Research Data Store


The RDS is a central storage service for active or working research data.  The RDS is built on an enterprise storage system, which means it is fast and secure and also allows us to present your data to your PC/Workstation/Mac on campus (or through the University’s Remote Access Service) as a local drive.

Resilience and Availability

The solution has been created to be highly resilient and is housed in a purpose-built and resilient University data centre. Most predictable failure scenarios have been addressed, notably:

  • Single disk failures
  • Enclosure failures
  • Inter-site link failure
  • Failure of a management device
  • (Data Centre) Power circuit failure
  • (Data Centre) Cooling unit failure

This does not mean the service will never be unavailable but it does mean we maintain high levels of availability.

Storage Allocations

Space on the RDS is allocated to projects and managed in accordance with project data management plans (DMPs).

Applications should be submitted by Principle investigators (PIs) via the Service Desk, giving a few details of the project and listing the users to be permitted access to the space and the data. These users will be added to a security group controlling access to the project folder. The PI is then  responsible for creating an appropriate data structure and managing the access rights (read, write or both) of the members of the project.

Once approved, up to 3TB of storage will be allocated by default with no direct charge. Additional capacity may be purchased (see the BEAR Bids and Funding Guidance).

The PI will be given a network share in the form of   \\RDS\Year\user-projectName or \\RDS\rdshomes\<letter>\projectName,  which can be mapped from their computer on a University IP address. This will be in the form of a CIFS share, which can be presented to Linux, MAC or Windows operating systems. See the 'How To' section (below) for further information to get started, including how to manage the access rights of members of the project.

Please bear in mind that the RDS is not a place to put your data for long term archive and that data should be regularly reviewed and cleaned up, removing unwanted files or archiving data which is of value but not currently used or likely to be needed for many months/years (see BEAR Archive).

How to Apply

To request access to an existing RDS store, contact the PI of the project directly who can grant or revoke access to their RDS filestore by submitting a request through the Service Desk.

Application for a new RDS share should also be made through the Service Desk - Service Catalogue (

After logging in, select

  1. 'Make a Request'
  2. under the 'Advanced Research Computing Service' menu
  3. select 'BEAR/CaStLeS Projects',
  4. click on 'Register a new BEAR/CaStLeS project',
  5. enter a project code (click on 'More information' for details), check the box for RDS and complete the form, detailing the number of TB required and giving a brief description of what the project is about, its duration and funding source. Data sensitivity or specific security requirements must also be identified here.


Currently, the default quota of up to 3TBs is free of charge and includes back up to tape.

See‘BEAR Research Data Storage Costs and Guidance’ for current pricing.  

When applying for grant funding, please include the cost of your storage (and archive) above the default allocations as you can usually recoup the costs from your funder.  See ‘BEAR Research Data Storage Costs and Guidance’ for suggestions on what to include in your application.

Backup & Retention Policy

Storing your research data in a data repository ensures that your data is stored safely, preserved for future use and re-use (when required). We have a 'Backup & Retention Policy' for further guidance.

Data Considerations

The RDS should be used for your working data, however please note that you should not be storing any kind of patient/personally identifiable data. If your research involves this type of data then please contact your local College IT team first, for advice.  Other sensitive data may be encrypted for protection. Currently this must be done at your client device. Please ensure that your key is placed somewhere safe so it can be recovered if/when needed; to assist you please review the IT Policy and Procedures webpages.

Developments 2018/19

During the academic year 2018/19, the current RDS infrastructure will be replaced, updating to current technology and adding a series of features including encryption, improved performance, a fast storage layer to support artificial intelligence (AI) and a mechanism for making large data transfers efficiently.

How To's

Further documentation on how to use and administer the research data store can be found in these How To pages.

Last Modified: 17 September 2018