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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

File Store

Central file store is provided for the storage of applications, research data, workgroup shares and personal data.

Individual file storage

Users with CIS accounts have access to a centrally provided file store, which is regularly backed up and which is accessible both from Unix and Windows environments. On the NPCS and MDS services this filestore is accessible as the 'j: drive' and on the linux service it is the users home directory. The default allocation of space within the store depends on the category of the user. Current quota allocations are as follows


default (Mb)

self-request (Mb)
approved-request (Mb)

MDS users


2000 greater than 2000



2000 greater than 2000



2000 greater than 2000



1000 greater than 1000

Additional file store for individual use may be requested by application through the Service Desk up to the self-request limits or with departmental authorisation when more than the self -request limit is required. Such quota increases take place overnight.

Connecting to your individual (J: Drive) file storage

Electronic mail file space

In addition to the individual file store detailed above, space is also provided for electronic mail file store. The majority of users have their mail delivered to the CIS Exchange Service and there are quotas provided for the amount allocated fo this purpose for staff , postgraduates and undergraduates

Group shared storage

Shared storage for specific research projects may be allocated beyond these limits by arrangement with CIS. Shared storage is also provided for departmental or collegiate administrative systems under the managed systems,MDS where this shared data is available as the 's: drive'. Additional storage beyond the default in these cases is a chargeable resource.

File System Snapshots

Central file storage is provided by a pair of clustered appliances, named hudson & stevens. A major element of this provision is the facility to take read only snapshots of the file system at periodic intervals. Users are able to recover previous versions of files from such snapshots directly, without CIS operational involvement. Hourly snapshots are taken during the working day on these primary systems.

In addition, a third 'nearstore' filer (parker) is provided in a separate location to the main appliances and on which longer term copies of the main file systems are stored. This secondary acts as a disaster recovery (DR) facility and also provides user accessible snapshot facilities which extend back over several days, weeks and months. Further details can be found at Snapshot Schedule and in CIS Info Sheets. This system also provides ancilliary storage for less intensively used data areas, such as those used in research projects.

Further information can be found in the Using Snapshots to Recover Files section.