Enterprise-level Network Attached Storage

  • Vast Data 3PB flash disk system designed for 99% uptime
  • At most, 2 scheduled maintenance outages/year
  • Serves the following file systems:

    • Home directories:
      • Directories found in /user/username
      • Home directories are owned and accessible only to the user. Access should not be shared with other users. Data sharing should be done with shared project directories.
      • 10GB quota
      • To protect the filesystem, there is a limit of 10 million files per home directory
      • Automatically created for new users
      • Backed up nightly off campus by UBIT
      • Backups maintained for 6 months
    • Project directories for academics:
      • Shared by a single research group or course
      • Directories found in /projects/academic or /projects/academic/courses for classes
      • 1TB provided for free to UB faculty groups
      • Use ColdFront to request an allocation for the Project Storage resource
      • Additional storage can be purchased
      • To protect the file system, there is a limit of 200 million files per project directory
      • Backed up nightly off campus by UBIT
      • Backups maintained for 6 months
    • Project directories for industry customers:
      • Quotas vary based on Cooperative Use Agreement
      • NOT backed up unless specified in your company's Cooperative Use Agreement
      • Directories found in /projects/industry/
      • Use ColdFront to request an allocation for the Project Storage resource
    • Project directories for Roswell Park users:
      • Directories for individual research groups found in /projects/rpci
      • Use ColdFront to request an allocation for the 'Project Storage' resource
      • Quotas are listed on individual allocations in ColdFront & can be viewed on the systems as described below
      • RPCI IT staff are responsible for dividing up the storage purchased from CCR. Please contact them if you'd like your quota increased


Due to limitations of the campus backup service, any directory containing over 50 million files is NOT BACKED UP. The directory owner will be contacted if their directory reaches this level prior to stopping the backups.

Requesting a restore from backup:
To request a restore of deleted files, please contact CCR Help. Please provide the full path of the file/directory you would like restored and the date and time you would like us to target. This would be the last known time the file/directory was on the file system. If it has not been on the system at least 24 hours, it will not have made it to the backup tapes. There is no guarantee your data is available for recovery but we will attempt to recover it.

Global Parallel Scratch

  • Panasas Parallel Filesystem
  • 1.4PB total storage
  • Designed for high speed parallel computing
  • There is no guarantee of uptime
  • Scratch file systems are designed for temporary storage and shorter-term processing of data
  • Data is not replicated and does not persist if a file server fails
  • To be used during job runs and moved or deleted at the completion of a job
  • Data that has not been accessed in more than 60 days is automatically deleted nightly. See Scratch Usage Policy
  • 10TB provided for free to all groups
  • Use ColdFront to request an allocation for the Global Scratch Storage resource
  • Directories found in /panasas/scratch/grp-groupName
  • To protect the file system, users are limited to 2 million files and groups limited to 4 million files.


Data that has not been accessed in more than 60 days is automatically deleted nightly. To avoid data loss, please remove all data promptly after your job completes

Local Scratch

  • All compute nodes have local disk space in /scratch
  • The local scratch space on a compute node is only available to batch jobs running on that node
  • Data in local scratch is removed automatically when the job completes
  • Users should copy all data from local disks before the job ends
  • Limited by the space available on the node which varies across node types
  • In theory, local scratch will provide the fastest I/O because there will be no network latency that other storage options may contend with
  • There is NO backup of data in /scratch

Cloud Storage

Purchasing Project Storage

Additional storage for shared project directories can be purchased in 1 terabyte (TB) chunks in annual installments.


Internal Rates:

  • $72 per terabyte per year
  • This is an internal rate for internal UB users including academic, research, administrative, and auxiliary units whose originating source of funds is within or flows through the university. This includes state, RF, UBF, and Faculty Student Association (FSA) funds
  • Internal UB users paying with funds other than those listed above are charged an additional fee to cover the processing fee UB charges CCR. This makes the cost $82.76 per TB per year


Faculty with joint positions at UB and Roswell can only qualify for the UB internal rate if they use UB funds to purchase the storage. RPCI users should check with RPCI IT for access to the storage allocation RPCI purchased from CCR before making a purchase of their own.

External Rates:

  • External collaborators, groups and industry partners are charged $100/TB per year
  • Invoices are sent by CCR as requested by the external user and quotas are increased when the funds have arrived at UB/CCR. This can often take months so we recommend users keep track of the payment to ensure it is being processed by your organization in a timely fashion. Often CCR can not tell when a payment from an outside organization has arrived at UB. If you're waiting for your quota to be increased and know the payment has arrived at UB, let us know and we can verify its arrival.


We are NOT able to issue refunds should you stop using CCR's storage.

How to Initiate a Purchase

To initiate the purchase of additional project storage, the PI or project owner should login to ColdFront and request an allocation change request on the group's ProjectStorage allocation. See here for instructions.

Checking Quotas

Your user quota (home directory - /user/<username>):

NOTE: You will see "Enter OTP Token Value:" - Enter your password AND one-time token all in the same line here



iquota -p /user/username


If you see an error like this it is usually related to conda environments:
kinit: Unknown credential cache type while getting default ccache
See the FAQ for more details

Your group's shared project directory quota:

NOTE: You must specify the full path of your directory. Not all project directories are in /projects/academic

NOTE: You will see "Enter OTP Token Value:" - Enter your password AND one-time token all in the same line here

iquota -p /projects/academic/YourGroupName

HINT: Do not include the trailing slash in the directory name

Your group's shared Panasas scratch directory quota:

NOTE: You will see "Enter OTP Token Value:" - Enter your password AND one-time token all in the same line here

iquota -p /panasas/scratch/grp-YourGroupName

HINT: Do not include the trailing slash in the directory name


iquota only reports the total number of files for the group on the Panasas storage. If you're getting 'out of space' or I/O errors and the group is not over the file limit, it could be your individual limit has been reached. Please email CCR help to request a file quota check.

iquota usage:

The iquota command has much more built into it than former versions.  Use iquota -h to see all the options.  

NOTE: You will need to get a kerberos key before running the command, with:  kinit

[ccruser@vortex1:~]$ iquota -h


   iquota - displays CCR quotas


   iquota [global options] command [command options] [arguments...]


   Andrew E. Bruno <>


   help, h  Shows a list of commands or help for one command


   --conf value, -c value                                Path to conf file

   --debug, -d                                           Print debug messages

   --user, -u                                            Print user quota

   --long, -l                                            display long listing

   --show-user value                                     Print user quota for specified user (super-user only)

   --show-group value                                    Print group quota for specified group

   -p value, --path value, -f value, --filesystem value  report quota for filesystem path

   --help, -h                                            show help

What do quotas limit?
These spaces all have a quota for usage AND number of files. This is to prevent an errant processes from creating so many files it crashes the system or makes it unstable for others. If you are getting 'out of space' or I/O errors, please verify you are not over quota in either space or number of files.

Calculating disk usage at the Linux command line

Knowing your quota and how much of it you've used is helpful, but often we want to know where the disk usage is actually taking place. You can run the ncdu command (NCurses Disk Usage) to calculate the total size of each file and sub-directory and then sort it from largest to smallest. You will only be able to run this where you have permission to read files, so it's appropriate to run in your home directory: /user/[ubit_username] or your group's project directory.

There are many options for sorting as well as the ability to delete files within this interface. Use the man command to see options: man ncdu

Alternative Quota Lookup

Users can access their quota information in ColdFront as well as on the command line

Starfish Storage Usage

CCR offers Starfish portal access to provide research groups the ability to access detailed information about their data to better sort through and make decisions on what to keep, what to backup up outside of CCR, and what to delete. PIs or faculty group managers may request a 30 day allocation to the Starfish storage portal. To do so, request an allocation in ColdFront for the 'Starfish' software resource. The PI is automatically added to the allocation. If the PI will not be the one doing the data inspection and tagging, please add only one very trusted project member to the allocation. This person will have access to view all files in the group's shared project directory. It may be that your group has set the system permissions such that everyone in the group can already read all files; this is CCR's default but many groups change their permissions. In this case, the permissions in Starfish would be the same. However, the user with Starfish access will be able to tag files and directories for deletion so please be very careful with this! If you need multiple group members to make decisions on tagging data, please do NOT share your account information with them. Request additional access through CCR help.

Logging into Starfish:
Once the group has been given access to Starfish the PI will be able to login using their CCR username, password, and one time token.

VPN Required

Access to ColdFront is restricted to UB and Roswell Park networks (either on campus or connected to their VPN services). See here

Starfish Portal

Special Login Procedure!

Logins require password plus the one-time token (OTP) generated from your authentication app. These are entered back to back with no spaces or extra characters between them into the password field. For example:
Password: BuffaloLove!
OTP code displayed: 123 456
Enter in the password box: BuffaloLove!123456

Using Starfish:

You will be considered a Starfish Zone Admin and have access to detailed usage information for your group's shared project directory. At the top right, under the Help menu, there is a link to the Zone Admin User Guide. This contains all the information you need to understand how Starfish works, how it calculates usage (for example, usage is calculated in TiB not TB), and how to tag your data for deletion or other classification. You may need to be logged into Starfish to view these.

Zone Admin Quick Reference Guide
Zone Admin Guide

Starfish provides many avenues for viewing metadata about your data. Users can visualize the data by age, size, and other options. We're able to view the last time data was accessed. You can download reports about your data in CSV format allowing you to share information with group members. Please refer to the documentation above for more information.

The Starfish GUI offers alot of information and capabilities! Their "Hints" feature is very useful for basic information about each of the icons, tools, and sections. Click on the "Hints" button at the top right to see all the available hints. Then hover over the question mark icons to get more info.

Tagging Files & Directories:
We provide "action" tags to mark files and directories for deletion in 30 or 60 days and also a "classification" tag to mark a file or directory for off-site backup (archive). If you mark files or directories with action tags, nothing happens to the data until you tell CCR to move forward with the deletion process. Right click on a file or directory to view the different types of Tags and Actions you can take on them. CCR does not provide archival storage. However, groups may wish to go through their data, identify files to backup off of CCR (i.e. archive) and then generate a report for their group members to review those marked for archive. Groups would do the archiving on their own outside of Starfish but this classification process is a nice way for groups to periodically review whether old and untouched data needs to remain taking up quota on CCR's systems.

All done?
Once you're done with reviewing and tagging your data, please contact CCR Help to let us know it's ok to run the delete process. At the end of your 30 day allocation, access to Starfish will be removed to free up the license for other groups.