The Australian National University
ANU Supercomputer Facility
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Policy on Access to Mass Data Storage System

The Mass Data Storage system supports supercomputer users, data analysis, large data repositories, large-scale relational databases and other data intensive projects.

In order that the load on the MDSS can be kept within reasonable limits, users should understand that the MDSS is not a replacement for group or departmental disks for either general use or for specific projects unless approved as detailed below. While no user files will be deleted without prior consultation with the user, departments and groups should not consider the MDSS as a replacement for their existing routine back-ups and fileserver disaster recovery procedures. The MDSS should not be used to store routine backups of departmental fileserver data.

The policy for access is set out below. Decisions on access will be made by the Head, ANU Supercomputer Facility (ANUSF).

Project eligibility

Projects are expected to comply with the following:

  1. must usually involve personnel from the ANU Faculties, Institutes or Centres. In certain circumstances the University will also consider usage by non-ANU personnel, industry and government. Please contact the Facility for details.

  2. must have data capacity requirements which are exceptional and can not reasonably or more cost effectively be provided by departmental fileservers or a research group's own systems.

  3. must not place an unacceptable load on the campus network(s).

  4. must not adversely affect the MDSS subsystem by inappropriate usage

Projects not conforming to the above requirements but whose value to the University is deemed sufficiently advantageous may in special circumstances be approved by the Head, ANUSF.

Projects whose characteristics change substantially over time may have their eligibility reassessed by the Head, ANUSF.

Requesting an Account

A Massdata Form for NEW projects which are not Computational found on the APAC National Facility Accounts page must be filled out to get access to the MDSS.


The facility routinely makes 2 copies of data to the large tape robot. The two copies are to prevent media damage from destroying access to data. Operational considerations currently prevent us from keeping most copies of data in the MDSS off-site. Special projects may be granted a copy of their data to be placed in a smaller off-site robot. While two copies are kept on separate tapes in the STK silo, we cannot recover your data in the event of a catastrophic event (or just exceptional bad luck) destroying both those copies. Users should therefore consider keeping an extra copy of exceptionally important data at another site. ANUSF staff can help with this.

See here for more details *.