The Research Data Store (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.
For a list of all the research storage options available see our Research Storage Options page.
Resilience and Availability
The Research Data Store has been designed to be highly resilient and is housed in a purpose-built University data centre. Most predictable failure scenarios have been addressed, notably:
Single disk 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.
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) / Supervisors 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 - see the BEAR Projects page for more details.
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 and those who have access will be sent the path to map to their computer when the RDS is created. 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
Applications for a new RDS should be made through the Service Catalog of the online Service Desk (itservicedesk.bham.ac.uk). You can get to the form to 'Register a New BEAR or CaStLeS Project' here.
When filling in the form 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 with 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.
To request access to an existing RDS, contact the PI of the project directly.
How to Access the Research Data Store
When a Research Data Store has been created for you or you have been added to an existing RDS, you will be sent details on the path to map the RDS to your computer as a network drive. Please note that if you are accessing the RDS from off-campus you will need to be connected to the Remote Access Service. Further details can be found on our 'Accessing the Research Data Store' webpage.
How to make changes to a Research Data Store
The PI of the Research Data Store or a designated Data Manager can make changes to it by going to the 'Research' section of the Service Catalog where clicking on ‘Show more’ reveals many options such as changing project members and increasing the amount of storage.
Currently, the default quota of up to 3TB's is free of charge and includes backup to tape.
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 current pricing and suggestions on what to include in your application.
Backup & Retention Policy
We have a 'Backup & Retention Policy' for guidance.
Storing Sensitive Data
See our guidance on storing sensitive data including our Research Data Matrix which provides detailed examples and guidance on what can and cannot be stored on the RDS.
Further help on how to use and manage your Research Data Store can be found on the How to RDS page. There is also a list of storage Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not find the information you require or need help setting up or accessing the RDS then please contact us.