Scratch space

What is scratch space?

Scratch space is an additional directory where you can store 'disposable' data without it counting towards your main disk quota.

However, there's one very important thing to remember:

Data in scratch space is at your own risk - it's not backed up at all.

It's not kept on redundant storage, and not guaranteed to survive disk failures, machine crashes or anything else.

Reasons to get scratch space

Scratch space is useful where you are generating large amounts of intermediate data that:

  • Can be replaced easily in case of data loss
  • Won't fit in your home directory quota
  • Requires high-speed or intensive access for heavy computation
  • Would generate unreasonable network bandwidth if kept on a file server

Requesting scratch space

To request access to scratch space, talk to your supervisor about what you need.

If there's space available on a suitable machine (such as one of the research group clusters), they can pass on your request to SS, who can grant you access.

Important notes

The available space is limited, and managed by the owner of the cluster - they might ask you to reduce your usage to make space for other people

You can usually only access your scratch space while logged into the machine it's kept on - you can't reach it over NFS

Last edited by jbc 17/04/2020

Tags for this page:

scratch, storage