The service COUCHstore - maximum flexibility for all really large storage requirements.


Apart from the constantly growing demand for location-independent and readily available storage space, also the demand for large storage space (from 2 TB upwards) with favorable conditions grows steadily all across BOKU. The existing Service COUCHstore addresses this demand. Technically, this service is different from other centrally-offered services at Commodity hardware and beyond that it is supported by open source projects. 

Basic Points COUCHstore

  • Making storage space > 2 TB available for a favorable price/TB ration.
  • Allowing access via the protocols NCP (OES network drive), CiFS (SMB), AFP or NFS or S3. 
  • Providing data protection via local installation in server rooms at BOKU and optional file based backup.
  • Introducing regulatory for long-term meaningful use of storage space.

Your primary point of contact for COUCHstore storage areas are your IT Managers at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences or their representatives.

Storage Area
  • The size of this storage area or its pricing equates the "quota". This quota regards itself as the maximum possible net occupancy of the storage system in TB. That means that the higher gross storage amount (due to replication) is not seen as quota.
  • The defined quota results in an amount per invoice period. It represents the regulatory.
  • The actual occupancy of storage areas is irrelevant here. It is always the largest set quota within the invoice period that is used. 
  • The storage area's contact person has the option to change the defined quota. Changes to enlarge the storage area are always possible, changes to minimize it once every invoice period. 
  • The unit for changes of the defined quota are determined as TB.
  • A storage area is regarded as needed for as long as the amount due is accommodated for. This means, there is entitlement to the data for as long as the amount due is paid.
    If a storage area is no longer needed, the data and optional backups are deleted.
  • The minimum duration for a storage area is one invoice duration. 
  • The invoice duration equals one quarter.
  • One contact person may of course hold several storage areas. 
Access Possibilities
  • Access via protocols NCP (OES network drive), CiFS (SMB), AFP or alternatively NFS or S3. When setting up a storage area this basic decision needs to be made. 
    When choosing the NCP version, the storage area includes the same features (right access, automatic addition of drives, quota) as a "Novell/OES network drive".
  • Currently the maximum available connection bandwidth is limited to 1Gbit/s.
Encryption

The storage areas are not per se encrypted. However, all encrypted containers may be stored in the storage areas. 

Backup

On request and depending on availability backups are primarily stored in a system independent from the storage area (gluster) so as to exclude possible data loss due to any system-immanent errors. The storage area used up by backup files adds to the quota. The contact person can regulate the retention time or add quota accordingly.  Please note that the storage areas are redundantly operated by us (every block is stored at a different location using technical redundancy) but are not saved by default.

Availability
  • When storage amounts are requested that correspond to a significant amount of the total COUCHstore storage, the contact person has the possibility to receive a set quota for exclusive use up to 60 months in advance. Lump-sum payment is required. 
    This lump-sum payment is binding for the duration of 60 months. No charges are due over the set time period. After the period has ended, the user rights expire. Usage can be prolonged by a renewed lump-sum payment or quarterly settlement of the allocated quota. The minimum duration for lump-sum payment is 60 months. The set exclusive quota for this option can be configured in steps of currently about 20 TB. 
  • The used hardware for this service is selected by BOKU-IT and are installed in BOKU-IT's server rooms.
  • This offer is tightly connected to capacities of staff, server room, electricity and cooling and are based on "best effort" according to availability of these resources. This means that BOKU-IT cannot provide any SLA or defined response times for these services. 
Charging and Costs

The contact person is charged at the end of the invoicing period per Intercompany (IC) settlement. The amount charged results from the respective highest set quota within the invoicing period multiplied with the base contribution per TB multiplied with the amount of months of the invoicing period. Currently the base contribution per TB amounts to 5 EUR per month. Due to organizational reasons, direct invoicing via IC settlement is required for the use of this service. 

Approach

In order to make a request for a COUCHstore storage area, the IT representative contacts the BOKU-IT helpdesk providing the following information:

  • Organizational unit
  • desired quota in TB
  • Internal order number / cost unit
  • Person responsible for the cost unit or head of the institute or department 
  • Desired access protocol (NFS or NCP, CiFS and AFP or S3 or BOKUdrive)
  • Is a backup desired and if so what is the desired retention rate (for example, 7 days)