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Terms of Service

ICT offers DataStore to the community of research faculty to ensure equal access to quality storage and, to enhance data management practices within the research community at the University of Saskatchewan.

ICT subsidizes DataStore under the following terms and conditions:

1. Storage Service

a. Basic storage: is available in 1, 2 or 3 TB to all eligible faculty at no charge.

b. Extended storage: (1-100 TB) is made available to all researchers, research groups and centres at the discounted rate.

c. Advanced Storage: (100+ TB) is available through consultation only, depending on availability and requirements. Researchers should contact Research Computing.

d. Storage Type: DataStore is optimized as secondary storage. Please note capabilities and limitations (see definition below).

2. Pricing / Billing

a. The service is subsidized by ICT and pricing is subject to change;

b. Electronic invoices will be issued for all allocations including Basic Storage with a "no-charge" for allocations under 3TB for F/T faculty. 

c. Service is paid in advance at time of allocation for the fiscal year. Billing is not pro-rated;

d. Renewed annually at beginning of fiscal year and invoices issued;

e. DataStore is billed by the whole TB allocated. Any unit less than a full TB is rounded up, allocated, and charged accordingly. For example, if 5.4 TB of Extended storage is required, the client is allocated and billed for 6 TB.

3. Eligibility

a. Researchers: Full-time, continuing status or tenure-track faculty at the University of Saskatchewan.

b. Groups: Officially recognized labs, groups, clusters or centres at the University of Saskatchewan.

NOTE: Non-faculty, such as staff, graduate students, etc. are not eligible for an allocation, but are eligible to access a researcher’s allocation of storage at the invitation of the researcher.

4. Space Management (allocation)

a. Availability: Space is provisioned on a first-come, first-served basis. ICT is expecting high demand and will endeavor to expand as needed. However, additional capacity takes time to purchase and provision and may impose short-term constraints as we respond to demand.

b. Increments: DataStore is provisioned and billed in 1 TB increments.

c. Priority: Priority is given to researchers first and groups and centres second.

d. Space Limits: Discounted storage is limited to 100 TB for any one client (pending available space). Researchers requesting more than 100 TB must contact Research Computing.

e. Pooling: Basic storage can’t be pooled from multiple researchers. Basic storage is personal research storage; however, researchers are free to add collaborators and/or pay for additional capacity.

f. Over-allocation: ICT reserves the right to over-allocate storage. This may lead temporary limitations and additional space unavailable.

g. Access:

i. Permissions:

1. Clients are expected to manage their user permissions through IAM ( Service Desk also available for support.

2. Permissions can be set for IAM groups at the root folder level (TBD).

ii. Access Protocol:

1. DataStore will be accessible through SMB and NFS.

Note: In order to access DATASTORE, computers must authenticate against the Domain (USask).

5. Service Levels

a. Provisioning:

All response levels during business hours; times are in business days.

i. First Response within 24hrs;

ii. Basic Storage will be provisioned with 48hrs after receiving request via form;

iii. Extended Storage: 48 hrs. after follow-up* pending space availability;

iv. Advanced Storage (100+ TB): pending availability.

b. Configuration / Troubleshooting:

        i.   Naming Convention:

1. Folder path for personal based on a user selected path:  \\datastore\ShareName

                ii. For support, Service Desk service levels apply;

c. Back-up:

i. Daily snapshots of data are made, copied to a local directory and stored for a 30 days;

ii. Daily differential back-ups (based on full back-up) are copied to tape on duplicate media.

iii. Retention policy of 365 days for files applies.

d. Restore:

i. File level restore (<1 mo.) is available to the client through the self-serve Snapshot service;

ii. File level restore (>1 mo.) from tape; time to restore depends size of restoration and workload (for small restores, typically 1-3 days).

e. Down Time / Maintenance: ICT reserves the right to take the system offline to administer or otherwise care for the system and its data. Every effort will be made to provide 24 hours notice ahead of any unscheduled downtime. Scheduled downtime will follow ICT’s regular schedule. See for details.

6. Policy

a. Compliance: Users are responsible for legal, ethical compliance of data stored in their account. The faculty PI is considered to the owner and persons most responsible for the data stored (subject to University of Saskatchewan policy on data ownership).

b. Legal: Researchers storing data must abide by all applicable policies (e.g. U of S Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, U of S ICT Security Policy) and laws including University policies, Research Ethics, granting agency regulation, federal and provincial laws including The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA).

c. Non-Research Related Data: Data unrelated to research is prohibited from being stored on this service. Users requiring storage for non-research data can contact ICT for more information.

Warranty: ICT makes no warranty or claims as to the suitability of the service, including with respect to regulatory and legal compliance including HIPA. Although all efforts will be made to safeguard data, ICT cannot guarantee that any file can be recovered, regardless of where a file is stored, even in backed up volumes. It is the user's responsibility that the data is protected against possible risks, as appropriate to the value of the data.

d. Arrears: Clients in arrears will be notified 30, 60 and 90 days.

e. Cessation of Service: i. Clients no longer requiring storage on DataStore are asked to notify Research Computing.

i. Clients no longer requiring the service are asked to contact Research Computing:

ii. Data will be made available to copy to client-provided alternate media for 6 mo.;

iii. Data will be moved to back-up media after 6 mo. without further notice.

f. Cessation of Employment: Researchers are asked to:

i. Contact Research Computing to make arrangements to transfer or copy data, or

ii. Make arrangements to extend the period.

iii. Faculty no longer employed by the University of Saskatchewan will have data moved to back-up media and space freed up 6 months after last paid period. Space will be freed up without notice unless arrangements are made.

g. Over-allocation: Administratively, ICT will over-allocate storage space in accordance with best practices.

h. Capacity: Storage will be monitored closely to ensure ample head-room. ICT will make preparations at 50% capacity depending on the trajectory (rate of growth). Projections for reaching full capacity should allow for 2 months for purchasing and installation of additional space.

i. Overuse: Users unduly impacting the overall performance of the service will be flagged, notified, and expected to address the performance issue.

7. Definitions

a. Full Backup: includes all files regardless of whether they have been changed since previous back-up.

b. Differential Backup: includes all files changed since the last full back-up as a reference point.

c. Incremental Backup: includes all files changed since previous day’s back-up as a reference point.

d. Primary Storage: Optimized for high throughput but low capacity (performance trade-off). Often internal to computer or instruments or in close proximity; often used as first point of data collection; generally not used for long-term storage;

e. Secondary Storage: Optimized for high capacity lower throughput (performance trade-off due to expense fast disks). Often used for short to long-term storage;

f. Archiving: Archived data is not a copy, but rather inactive and rarely altered data that needs to be retained for long periods of time. Performance is less critical in archive storage.

g. Sizes: Gigabyte (GB) = 1000 megabytes; Terabyte (TB) = 1000 gigabytes; Petabyte (PB) = 1000 terabytes.

Date Version Author Notes
Oct 2016 1.0 John Costa First draft


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