Project Status: Completed; all services are available through RIS.

Project Manager: Randy Gadell, rgadell@wustl.edu

Project Goals and Objectives

This project’s goal is to build a Community Good, Scalable, and Distributed Storage Network Infrastructure with Long-Term Archival Capability for Research Computing. Washington University’s Enterprise Risk Management process identified big data as a strategic risk and the WUSTL Research Computing IT Governance Committee has identified research storage as its top priority per its Strategic Plan.

This is the next logical evolution of the strategic initiative to implement a robust, high-performance and integrated cyber-infrastructure to facilitate knowledge sharing, increase collaboration, minimize redundancy, and capital outlays while providing a foundation for “Large Data” research.

Project Scope

This effort will leverage existing technical expertise within Research Infrastructure Services (RIS) and data management expertise of the University Library. In addition, this collaboration with representative experts in other research domains seeks to not only address the storage needs of researchers, but also deliver storage-as-a-service to address the institutional responsibilities of the University to manage data access, access and retention compliance, enforce data use policies, and appropriately fund data consumption. The storage service will be comprised of multiple tiers to increase performance while lowering costs. These storage services will provide:

  • Centralized storage management, engineering, and technical support
  • Daily incremental, weekly and monthly backups
  • Optional cross-data center data replication
  • The first 5TB per researcher at subsidized cost
  • Active Archive (lower tier, lower costs)
  • Policy driven migration from Active Tier after fixed period of inactivity
  • Implement approximately 5PB (petabytes) of storage over 3 years
Quick Facts
  • First 5 terabytes(TB) of high-performance storage are university subsidized and provided at no costs to Researchers
  • Researchers may share their allocation with their team or collaborators
  • Storage amounts above 5TB will be available on a sliding costs scale
  • Storage is high performance and accessible via the high-speed WashU Research Network (WURN) or via the common network
  • Storage services include full back-ups
  • Engineering and design services are available for special data feed and storage needs
MilestonesCompletion Date
Project ApprovalMarch 2017
Phase one hardware and services orderedSeptember 2017
Pilot use cases and testingFeb – Apr 2018
General availabilityMay 2018
Phase 2 planning begins – Additional features & servicesJune 2018
Phase 2 Purchasing
-Storage capacity and performance enhancements
July-August 2020
Phase 2 testing beginsSeptember 2020
Principal Researcher and Staff TrainingOn-going
General Availability of Phase 2September 2020
Project Core Team

Team MemberTitleRole
James Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.Professor of NeuroscienceChair of Infrastructure and Applications Subcommittee
Randy GadellProject ManagerProgram / Project Manager
Craig PohlSenior Director, RISTechnical Lead
Project Steering Committee

Jenny Lodge, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Research

Stephanie Reel
Vice Chancellor, CIO

Phillip Payne, Ph.D.
Prof of Internal Medicine, Gen Medical Sciences

Albert Lai, Ph.D.
Chief Research Information Officer

Tau Ju
Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Craig Pohl
Sr. Director Research Infrastructure Services

Denise Stephens
Vice Provost and University Librarian

Randy Gadell
IRIS Program Manager, OCIO PPMO