Photo of Fortress



Overview of Fortress

The Fortress system is a large, long-term, multi-tiered file caching and storage system utilizing both online disk and robotic tape drives. ITaP upgraded Fortress from DXUL to HPSS in October of 2011.

Detailed Hardware Specification

Fortress uses an IBM T3584 robotic tape library with a capacity of over 10 PB.

Storage Subsystem Current Capacity Hardware
Disk Cache Over 200 TB 3 IBM DS3512 Storage arrays
Long-Term Storage Over 10 PB LTO-6 Robotic Tape Library

All files stored on Fortress appear in at least two separate storage devices:

  • One copy is permanently on tape.
  • Recently used or files smaller than 100MB have their primary copy stored on a conventional spinning disk storage array (disk cache). Disk cache provides a rapid restore time.
Both primary and secondary copies of larger files reside on separate tape cartridges in the robotic tape library. After a period of inactivity, HPSS will migrate files from disk cache to tape.

To ensure optimal performance for all users, and to keep the Fortress system healthy, please remember the following tips:

  • Fortress operates most effectively with large files - 1GB or larger. If your data is comprised of smaller files, use HTAR to directly create archives in Fortress.
  • When working with files on cluster head nodes, use your home directory or a scratch file system, rather than editing or computing on files directly in Fortress. Copy any data you wish to archive to Fortress after computation is complete.

Fortress runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and uses HPSS from IBM and the HPSS Collaboration.

Obtaining an Account on Fortress

All Purdue faculty, staff, and students participating in the Community Cluster program have access to Fortress along with their cluster nodes and scratch space.

Additionally, all Purdue faculty, staff, and students with the approval of their advisor may also request access to Fortress. Refer to the Accounts / Access page for more details on how to request access.

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 a UNIX group assigned to the research group. Faculty should contact ITaP at to create a shared space for their research group.

ITaP research computing 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.