Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I request new storage?

In the “Contact Us” menu select “Request A Storage Allocation”. Fill in the form with the required information and press Send. We will contact you as soon as possible with the confirmation that your storage allocation has been allocated.

  • How much does a tape cost?

The cost of each tape is  currently £305.64 – but this is regularly reviewed and may change. A tape has a capacity of around 2.5 TB of storage. There are some differences if you are buying tapes for a grant already in place or for a future project. Please contact the Faculty of Environment Finance Office for more information.

  • Why do I need to buy a tape to start copying files on my storage allocation? Can I do that later on?

You do need to have bought at least one tape to start using the service.

  • I’ve just filled the “Purchase a Tape” form, when it/they will be added to my storage allocation?

As soon as the form is submitted the SA will promptly add the new tape/tapes to your storage allocation and an email will be sent to you when the storage space has been added.

  • What are the backup options that comes with the service?

We offer two different storage services: the single copy on tape does not include any form of backup, and it is usually appropriate for non-critical data, the two copies on tape service instead provides you with a backup copy on another tape. You need to buy at least two tapes for this service and always double the amount of tapes when buying more space.

  • How do I know which directory is the one assigned to my project?

When your storage allocation, complete with a tape purchase, will be ready the SA will let you know the name of your storage allocation. Usually the directory will be the name that you chose on the “Storage Allocation” form submitted.

  • I am trying to access the archive, but it seems that I cannot connect to it. Why?

To access the archive you need to have a valid Kerberos ticket on your machine. Run klist on a linux machine to see if you have it. If not, use kinit to create a ticket. You can always try to access to foe-linux-01 and then access the archive from there. If in doubt contact the SA.

  • I cannot enter or list the content of the directory assigned to my project, what should I do?

Probably your user-name has not been added to those allowed to access the project folder. Ask the Principal Investigator to send a message asking to add you to the use of the project folder. Only PI are authorized to make change to the set of users that comprise a storage allocation.

  • What program I need to use to copy files to the storage?

You can use any program you are familiar whit. Command line remote file transfer programs like scp or rsync under Linux, Winscp or Windows Explorer as well as any command line remote file transfer program under Windows or similarly under Mac OsX will work. Please contact the SA if you are experiencing any problems.

  • I tried copying files to my storage allocation, but I’ve got an error message saying that the folder is read-only. Why?

You probably have been granted only to read the files under the project folder you are accessing to. If not, your project folder could be over the maximum quota. Please contact the SA to resolve this.

  • I tried copying files to my storage allocation, but I’ve got an error message saying that the permissions cannot be set, are my files being copied anyway?

Some remote file transfer program like rsync, after copying a file, try to set permissions or change attributes of the file. This happens after the file has been copied. Please contact the SA if you are experiencing any problems with file transfers.

  • Can I use Windows/MacOsX drag and drop method to copy my files on my project folder?

You can use a drag and drop method to copy files to the project folder, but usually you have no way to control the copy in case an error arise. It advisable to use this method for small quantities of files.

  • I’ve just copied some large files by mistake, can I have them removed?

There is an hour of ‘grace period’ after the file has been copied. During this time you will be still allowed to delete or modify the file. After this period expires you will be no more allowed to delete the file. Only under exceptional circumstances the files that have already been marked as read-only under your project folder can be deleted, and only if they haven’t already been written to the tape. Please contact the SA to arrange for the removal of the files.

  • I’ve copied some files last week that I don’t need anymore, Is it possible to delete them and get free space back?

Once the files have been copied to the tape, which is very likely after a week, they cannot be deleted anymore. Only when a tape is completely full some operations can be performed to recover space but this could take a long time. Please make sure that only files that are needed are copied over to the archive.

  • Is there any quota enforced on the system? How much can I copy over my quota?

The number of tapes bought for the storage allocation is the quota of space you are allowed to use. If you go over quota when copying the files, the archive will let you finish the operation but more space should then be purchased within a week or so. The SA will send you a mail with the number of tapes to buy in order to cover the exceeding used space.

  • A member of my team is leaving, should I tell you to close his/her account?

Every time a member of you team has to be excluded from the allowed user list you should contact the SA.

  • I need to change read and write permissions for some members of my team, how can I do i?

The PI can use the form “Send a message” to request the change to the SA.

  • I tried accessing my files, but after issuing the command I’m experiencing a wait longer than usual, is that normal?

When the files haven’t been accessed for a long time, the archive will take some time to retrieve the tape and provide you with the requested files, usually no more than 5-10 minutes. If you have been waiting longer than that it could be possible that the files requested are stored on a tape that is no more present in the library. This happens when tapes are not being accessed for a long time and have been exported to an offline location. The system will contact the SA to request the tape to be imported back in the library. This could take some time. Please check the SLA response times or contact the SA if urgent.

  • I need to access files that I’ve copied onto the system a long time ago, they are probably not in the library anymore. Should I contact the SA or try to access the files anyway?

You should try to access the files anyway, because the system will then send a request to the SA to import the tapes back into the library. If you already have a plan of accessing some particular group of files in a few days’ time, you could pre-stage those files using one of the techniques listed in the “Usage Scenarios” document.

  • Can I connect to the archive from outside the University?

The PETAL archive uses Kerberos tickets to authenticate against the archive. You could connect to the University VPN and then connect to a foe-linux machine via SSH. Try “foe-linux.leeds.ac.uk” and then access the archive from there.