In recent years, HMS has undertaken a broad effort in research data management offerings. Establishing, reviewing, and following data storage plans for research data can substantially reduce the amount of storage a lab requires – for example, by building workflows that remove excess intermediate files and organizing storage to avoid redundancy. Research involves increasingly complex arrangements for the storage and dissemination of research data. Proper storage maintenance throughout the research data lifecycle is imperative to ensure data remains secure and adheres to recommended safety protocols. 

The HMS Research Data Management team works directly with researchers to aid in managing their data throughout the various data lifecycle stages. Early and attentive management at each step of the data lifecycle will ensure the discoverability and longevity of your research. 

HMS offers several storage options that allow users to store data in different places, each with distinct behaviors, performance, and means of access. 

Institutions across the Longwood Medical Area maintain various storage solutions, so comparing and selecting the best storage offering for your intended research is essential. The storage options listed here center on HMS resources, so eligibility requirements may apply.  

All tools and dashboards maintained by HMS IT display storage amounts in tebibytes (TiB). The standard convention is to refer to the storage amount as terabytes (TB). While the storage amounts have not changed, HMS IT will modify its language to more accurately reflect the actual storage amounts showcased by our tools. 1 tebibyte (10244) is almost exactly 1.1 terabyte.

Snapshots: Deleted data can be recovered from snapshots within 60 days of the last weekly snapshot taken before the deletion. Snapshots are taken weekly, along with daily snapshots retained for 14 days. 

To learn more about best practices and support services for research data lifecycles, visit the Harvard Biomedical Data Management website or contact the HMS Research Data Manager at rdmhelp@hms.harvard.edu.

Storage allocations

As of July 1, 2021.

Quad Status 

Active (Compute / Collaboration)

Standby

Quad A

Available*

Available*

Quad B

Up to 10TiB

Up to 10TiB

Quad C

Up to 10TiB

Up to 10TiB

None**

Up to 10TiB (fee-based)

Up to 10TiB (fee-based)

  • * Allocation amounts dependent on lab needs and available resources.
  • ** None refers to PIs, such as HMS professors at affiliate hospitals that do not have an appointment in an HMS Basic Science department.

Provided storage amounts relate to new storage requests. Existing storage allocations are limited to 10TiB or current storage capacity.

If not eligible, contact the Research Computing Core to discuss further options.  

Additional information about the Quad's status is available on the External Use of HMS High-Performance Computing (HPC) policy page. 

Storage limits in RC Core

As we are in the first year of the RC Core, we cannot predict the amount of interest there will be in storage as an RC Core service. Current storage capacity is limited, so we established 10 TiB as an amount we could reasonably guarantee for users. That limit is total storage use across all our storage tiers. As we better understand demand, we can respond with storage investments that will hopefully allow us to increase that limit in the future. We hope to have more information soon and appreciate any feedback on the intended use of our storage services to help us predict demand.