Fermilab LQCD Data Management Guidelines and Policies
The Scientific Program Committee (SPC) allocates resources
during each program year.
In addition to CPU or GPU hours, each project may be allocated
some amount of disk or tape storage space.
Each project should have a plan for manageing their data over
These plans need to include knowing how much space you will
need, considering where you will store copies of precious
data and knowing what you will do with the data at the end
of the program year.
The project's PI may want to name an individual to be the
responsible data mangaer who will oversee this plan.
Responsibility for the data
The project/user is the owner of the data and is responsible
for managing and preserving this data.
The Fermilab page regarding
Filesystems details which of our storage is backed
up by LQCD-Admin staff and which is not.
Regardless of these backups, users should save copies
of precious files in some other location.
For example: our Lustre filesystem is not backed up and is
meant to be used as a volatile storage space.
Users are responsible for keeping copies of precious data at
some other location or on some other media.
To that end, if your project is going to need storage space
at some other site/institution, please make arrangements for
that space before you need it.
Storage requests can take time to get approvals and should be
submitted before you need the space.
Your alocated storage in the Lustre filesystem will have a
quota set, based on the disk storage allocation from the
Scientific Program Committee.
We will set up a Unix group (GID) named similarly to your
The quota will be set within Lustre at the group level.
Since we manage the quotas based on group ownership, we
require that all of the files and directories under the
project's top level directory (ie. /lqcdproj/projectname)
be owned by the allocated group.
We use Unix level "Sticky bits" so that any files created
under your top level directory will inherit group ownership
from the parent.
LQCD-Admin staff will review group ownerships as needed.
Any files or directories that are associated with an
incorrect group will be updated to show ownership by the
proper allocation GID.
The home areas for all users are based on a user (UID) level
These are entirely seperate from the project's Lustre quota.
Which user owns a file in the Lustre storage has no
significance as far as Lustre quota tracking is concerned.
Tape vs. Disc storage
Magnetic tape storage provides bulk data storage that is
currently less expensive per GigaByte than either magnetic
or solid state disk storage.
Magnetic tape costs for data in total are a significant
recurring cost for the project.
Projects may request short-term tape storage for the active
life of the project and its extensions.
Projects are expected to remove short-term data once a
project becomes inactive.
Projects may request long-term magnetic tape storage for
critical results or community data such as QCD gauge
Typically, storage space is granted for the lifetime of the
tape media, and a single migration to new tape technologies
Additional migrations may incur significant costs to the
researchers and the USQCD collaboration.
Projects must request long-term storage as part of their
proposal and data management plan.
The amount of storage and hosting institution will be
negotiated by the SPC, EC, and the USQCD facilities.
End of the program year data housekeeping
At the end of the allocation year, each project must arrange
to clear their old data from the Lustre storage so that space
can be allocated to the new projects in the new program year.
The project's PI or a designated data manager will be responsible
for this data mangement task.
Several scenarios are possible:
Volitile or Working data should be deleted ASAP
Any data that has already been copied elsewhere or
stored in an archival storage system should be deleted
as soon as possible.
This frees up space right away for the new allocations.
We ask that the migration and clearing of any data that
remains at this point be completed within two months.
If additional time will be needed, we ask that the PI or
data manager send details of their plan and schedule for
clearing the remaining space to email@example.com.
We can then discuss the plan and set a reasonable
deadline for completing this data housekeeping.
Transfer to a new allocation
If your project is continuing under a new allocation, any data
that will still be needed and useful can be brought into that
Data already copied elsewhere
There should already be copies of precious data elsewhere.
Once the data manager verifies that the copies exist, this data
can be deleted from the Lustre storage area.
Remaining data should be copied elsewhere
Any precious data that remains should be copied to another site.
See our Globus Online page for
information on using Globus to transfer files out of Lustre.
The final deadline
Any data that remains three months after the end of the program
year is subject to deletion by LQCD-Admin staff, unless an
extension has been negotiated.
This page last updated 16 April 2019.
If you have questions or feedback regarding this policy, please
send email to