MSI Users Bulletin – June 2017

The Users Bulletin provides a summary of new policies, procedures, and events of interest to MSI users. It is published quarterly.

To request technical assistance with your MSI account, please contact

1. New Storage Limits: Early this year, MSI started a campaign to help groups with big data requirements manage their data using MSI's Second Tier storage. The campaign is helping groups get below and stay below the new 20 TB limit on primary storage. MSI staff are also helping groups move older data (greater than one year) to our Second Tier if they are using between 5 and 20 TB. These efforts have freed up space on our Primary Storage system and have made it possible for us to grant new storage allocations to 39 user groups.

See the Storage Allocations page of the MSI website for complete information on MSI storage limits.

2. Stratus: This spring, MSI has been testing a locally hosted cloud environment, called Stratus, designed to store and analyze protected data, such as dbGaP data. Stratus is isolated from other MSI storage and compute resources in order to meet the data use requirements of some of our funding agencies. Stratus will be available starting July 1, 2017 under a fee-for-service model with a rate structure similar to popular commercial cloud providers. For example, a basic annual subscription will cost $626 for 16 vCPUs and 2 TB of storage. Additional storage can be purchased as needed.

See the Stratus page on the MSI website for more details concerning MSI’s cloud environment.

3. New Archive Storage: MSI has been testing a big data archive storage solution that will give researchers a robust, secure, and inexpensive place to store very large datasets for five years or more. Think of this as a good alternative to purchasing a bunch of USB hard drives to back up important data or to archive data that you don't have to access on a regular basis. The new archive system will go into production starting July 1, 2017. The cost of MSI archival storage is $456.12 for 6 TB of replicated storage for five years. Replication means that data are written to two tapes, so that data are not lost if one tape fails. Access to the archive storage will be available via Globus and some other tools to help automate workflows. 

4. Summer Tutorials: The Summer tutorial schedule is posted on the MSI website.

5. Acknowledgment of MSI in Publications: Please acknowledge MSI in your published works (e.g., posters, research reports, journal articles, abstracts, and talks) where MSI resources (computing, data storage, visualization, staff, etc.) contributed to your published research results.

  • You can either list MSI in your affiliations in the byline, or cite MSI in the acknowledgments section (including, at a minimum, "Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI)” and "University of Minnesota").
  • On posters or in slide presentations, you can use the MSI wordmark; please contact Tracey Bartlett ( to get a copy of the wordmark. Please do not use old MSI logos or wordmarks, as these do not meet current branding standards.

The following is a more complete example of how you could acknowledge MSI:

The authors acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) at the University of Minnesota for providing resources that contributed to the research results reported within this paper. URL:

This text can also be found in a couple of locations on the MSI website: FAQ - How do I properly cite MSI to acknowledge the use I have made of MSI’s resources for my research? and the Acknowledgments page in the Research @ MSI section.

6. Jobs at MSI:

PSI Computing Operations

RIS Informatics Analyst

7. Useful Webpages: Looking for help with MSI? One of these pages may have the information you need:

a. Services available at MSI

b. Getting started (includes Quickstart Guides)

c. MSI systems

d. Help and documentation

e. Staff listing and areas of expertise

f. Upcoming events and tutorials

g. Proposal support