Research Data Facility

To accommodate our research community’s growing need to store large datasets and facilitate collaboration among research groups, the Center for Research Computing has made available a variety of services collectively known as the Research Data Facility (RDF).  The RDF consists of a combination of cloud-based and on-premises storage services that are robust and secure, flexible enough to meet a wide range of use cases, and scalable to meet future data storage needs. 


The RDF is designed to securely accommodate non-regulated data.  If your data requires additional security precautions to ensure regulatory compliance, please contact the CRC to discuss your requirements.

Rice Box

Many researchers require a secure data archive or collaborative space where datasets can be shared easily with colleagues both inside and outside of Rice, but there is not a need for direct, real-time access to the data from software applications.  The Rice Box service is designed to meet those requirements.   Rice Box is:

To get started, visit Getting Started with Rice Box for more details

Start using Rice Box today - Go to


Some research workflows may require higher-performance, large scale network storage that can be accessed in real-time by users and applications.  For these use cases, the CRC can allocate network shares from our Isilon storage appliance to faculty researchers, with a 500GB subsidized allocation and cost recovery for additional utilization beyond the 500GB limit.   Dell EMC/Isilon is:

RDF Isilon Subsidy Eligibility

Research storage allocations will be granted to all tenured faculty, tenure-tack faculty and research faculty as defined by Rice Policy 201.  The first 500GB of storage will be subsidized, and utilization above the subsidized level will be charged back to the researcher.  
Research storage allocations for other research groups not defined above will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

RDF Isilon Charge Back Rates

The current rate for RDF-Isilon is $70/TB/year  (7 cents/GB/year).  Charges will be billed monthly, based on monthly average utilization.   For example:

Cost recovery for RDF-Isilon is scheduled to begin July 1, 2018.

Quotas and Scaling

When a researcher is granted an allocation, a warning (soft) quota will be set at 450GB (90% utilization), and a hard quota will be set at 500GB.  When the soft quota is reached, the system will send a courtesy email to the researcher warning them that they are getting close to the hard quota.  The hard quota will ensure that the user does not exceed their subsidy and receive unexpected charges.  When the hard 500GB limit is reached, an additional email notification will be sent to the researcher, and a help desk ticket will be opened to alert the CRC.  The researcher may then authorize that the quota be removed, with the understanding that they will be billed for any monthly average use above 500GB.  Once the quota is removed, RDF-Isilon storage allocations will scale automatically to meet the demands of users, without additional intervention.  However, to help researchers manage the costs of their storage, they may optionally request the CRC to set soft or hard quotas at a higher limit.

Access to Shares (SMB/NFS)

The RDF-Isilon shares fully support authenticated SMB (CIFS) storage allocations

RDF-Isilon shares can be provisioned as NFS v3 shares on a case-by-case basis, while we are in process of transitioning fully to SMB

Backup and Disaster Recovery 


Fee-Based Backup/Disaster Services Coming Soon:

To request an RDF-Isilon Network share, please use our web form to Request Help with the Center for Research Computing Resources

Data Transfer  

Coming Soon:   Globus Connect/Science DMZ

Globus Connect offers researchers a method of transferring large data sets between participating research institutions.  CRC plans to integrate the RDF/Isilon appliance as a Globus Connect endpoint, with access to the facilities of the high-speed Science DMZ-Internet2 on-ramp


N.B. Home directory creations are managed by respective Divisional Representatives in the case of NFS. Respective shares are exported such that they can manage it.