NCI is introducing a new data storage policy for Gadi’s /scratch file system. This new policy will enable NCI to meet the demand for more storage space on /scratch, and will facilitate greater fairness in the use of temporary scratch storage for all NCI projects.
What is the policy?
The /scratch file system is intended to be used as a temporary (scratch) data storage resource. This new policy will automatically clean up files older than 100 days on /scratch, and on doing so, free up much-needed storage space on the file system.
The new policy will come into effect from 17 May.
All NCI users are strongly encouraged to review what is currently stored within their /scratch directory prior to this date, and make appropriate arrangements to back up important data.
This automatic clean-up of old and forgotten files is a three stage process:
- Files older than 100 days are moved from project directories on /scratch into a quarantine space. Once a file has been moved to quarantine it will no longer be accessible to its owner, the project, or to any HPC jobs run by the project or collaborating projects with read access, regardless of file permission settings.
- Files remain in quarantine for 14 days. During this quarantine period files maybe recovered by the file owner and restored to active use if needed.
- Any files remaining in quarantine at the end of the 14-day quarantine period will be deleted. Deletion from the quarantine space is automatic, and final. After a file is deleted, it cannot be recovered. All users are reminded that the /scratch file system is intended to store working files only. Data that researchers or projects wish to keep for an extended period of time must be copied from the /scratch filesystem to the project's /g/data space, archived to massdata (tape) or downloaded to local storage.
When is this happening?
This new /scratch file management procedure is a significant shift in the way the /scratch file system is managed, so it will be progressively introduced in May-June 2022, with full implementation from 1 July 2022. NCI must implement this /scratch file system change before the 2022 Q3 (July) downtime as it will support essential tuning and reconfiguration of the /scratch file system in a full production, peak performance capacity.
The introduction of this /scratch file system policy may quarantine a large number of files for any projects which have accrued substantial /scratch usage on Gadi. To make this process more manageable for users the policy will be implemented in stages according to the following schedule:
- 17 May 2022: Files within /scratch project directories which have not been accessed for 365 days will be quarantined. Any quarantined files that are not recovered by project users within the initial 14-day quarantine period 17-31 May will be automatically deleted at the end of the quarantine period, 31 May.
- 07 Jun 2022: Files on /scratch which have not been accessed for 100 days will be quarantined. Any files remaining in quarantine at the end of the 14-day quarantine period will be automatically deleted.
- From 21 Jun 2022: /scratch files older than 100 days will be quarantined on a continuous, rolling basis. The automated quarantine-expiry process will run each day, adding any files with a time greater than 100 days to the quarantine space, and deleting any files that have resided in quarantine for 14 days.
What needs to be done now?
All NCI users are strongly encouraged to review what is currently stored within their /scratch directory prior to 17 May.
A new utility, nci-file-expiry, can be used to identify and restore files from quarantine space. The document below contains more information and usage examples. The command option "–help" can also provide usage and syntax information. Download Gadi Scratch File Expiry Commands sheet more information, or see our information page on Opus.
For further assistance, contact the NCI Helpdesk.