Fortress - Frequently Asked Questions

How does HPSS differ from DXUL in accessing my data?

  • Plain-text FTP is not supported, due to the unacceptable security risk. Instead we now have the more powerful HSI and HTAR, which is both secure and parallelizes data transfers so that the full network bandwidth can be utilized.
  • NFS mounting is limited to ITaP research cluster front-end hosts. This restriction is due to the potential for NFS to cause overall system performance issues.
  • NFS mounts outside of the rcac.purdue.edu domain, such as on departmental systems, are not supported.
  • HPSS does not support direct SFTP and SCP transfers. However, these protocols may be used to connect to ITaP research cluster front-end hosts where you have an account, and using the NFS-mounted directory for Fortress there. These protocols will not be able to take advantage of the optimization of the new system to parallelize data streams.
  • Access via Windows Network Drive/SMB will remain, though this protocol will not be able to take advantage of the optimization of the new system to parallelize data streams.
  • HPSS does not support UNICODE filenames. All filenames must contain only ASCII characters.
  • HPSS does not support sparse files. Therefore, using the rsync command to copy data in through Fortress' NFS gateway is not recommended.

What is the best way to access my data?

  • HSI provides a Unix-style interface taking advantage of the power of HPSS without requiring any special user knowledge.
  • HTAR is a utility to aggregate a set of files into a single tar archive directly into HPSS, without requiring scratch space to first create an archive.

Are there any limitations with HSI or HTAR?

  • HTAR has an individual file size limit of 64GB. If any files you are trying to archive with HTAR are greater than 64GB, then HTAR will immediately fail. This does not limit the number of files in the archive or the total overall size of the archive. To get around this limitation, try using the htar_large command. It is slower than using HTAR but it will work around the 64GB file size limit.

Can I download HSI or HTAR binaries for my OS platform?

  • Microsoft Windows
        Windows Installation Instructions
  • Mac OS X
        Mac DMG
  • RedHat / Fedora
        32-bit x86 RPM
        RHEL5/6 Repository (add to /etc/yum.repos.d/rcac-public.repo)
  • Ubuntu / Debian
        32-bit x86 DEB
        64-bit x86 DEB
        Debian/Ubuntu Repository (append contents to /etc/apt/sources.list)
  • Solaris 10
        32-bit x86 PKG
        Sparc PKG
  • Note: If your username on your desktop does not match your career account username, HSI and HTAR require configuration to connect using your career account username. Issue the command echo "principal = careeraccount" >> ~/.hsirc to configure the current and any future sessions to use the currect username. You may also set the HPSS_PRINCIPAL environment variable to your career account username or use the -l careeraccount option for HSI.

Do I need to do anything to my firewall to access Fortress?

  • Any machines using HSI or HTAR must have all firewalls (local and departmental) configured to allow open access from the following IP addresses:

    • 128.210.251.141
    • 128.210.251.142
    • 128.210.251.143
    • 128.210.251.144
    • 128.210.251.145
  • If you are unsure of how to modify your firewall settings, please consult with your department's IT support or the documentation for your operating system. Access to Fortress is restricted to on-campus networks. If you need to directly access Fortress from off-campus, please use the Purdue VPN service before connecting.

Can I set up a shared space for my research group to share data?

  • Research groups may, upon request, be assigned a group data storage space within Fortress to facilitate sharing of research data. Access to this space is controlled through a UNIX group assigned to the research group.
  • ITaP research resources are not intended to store data protected by Federal privacy and security laws (e.g., HIPAA, ITAR, classified, etc.). It is the responsibility of the faculty partner to ensure that no protected data is stored on the systems.

    • Particularly in the case of group storage, please keep in mind that such spaces are, by design, accessible by others and should not be used to store private information such as grades, login credentials, or personal data.
  • Contact us at rcac-help@purdue.edu to create a group space for your group.

How can I fix the error: "put: Error -5 on transfer" when I use HSI/HTAR from my workstation?

  • First, check your firewall settings, and ensure that there are no firewall rules interfering with connecting to Fortress. If firewalls are not responsible:
  • Open the file named /etc/hosts on your workstation, especially if you run a Debian or Ubuntu Linux distribution.
  • Look for a line like:
    127.0.1.1  hostname.dept.purdue.edu hostname
  • Replace the IP address 127.0.1.1 with the real IP address for your system.
  • If you don't know your IP address, you can find it with the command:
    host `hostname --fqdn`