacity to expand as demand increases. The project PI applies to be Data Steward and then registers a project, requesting access for the relevant members of their research group.

***There's much more information available in our new RDSF usage FAQs - draft version now available.***

What are costs of using the RDSF?

Whilst there are charges for using the Facility, 5TB of disk storage per Data Steward is provided free of charge. Requests above 5TB of disk storage per Data Steward will be charged, based on the requirement. Current pricing details are available here.

If you anticipate needing more than 5TB of disk storage, a request for funding for any storage requirement above the free 5TB should be included in your grant applications.

How do you apply to use the RDSF?

Full details of how to apply are available on Applying for Storage.

The PI will need to complete the Application Form, detailing the amount of storage required, and giving a brief description (not more than 500 words) of why you need to use the storage facility, why the data should be stored and for how long. Requirements for the level of security will also be requested. Each applicant will be given the notional cost of the storage that they are applying for.

If you have a Data Management Plan (DMP) or a similar set of guidelines, you can submit it with the application. The Digital Curation Centre's DMP is now available -

If you are applying for more than 5 TBytes on disk, we may ask you for some additional information.

The application form is validated for most browsers including Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox. If you should have difficulty in applying, then please send your application details to Caroline Gardiner who will arrange for your application to be processed.

What does the RDSF provide to researchers?

The RDSF provides:

  • Mirrored storage, held on RAID 6 devices in two geographically separated places with nightly back up to tape on a rolling 30-day cycle.
  • 2.3 petabytes of storage is currently available, and this can be expanded as needed.
  • We are currently planning the next phase of the RDSF which we hope will include a tape archive and the ability to migrate data between disk and tape.

The current storage components are:

  • The Storage Facility, supplied by IBM and SCC, is based on IBM's DS3400 and DCS9900 systems and runs IBM's GPFS (General Parallel File System).
  • An IBM TS3500 Library with four LTO-4 tape drives has also been installed.
  • Both the DCS9900s are populated with 2TB disks, providing a usable 900TB per site.
  • The IBM DS3400 systems store the metadata and the IBM DCS9900 systems store the bulk data.

What information and help is available?

Have a look at our usage FAQs to find out more about using the RDSF.

The policy, terms of use and policy FAQs documents are all available on Applying for Storage.

If you wish to discuss use of the RDSF, please contact Caroline Gardiner.

Once you are using the Facility, if you cannot resolve a problem or you need help, you can contact us by emailing . Full details are available on the Support page.

Managing and publishing research data

The Library's Research Data Service team can provide advice to researchers throughout the data life cycle from preparing a Data Managment Plan for a new project to publishing a dataset underpinning a published paper and works closely with the ACRC team. You can contact the team for advice on research data management.

The University has a data repository called data.bris. Any Data Steward with a RDSF project can publish data via the Repository and obtain a DOI for the data deposit. The relevant data can be prepared by nominated users ('deputies'), but only the Data Steward can authorise publication. The Repository is managed by the Research Data Service team and guidance is provided on their website. At present a Data Steward can publish up to 100GB of data per RDSF project. This is currently being reviewed and we will be moving to a publishing allocation per Data Steward, rather than per project. We will provide further details in due course.


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