Research Storage Services (an IRIS Program Project)


Project Status: In Progress, Multi-year project

Project Manager: Randy Gadell,


Please join the Research IT Services team and the University Library for an overview of High-performance Research Storage Services. These Seminars provide technical information and training on the storage services and other research IT services including:

  • The data storage request process
  • A hands-on demonstration of a new user account setup
  • A demonstration of how to use your allocation
  • New storage and collaboration services being introduced in 2019 during phase 2 of the project
  • Data Curation Services presented by the University Library Data Services team
  • News about the new High-performance Research Computing Services project
Seminar Times and Locations
  • Thursday, May 9, 2019 – 1:30 pm – 3:00 p.m.
    Wohl Auditorium – Wohl Hospital

Research IT Seminar Registration Link

Researchers may request their storage allocation by completing this online form. Within one business day you should receive a confirmation email granting access to your Free 5TB Storage. Online tutorials for how to apply for, and install (PC, Mac, and Linux), your storage are available here.

Project Goals and Objectives

This project’s goal is to build a Community Good, Scalable, and Distributed Storage Network Infrastructure with Long-Term Archival Capability for Research Computing. Washington University’s Enterprise Risk Management process identified big data as a strategic risk and the WUSTL Research Computing IT Governance Committee has identified research storage as its top priority per its Strategic Plan.

This is the next logical evolution of the strategic initiative to implement a robust and integrated cyber-infrastructure to facilitate knowledge sharing, increase collaboration, minimize redundancy, and capital outlays while providing a foundation for “Large Data” research.

Project Scope

This effort will leverage existing technical expertise within Research Infrastructure Services (RIS) and data management expertise of the University Library. In addition, this collaboration with representative experts in other research domains seeks to not only address the storage needs of researchers, but also deliver storage-as-a-service to address the institutional responsibilities of the University to manage data access, access and retention compliance, enforce data use policies, and appropriately fund data consumption. The storage service will be comprised of multiple tiers to increase performance while lowering costs. These storage services will provide:

  • Centralized storage management, engineering, and technical support
  • Weekly and monthly backups
  • Optional cross-data center data replication
  • The first 5TB per researcher at subsidized cost
  • Active Archive (lower tier, lower costs)
  • Policy driven migration from Active Tier after fixed period of inactivity
  • Implement approximately 5PB (petabytes) of storage over 3-years

Quick Facts

  • First 5 terabytes(TB) of high-performance storage are university subsidized and provided at no costs to Researchers
  • Researchers may share their allocation with their team or collaborators
  • Storage amounts above 5TB will be available on a sliding costs scale
  • Storage is high performance and accessible via the high-speed  WashU Research Network (WURN) or via the common network
  • Storage services include full back-ups
  • Engineering and design services are available for special data feed and storage  needs



Milestones Completion Date
Project Approval March 2017
Phase one hardware and services ordered September 2017
Pilot use cases and testing Feb – Apr 2018
General availability May 2018
Phase 2 planning begins – Additional features & services June 2018
Phase 2 testing begins December 2018

Project Core Team

Functional Lead / Medical Campus Lead:
James Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, Washington University Center for Cellular Imaging
Associate Professor, Anatomy & Neurobiology and Cell Biology & Physiology

Danforth Campus Lead:
Harriett Green
Associate University Librarian for Digital Scholarship and Technology Services
Washington University Libraries

Technical Lead:
Craig Pohl
Sr. Director, RIS

Project Manager
Randy Gadell
PM 3, Capital Projects, PPMO

Bob Guthrie
Enterprise IT Architect, OCIO – CIO

Albert Lai
Chief Information Research Officer

Technical Resources
Matt Weil, RIS Storage Engineering
Matt House, Enterprise Architecture
Joseph Marentette, Network Engineering

Project Steering Committee

This is a Project in the IRIS Program Portfolio.

Jenny Lodge, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Research

Ed Welker
Interim Vice Chancellor, CIO

Phillip Payne, Ph.D.
Prof of Internal Medicine, Gen Medical Sciences

Justin Hoyt
Interim Senior Director of Shared Services

Albert Lai, Ph.D.
Chief Research Information Officer

Lucinda Antonacci-Fulton
Director of Adm. and Operations, MGI

Tau Ju
Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Kenneth Keller
Director of Arts & Sciences Computing

Craig Pohl
Sr. Director Research Infrastructure Services

Denise Stephens
Vice Provost and University Librarian

Randy Gadell
IRIS Program Manager, OCIO PPMO