BEAR Research Data Storage Costs 2019

with Guidance for Research Grant Applications

 

Introduction

To support the University’s ‘Research Data Management Policy’, Advanced Research Computing (ARC) operates both the BEAR Archive and the BEAR Research Data Store (RDS). The former is designed to retain valuable research data that is currently not needed for an active project whereas the latter is designed to provide cost effective, secure and fast working storage for active research projects. Central provision ensures the benefits of scale (with petabyte solutions) and concentrated expertise are available to research groups of all sizes. Default allocations of storage are available for all research projects. Projects requiring more than the default allocation should make provision to cover costs within the grant application. 

For more background on storage services for research data visit the BEAR Storage and Archive pages

Currently the service does not offer encryption e.g. for non-anonymised or sensitive data though ARC anticipates implementing a level of encryption during the 2018/19 academic year. In the interim, where the research data management plan (DMP) demands it, financial provision should be made in grant applications for encryption software, noting that currently data must be encrypted at the client user device. Local college IT teams should be able to provide guidance on this. Note also that any new encryption solution offered centrally will only be accessible to qualifying user devices. This is essential to ensure ‘end to end’ security.

The RDS and BEAR Archive are funded by the University centrally through ‘Indirect Costs’ to deliver a standard level of service to all research projects. Projects with large data requirements (as defined below) should make specific provision within the grant application for their exceptional needs.

Support for the archiving of data associated with publications (‘open data’) and other accessible research data (‘open research’) is provided by the Library Services who manage UBIRA (the University of Birmingham’s Institutional Research Archive) and its eData repository which makes provision for these data where no suitable subject specific repository is available. (This is separate from the BEAR Archive which is for long term retention of other data.)

The Cost Model

RDS Costs

All prices are quoted for the full term of 5 years.  Resource must be purchased at the start of the project for the expected full life of the project. Extended storage capacity may be purchased at the end of the term at an additional pro-rated cost i.e.20% p.a. but no refunds will be given, nor pricing supplied for terms shorter than 5 years. Note that 100% of the charge is payable to IT Services when the storage is allocated.

Storage TBs

Price per TB  for 5 years

Includes daily Back-up to dual and geographically separated Tape Libraries

0   -  3 TB

This is funded by the University from the Indirect Costs associated with research grants.

3  -  90 TB

£110 per TB above the free 3 TB allocation for 5 Years

Charged in full to the project as a consumable.

Contact IT Services if a supporting letter is required. Similarly, get in touch if you project will require more than 90 TBs.

1 PB or  higher

This will need to be costed as a new infrastructure purchase and will require
procurement processes to be undertaken by ARC so please inform us asap of your
requirements.

BEAR Archive Costs

The Indirect Costs, provide for the retention of up to 20TBs of archive data on tape for up to 10 years; funding for requirements in excess of this should be specifically included in the research bid. Note this solution is NOT for the data associated with publications or other ‘open’ research data. See the UBIRA section for more info.

The Principal Investigator (PI) in the Research Data Management Plan will specify the minimum retention period for the data and any associated conditions. Again, note that 100% of the charge is payable to IT Services at the time of deposit.

Tape Storage TBs

Price per TB for up to 10 Years

with data held in two geographically separated data centres

0   -  20 TBs

This is funded by the University from the Indirect Costs associated with research grants.

>      20 TBs

£40 per TB.

(charged in full to the project as a consumable)

UBIRA - Archive Costs for Data Associated with Publications and other Open Research

A one-off charge, included in Indirect Costs, is levied for the archive requirements of the project i.e. for the storage capacity required to retain and make available the data associated with published and open research in the University’s institutional research archive. This provides for the first 1 TB of data; funding for requirements in excess of this should be specifically included in the research bid at the following rates.

The Principal Investigator (PI) in the Research Data Management Plan will specify the minimum retention period for the data and any associated conditions. Again, note that 100% of the charge is payable to IT Services.

Storage TBs

Price per TB for 10 years

with data held in two geographically separated data centres

 0  -1TB

This will be included within the Indirect costs associated with research grants.

 >   1 TB

Custom costings. Researchers should contact IT Services.

As a guide the cost will not exceed  £220 per TB for 10 years

Important Notes for all Storage/Archive Services

In all cases, other related costs, principally the hosting data centre costs (facility costs, racks, power distribution and management, energy, cooling and physical security) as well as systems administration are all funded by the centre through IT Services for requirements up to 90TBs (as is the supporting network).

Note, these are all ‘one off’ charges and no refunds will be given for instance, for shorter term usage.

For projects that are VAT exempt, typically prices will be reduced by the applicable rate though there are some exceptions e.g. where funder policies necessitate a different approach to pricing.

Suggested Summary Wording for inclusion in Grant Applications where Storage Requirements Exceed the Default Provision

The project requires n TBs of Working Storage over a period of x years.  The University of Birmingham will provide 3TBs of storage and back up.  For the remaining (n-3) TBs, there will be a cost of £y for the full term of this project.

Data Archiving for the associated open data/open research will cost £w for v TBs over and above the base provision of 1 TB for 10 years, funded by the University.

Archiving for other valuable research data generated by the project will cost £40 for z TBs for up to 10 years, noting that the University will provide the first 20TBs at no additional charge.

Notes to help  with the Calculation

If we haven’t explained the calculation clearly, the following may help. If it doesn’t, please don’t hesitate to contact us

Working Storage (RDS)

  1. n = the number of TB or amount of working storage you require
  2. x = the number of years the storage is required for
  3. y = the calculated cost, based on the price per TB from the RDS table above

Data Archiving (to support publications) in UBIRA

  1. v = the number of TB or amount of archive storage you require
  2. w = the 10 year price per TB in the RDA (archive storage) which can be obtained from IT Services.

 Data Archiving (for other valuable data)

  1. z = the number of TB or amount of archive storage you require
  2. u = the 10 year price per TB from the BEAR Archive cost table above

Working Storage requirements, Data Archiving for publication/other ‘Open Data’ requirements and other Data Archiving requirements should be separate line-items in bid budgets.

Worked Example

If you were to need 5 TB for a project which will last 7 years and, on completion publish a paper and deposit a 2TB data set in UBIRA and, additionally need to retain a further 40TBs of other data, the wording for inclusion would be:

The project requires 5 TBs of Working Storage over a period of 7 years.  The University of Birmingham will provide 3TB of storage.  For the remaining 2 TBs, there will be a cost of £528 for the full term of this project.  [1]

Deposit in the University’s institutional research archive for the data supporting publications will cost £220 for the 1 TB required, over and above the base provision of 1 TB funded by the University.

Additionally, the project will archive 40TBs of other valuable data not currently required to support any publications. The University will provide 20TBs to the project but charges £40 per TB for the balance of 20TBs, at a total of £800, to retain the data securely for up to 10 years.

[1]Details of the calculation for the extended RDS space allocation - The University provides 3 TB for the duration of the project. The Project will pay for 2 additional TB for a total of 7 years. The cost will be made up of two components; 2 x £110 = £220 for the standard 5 year term plus 5 x £110 x 2/5 = £308 for the additional 2 years pro rata, giving a grand total of £528

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Dr. John Owen and Carol Sandys (March 2019)


Last modified: 15 March 2019