UMD Networked Storage Services Hosted by Isilon

In this article


The Division of Information Technology (DIT) at the University of Maryland (UMD) offers a service to the campus research, academic and administrative community to provide unstructured data storage at a competitive cost. The Networked Storage Service (NSS) is a networked storage solution hosted by EMC's Isilon NAS storage arrays. EMC Isilon has been a leading provider of highly redundant and ultra-scalable data storage to many research institutions and universities.

Through a comprehensive support arrangement with EMC, we can offer data storage through NFS and CIFS (SMB). Storage utilization is managed by quotas which can be adjusted within a day under normal circumstances. Further, we offer snapshots, replication and backups for the data stored through NSS addressing various levels of data protection requirements.

Data growth and management is a mounting concern for many departments and research labs at the UMD. Many times researchers and departments resort to storing critical, unique data on the cheapest data storage device that offers the capacity they need but with little or no technical support. Consequently, research time and resources are diverted to managing storage hardware. With redundant, enterprise-level hardware, comprehensive support and competitive pricing of NSS, DIT hopes to provide a valuable service to university departments and researchers.

NSS is only available for university research, academic and administrative departments, and affiliates. Students and student groups will not be permitted use of the NSS without a departmental sponsor who can provide a technical and administrative contact and a Kuali Financial System (KFS) account for charge-back.

Please continue reading to understand the requisites of the NSS and the storage and data protection solutions available.


Current NSS rates

Pricing for NSS per service tier per month.
Service name Service rate As of
ISILON Active Tier  $.05 per GB used per Month  Legacy
ISILON Archive Tier  $.01 per GB used per Month  Legacy
ISILON Replication Tier  $.01 per GB used per Month  Legacy
ISILON Blended and Replicated Tier  $.018 per GB used per Month  3/02/2020


Service requisites

Outlined are the requirements for use of NSS.


Standard service policies

Outlined is the procedure for setting up service and the standard policies of NSS.

  1. To register for the service as a new account, visit the Networked Storage service page. This article provides the specific policies and procedures as outlined in the SLA.
  2. Complete the storage request form for either NFS storage or for SMB (Windows) based shares. You will receive confirmation for the share or export creation within two days after submitting the request.
  3. Usage rate for standard service is $.018 per GB used per month. All other tiers are legacy and are not orderable. This is a sample usage calculation for the active tier: If requesting at 3 TB share and you only use 1 TB of that share, the charge is 1024 GB multiplied by .018 = $18.43 per month.
  4. Additional standard policies of each share and export created include:
    • Local daily snapshots generated two times per day for each share. Snapshots are retained for two weeks, by default. Retention can be modified with a support ticket. Snapshot usage is a function of daily change for each share or export. It is figured into the occupancy rate for billing. 
    • Replication is now part of the standard service options. Disabling replication is not recommended and will not result in a reduced cost of the service.
    • Note that snapshots of your shares will NOT protect your data from catastrophic failure of the primary NAS cluster.  Replication of your share in order to protect critical, unique data that is not easily reproducible is required. Though the primary NAS cluster is engineered with a high-level of fault tolerance, the DIT cannot guarantee that the system will never be subjected to a catastrophic failure. When taking all storage solutions into consideration, always consider how you would mitigate data loss in the event of a storage hardware failure.
    • Replication sends all snapshot data to a secondary cluster in another data center geographically distant from the primary cluster.


Additional service features

As of 03/02/2020, all replication will be required of all new shares. Additional optional features of the service will be added here as necessary.