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Research Data Storage (RDS)

The Research Data Storage (RDS) system was designed to provide data storage for all research divisions at Cincinnati Children's. Researchers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the RDS, which provides centralized and backed-up storage at a low or no cost to the investigator. The Division of Biomedical Informatics is spearheading the effort; the Cincinnati Children's Department of Information Services has operational control and provides 24x7 continuous support.

If you have general questions about the RDS that are not answered on this page, please send an email to

RDS goals

  • To make centrally managed, secure data storage easily and transparently available to all researchers at Cincinnati Children's
  • To manage growth of the storage system so that it is predictable for the institution
  • To provide some basic amount of storage for free and make larger allocations available for a very competitive and attractive charge-back.

Institutionally provided quotas (free of charge to investigators/divisions [1])

  • 100GB per division shared drive (the "G: drive"). The use of the remainder of the quota is left at the discretion of the division and can be increased for an annual charge through the BeMyIT Store .

Project directories for collaborations

  • Investigators who wish to allocate data storage for their research projects can send a request through the BeMyIT Store site and get a project drive assigned to them within a few days.
  • All storage for project directories will be charged back (see below for rates).
  • Investigators are in control of who can access data on their project drives. Permissions can be given to any collaborator within the institution (not limited to the investigator's division).

Current charge back structure [1]

  • $0.20/GB/year for space with standard (two-month) backup
  • $0.40/GB/year for space with non-standard backup - requires justification & prior approval

These charges do not cover the true costs of this storage to the institution but are rather a management instrument that should entice divisions and investigators to use data storage responsibly. We want to encourage investigators to periodically clean up their data and minimize unnecessary duplication. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have specialized needs.

Billing policies and procedures

  • Billing occurs at the end of the fiscal year
  • Cost is based on quotas, not usage
  • Cost is prorated
  • Cost for a drive can be split among multiple divisions; in cases where divisions share sponsorship of a drive


All components of the system are supported 24x7 by the Department of Information Services (IS). Storage quota change requests are fulfilled within eight business hours (Monday through Friday, 7 am - 7 pm). New storage allocation requests are fulfilled within two business days.

What RDS replaces

RDS is strongly recommended as a replacement for any standalone computer or server hosting data as well as directly attached hard drives such as USB and Firewire hard drives.


All data is immediately replicated to an off-site system that is identical to the primary storage system, thus providing an additional level of redundancy (on top of the built-in redundancies in the system). 2 weeks of daily snapshots are available on the primary system and can be accessed by users (see instructions here (for Windows) or here (for Macs) on how to recover files). Additionally the last 10 weekly snapshots are available from the off-site copy. Please contact Research IT Support for assistance if you need to recover data from more than 2 weeks ago.

Archiving options

In addition to the charge-back option of a one-time, read-only snapshot, BMI can work with you to evaluate options such as a DVD or external hard drive achival copy. Contact the Research IT Support if you are interested.


Performance varies based on the number of connected users and their activities. Maximum read and write performance is 100MB/s [2].

Supported access protocols

RDS currently supports Windows file sharing access from Windows, Mac and Linux.

Underlying technology

  • Vendor: Isilon
  • Version: OneFS
  • Backup is based on daily/weekly and monthly snapshots
  • Highly redundant storage (two sets of everything for the disaster recovery location)
  • Usable capacity: PBs
  • Permissions management software by Varonis DataPrivilege (web accessible permissions requests and grants)
  • Auditing software by Varonis DatAdvantage records a complete audit trail of transactions on the storage unit

[1] Subject to periodic review

[2] Measured using Windows file sharing client on Windows, Mac and Linux