Backup & Archive Systems for any Max Planck Institute

If you are an IT Manager at a Max Planck Institute, you can use the MPCDF backup and archive systems to store data.

For small amounts of backup or archive data (below 100 TB), a storage area can probably be set up quickly in one of our existing systems. For larger amounts of data, special planning and allocation of resources will be required.

If you are interested, the best option is to open a ticket in our Helpdesk, briefly describing your needs. You will then be contacted by us to discuss further details.

MPCDF’s policy for long-term preservation of archive data

Data management with the HSM system HPSS

The Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) system HPSS, introduced at MPCDF (formerly RZG) in 2011, proves to be increasingly essential for managing the archival requirements of many Max Planck Institutes from all three scientific sections. The largest needs, however, arise in the meantime from the Life Sciences. Since late 2018, when the amount of data stored in HPSS at the MPCDF surpassed the 100 PB threshold, the data has more than doubled to over 220 PB. As shown in the list of publicly disclosed HPSS deployments, the MPCDF continues to belong to the top 10 scientific data centers worldwide and remains on rank 1 within Germany.

Safety of Archival Data

In 2006, the president of the Max Planck Society, Prof. Gruß, requested the RZG to ensure that important data can be stored safely for at least 50 years. From the very beginning of mass storage at the RZG with an automated tape library in 1980, a CDC8500 with 2000 8-MB cartridges, the challenge we had to master was to provide bit preservation across multiple generations of archiving technologies, w.r.t both hardware and software. And indeed, the oldest files stored in our archive system are from the 1980s.

For archive data, we keep 2 copies of each file on 2 different tapes (in 2 different buildings). For backup data, the standard is only 1 tape copy (more on request).

The MPCDF has started to further improve safety of particularly precious archival data which fulfill the following criteria: MPCDF is the master site, and there are no officially maintained data copies at other sites, and in the unlikely case of loss, the data would be unrecoverable or it would require immense efforts to recover the data. For such data, a third tape copy, using different software technology, is now hosted in Berlin on request. This procedure takes into account the updated recommendation for georedundancy which requires a distance larger than 200 km.