TCB Data Storage Facility
The TCB's server infrastructure is primarily dedicated to providing a centralized data storage for all of the Resource's needs, protecting the valuable data from loss by hardware failure and, to a lesser extent, human error. Since it was first developed in 1999, the system has proved both reliable and readily expandable, offering remarkably few compromises as our data needs have grown exponentially. We expect that we will be able to continue this growth, and hope that our experiences may help other groups that are struggling with the same needs.
- Disk Arrays
- Sun StorageTek 2500 x3 (18TB)
- Disk Backup
- External 1TB ESATA Disks (36)
- File Servers
- SunFire X4200 x2
- SunFire X4500 - 24TB
- SunFire X4500 - 48TB x2
- SunFire X4540 - 48TB
- SunFire X4540 - 96TB x4
We use redundant Sun file servers running Solaris to share our files across our network. These systems offer three major benefits:
- An enterprise-class - ie stable and powerful - NFS server package.
- Support for the ufs and zfs file system and filesystem snapshots.
- Security and reliability.
The disks are divided up into the following categories:
/home and /Projects
These disks are backed up regularly. /home partitions are made for every user of the system; each disk is shared across many (40+) users with quotas.
/Projects partitions are allocated to users that show need for them. In general, they are allocated on a per-person basis; exceptions to this rule are permitted only after discussion with the sysadmin team. To this end, partitions are generally either 150GB or 300GB.
These disks are not backed up, but are otherwise treated like /Projects spaces - ie, one-disk/one-person.
Unlike many groups, we use ZFS RAID and the ZFS file system, a feature built into the Sun Solaris Operating System. ZFS allows for greatly simplified storage management and snapshot based backups.
Our backup system is detailed on the web here. It can be fairly simply summarized in a single phrase: "nightly to disk, monthly to external disk". This has made management and recovery easy, at least with our standard ufs and zfs file systems.