Tape storage at NSC

NSC is part of the SNIC tape infrastructure.

Tape storage is used for long time archive and backups.

The MARS system, a specialized database for meteorological data originally developed at ECMWF, has been customized by NSC and SMHI and was taken in operation at NSC in 2010. Similar to the setup at ECMWF, MARS at NSC is backed by the tape storage and it currently stores 800 TiB of data.

To offload volume data from SMHI’s Lustre-based cluster mounted storage Accumulus, NSC also operates a tape backed HSM file system intended for data which cannot be stored in the MARS system. This data size currently is in the order of 1,700 TiB.

The tape storage facilities at NSC are based on an IBM TS3500 tape library. The tape library has eight frames and contains about six thousand LTO cartridges. Most of the tape cartridges are LTO5s and also newer LTO6 cartridges. We have got 16 tape drives as follows

8 IBM LTO Ultrium 5 tape drives
8 IBM LTO Ultrium 6 tape drives
The tape library is due for replacement in 2017/2018.

The tapes are under the control of the IBM Spectrum Protect software. We have got four Spectrum Protect servers with disk cache storage. The tape drives and the disk subsystems are connected via fibre channel. There are well over a hundred nodes registered with these servers.

We have remote copies of the data in cooperation with Uppsala and KTH.

Archive and backup data for various SMHI and SNIC projects/resources are stored in the tape library. It's also used for data archiving in the WLCG project.

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