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TACC's High Performance Computing (HPC) systems are used primarily for scientific computing and while their disk systems are large, they are unable to store the long-term final data generated on these systems. The Ranch archive system fills this need for high capacity long-term storage, by providing a massive high performance file system and tape-based backing store designed, implemented, and supported specifically for archival purposes.

Ranch, is a Quantum StorNext-based system, with a DDN- provided front-end disk system (30PB raw), and a 5000 slot Quantum Scalar i6000 library for its back-end tape archive.
Ranch is an allocated resource, meaning that Ranch is available only to users with an allocation on one of TACC's computational resources such as Frontera, Stampede2, or Lonestar6. ACCESS PIs will be prompted automatically for the companion storage allocation as part of the proposal submission process and should include a justification of their storage need in their proposal. UT and UT system PIs should also make a request and justify the storage requested when applying for a Ranch shared "Project" (non-user) allocation. The default allocation on Ranch for users is 2TB. To request a shared Ranch project space for your team's use, please submit a TACC user portal ticket.

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Associated Resources

TACC's long-term mass storage solution, Ranch, is an Oracle® StorageTek Modular Library System. Ranch utilizes Oracle's Sun Storage Archive Manager Filesystem (SAM-FS) for migrating files to/from a tape archival system with a current offline storage capacity of 60 PB.
Ranch's disk cache is built on Oracle's ZFS 7240 and Dell MD3600i disk arrays containing approximately 640 TB of usable spinning disk storage. These disk arrays are controlled by a Dell R720 SAM-FS Metadata server which has 16 CPUs and 72 GB of RAM.
Two Oracle StorageTek SL8500 Automated Tape Libraries house all of the offline archival storage. Each SL8500 library can house up to 10,000 tapes with 64 tape drive slots. One SL8500 is currently populated with 10,000 T-10000B media where each tape is capable of holding one TB of uncompressed data while the second SL8500 houses 6,000 of the latest T-10000C media which can hold five TB of uncompressed data. Each SL8500 library also contains eight handbots to manage tapes and move them to/from the tape drives with a pass-through port connecting the two SL8500 libraries. If necessary, up to four SL8500 libraries can be integrated into a single archival solution, allowing for an offline storage capacity of 200 PB with current tape media.

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