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Data Management Overview

File Systems

There are several distinct file spaces available on clusters, each serving a different function.

  • /ihome ($HOME), the system housing home directories.
    • It contains sub-directories for each user group, and those contain individual user directories.
    • Also referred to as the 'login directory' and is the entry point when a user logs into the CRC ecosystem
    • 75 GB quota that cannot be increased
  • /ix and /ix1, enterprise storage locations for persistent file storage.
    • 5 TB provisions for new allocations can be found here.
    • There is no charge for a 5 TB provision on ix.
    • If you do not have a location provisioned, please let us know by submitting a ticket.
    • 5 TB increments of extra storage are available for purchase at a subsidized rate of $65 per TB per year.
  • /bgfs, a BeeGFS file system for persistent file storage that is no longer being provisioned on.
  • /zfs1 and /zfs2, 1 PB file systems for archival storage.

You can check your usage and quotas across these filesystems with the wrapper script command crc-quota:

[nlc60@login0b ~] : crc-quota
User: 'nlc60'
-> ihome: 59.63 GB / 75.0 GB

Group: 'sam'
-> zfs1: 1.76 TB / 5.0 TB
-> beegfs: 14.68 TB / 80.0 TB

File permissions

Group project storage locations on /ix, /bgfs, /zfs1, or /zfs2 can be requested via ticket. The top level folder is owned by root:groupname with 2770 permission. The 2 sets the sticky bit, group members have read + write permission, and other users cannot access the folder.

Access to files by the group members is governed by Unix file permissions. For detailed information on Unix file protections, see the man page for the chmod command.

To share files with your group, give the group read and execute access for each directory from your top-level directory down to the directory that contains the files you want to share. chmod g+rx {directory-name}

Then give the group read and execute access to each file you want to share. chmod g+rx {filename}

To give the group the ability to edit or change a file, add write access to the group: chmod g+rwx {filename}

If you want to share file with other group members or users, submit a help ticket, and we can use Access Control Lists (ACLs) – a more fine-grained control than Unix file permissions allow. The command for bgfs is setfacl, and for ZFS is nfs4_setfacl, more detailed help text can be viewed in their man pages.

Shared Folders

/ix storage locations are only accessible to allocation owners and the users they sponsor (their "user group").

If you are working with collaborators that also have CRC user accounts, but are not in your user group, a shared folder under your /ix location can be used to facilitate sharing data between your groups.

These should be requested by submitting a ticket and providing details about the users that need access.

This should include Pitt Usernames and specifics about the permissions they will require (read, write, execute, etc).

Restoring Accidentally Deleted Files

/ix, /zfs1, and /zfs2 keep snapshots for up to 7 days.

Submit a help ticket with your request to restore data from snapshots.

Snapshots are not available for /bgfs locations

Moving Data between your local machine and the CRC Clusters

SFTP Clients


CyberDuck is a popular open source SFTP client for Windows and Mac. Download and install Cyberduck. Open the Cyberduck application. Click the "Open Connection" button on the toolbar.

  • Select "SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)" from the drop-down.
  • Enter in the;Server;box.
  • Enter your Pitt username and password, and click;Connect.

Your files on the server will appear in the CyberDuck window. You can now drag-and-drop files to and from the window to upload/download files.


FileZilla is cross-platform FTP application available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Download and install FileZilla. Open the FileZilla application.

  • Enter s in the Host;box.
  • Enter your Pitt username and password, and click;QuickConnect.

Your files on the server will appear in the FileZilla window.

The Open OnDemand File App

Logon, Click Files -> Home Directory, Click Upload and choose File(s) from your computer. Due to limited cache size, DO NOT use Ondemand File App to upload big files ( > 1 GB).

Globus File Sharing

For large data sets, consider using Globus.

An institutional endpoint is not required to use Globus; You can set up a personal endpoint on your computer if you need to transfer large amounts of data.

Command Line Tools


You can use rsync from a terminal/shell on your local computer.

Copy to the cluster: rsync -aP {files}

Where {files} is a local directory on your computer. This makes a recursive copy of the local files to a folder on the cluster.

Copy from the cluster: rsync -aP .

This copies the /bgfs/sam/fangping/files folder on the cluster to the working directory on the local machine.


scp is similar to rsync in that it runs in a terminal on your local machine.

scp -r files

This copies the folder files in the current directory on the computer you issued the command on to a folder on the cluster.

scp -r .

This copies the /bgfs/sam/fangping/files folder on the cluster to the current directory on the computer you issued the command from.


Aspera is IBM's high-performance file transfer software which allows for the transfer large files and data sets with predictable, reliable and secure delivery regardless of file size or transfer distance from a location that has the aspera transfer server running.  The NCBI recommend the use of aspera for transfer of data sets from their site.

Download aspera from to your home directory on HTC cluster.

Download link:

tar xzvf ibm-aspera-connect-

You will find file


aspera is installed to ~/.aspera

You can then use aspera to download files. The aspera binary is at ~/.aspera/connect/bin/ascp and the key is at ~/.aspera/connect/etc/asperaweb_id_dsa.openssh

[fangping@login0b aspera]$ ~/.aspera/connect/bin/ascp -QT -l 300m -P33001 -i ~/.aspera/connect/etc/asperaweb_id_dsa.openssh .

Cloud Tools

Pitt OneDrive

You can transfer data between Pitt OneDrive and the cluster. See this page for details.

Pitt Box

You can transfer data from and to Pitt box from the cluster. Follow these steps.


awscli has been installed as a module in Lmod. You can transfer data from the cluster to AWS S3.

module load awscli/1.16.135

aws s3 sync /bgfs/sam/fangping/DataUpload s3://my-s3-bucket/data_from_htc

This will transfer /bgfs/sam/fangping/DataUpload folder to s3://my-s3-bucket/data_from_htc

You can submit this command as a job on HTC computational node.

google bucket

You can install and configure gsutil to transfer data from/to gs bucket.

module load gsutil/5.16

gsutil config

gsutil cp -r gs://gs-bucket-name/ .

This will recursively transfer gs://gs-bucket-name/ folder to the current folder.

Azure Storage

AzCopy is a command-line tool that moves data into and out of Azure Storage. azcopy has been installed as a module.

module load azcopy/10.11.0 azcopy --help

azcopy copy "/bgfs/your/folder/" "" --recursive=true

This example command recursively copies data from a local directory to a blob container. A fictitious SAS token is appended to the end of the container URL.

You can submit this command as a job on HTC computational node.