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Investigate AFS on ECDF storage

Project ID: 
Current stage: 
AFS access to the ECDF provided 500GB per research user.

Description: The University is proposing to provide each research active user with 500GB disk space. Unfortunately, IS are currently proposing that this space will be presented by NFS, CIFS or SSHFS. This project would investigate whether we (working with IS) can add AFS as an access mechanism.

Deliverables: Report of the investigations, and a working AFS path to the space if possible.


All research active users within School

Case statement:
It wouldn't make sense to not use the space being made available to us, however for better integeration with our file system, AFS access would seem a better option than the proposed filesystems.



It's been resourced this third (T1, 2013) for 3 weeks.

Medium/low - It's not mission critical, and at the last CCPAG (Feb 2013) ECDF were still waiting for the go ahead to provide the space.

1 hour so far


Resources: Total of 3 weeks.

Two weeks to create an AFS cell on GPFS nodes. One week to benchmark end-user performance and effect on GPFS cluster.


  • Get to know how ECDF GPFS works.
  • Research strategies for running AFS on GPFS.
  • Assuming it is possible, mount GPFS on machine in Forum, or get access to machine at ECDF that does have access and setup AFS. Probably a test cell first.
  • If it isn't possible, can we get access to raw disk space and mount as a normal /vicep
  • Test and bench mark, check performance and affect on cluster.
  • If all is good, then make what ever changes to run it as a full service - eg hardware, final cell name.

What if a researcher doesn't want "their" space as AFS. Some may want to opt out and use one of the IS proposed protocols. eg researchers with Windows machines?


Access to ECDF storage.

This would be a new service, not impacting on current services, so risks would be low. Perhaps performance issues affecting network/ECDF.


Proposed date Achieved date Name Description
22/3/2013 access Get access to ECDF and GPFS
testcell Setup test AFS cell
perf Performance testing
results Present results/findings/thoughts
production Turn into production service if all went well
writeup Final Report

Do we still do these?