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Service Overview

Scientific Platform Storage Service (SPSS) is a performant, elastic, cost-attractive storage service, available to researchers at the lab across all science disciplinary space. The service is being offered by the IT division as part of the Science IT initiative, developing new services focused on directly supporting the Lab's scientific mission. 

SPSS affords lab researchers a file storage platform to support data workflows, without the cost of dedicated hardware or the administration burden of running their own IT infrastructure. In addition to the local storage platform, SPSS provides avenues for data lifecycle management including cloud storage platform offloading.


SPSS is a highly available and scalable storage service based on the Dell Compellent platform. The initial rollout consists of a redundant SAN controller pair fronting both a high-performance hybrid (flash/spinning disk) tier and a capacity (spinning disk) tier, the latter of which is further fronted by a redundant NAS appliance.

The core SAN controllers are 2 redundant Dell EMC SC9000 Array Controllers each with a 12Gb SAS backend and a 10Gb iSCSI front-end interface. The hybrid tier is composed of an SC420 enclosure and an SC400 on an independent SAS chain/SAS-controller; while the capacity tier is comprised of a pair of SC280 enclosures, again on an independent SAS chain/SAS-controller. The hybrid tier is exported via iSCSI over 2x2 10GbE links (2 VLANs) over to the SVM infrastructure. The capacity tier is exported via an NAS appliance, an FS8600, which is redundantly connected to the SAN controllers via 2x2 10GbE interfaces and exports the storage to clients via NFS and CIFS protocols.

The two tiers are fairly well segregated from disk up through protocol networks. The hybrid tier is only available via the SVM service (it is unnecessary for you to make a separate request for SPSS when you request for SVM service). The capacity tier is directly available to all lab researchers, who can mount it on their computers via NFS or CIFS protocol.

Getting Started

To get started with SPSS, please complete the SPSS request form, which will cause a ServiceNow ticket to be created. Please only use the form to request storage from the capacity tier of SPSS. If you have any question, please contact [email protected].

Service Costs

The price of the capacity tier is $10/TB/month, based on configured capacity. To encourage uptake of the service, we offer a one-month free trial of SPSS to all lab researchers.

For comparison, here are the list prices for storage on AWS and GCP ($/TB/month):

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Additional, both AWS and GCP charge egress fees for outbound data transfer. Here are the list egress fees on AWS and GCP ($/100GB):

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Service Level Agreements

Use of SPSS requires consent to the terms of the Service Level Agreement. If you have any question, please contact [email protected].

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