UK Research Data Facility

The UK Research Data Facility (RDF), funded by the Research Councils EPSRC and NERC, is co-located with ARCHER and is housed at the University of Edinburgh's Advanced Compute Facility.

EPCC is responsible for the service provision and user support for the RDF.

The Research Councils' vision behind the RDF is to:

  • Provide a high capacity robust file store
  • Provide persistent infrastructure that will last beyond any one national service
  • Have a service that is easily extensible in size and number of hosts to provide a degree of future-proofing and the potential for increasing local post-processing activities
  • Operate independently of any one vendor's offering for compute power
  • Be remotely accessible and not restricted to login nodes
  • Remove end of national service data issues as transfers at end of services have become increasingly lengthy
  • Ensure that data from the current ARCHER service is secured and ensure a degree of soft landing if there is ever a gap in National Services.

Technical Details

The RDF consists of 23PB disk, with an additional 48PB of backup tape capacity. The disk storage (which was completed in March 2015) is based on seven DDN 12K couplets. The Metadata storage is on NetApp EF550/EF540 arrays populated with SSD drives. The disaster recovery backup capability is managed by Tivoli Storage Manager, and an IBM TS3500 tape library with 36 drives.

More details on the hardware are available on the RDF website.


If you have any questions about the RDF, please contact the RDF Helpdesk. If you would like to collaborate on a project that makes use of the RDF then please do not hesitate to contact us at:

Further information

RDF website

RDF Helpdesk: the first point of contact for all questions relating to the RDF Service. Support is available Monday to Friday from 08:30 until 18:00, excluding UK public holidays.

Accessing RDF

Academic Users

Information on access for academic users is available on the RDF website.

Industry Users

Access to the RDF for industrial/commercial users is available through EPCC's On-Demand Computing service.

RDF support

For any questions about the RDF, contact the RDF Helpdesk:

Our services for business