Frequently Asked Questions
UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Spare Storage Policy]

UBC Mathematics: MathNet FAQ [Spare Storage Policy]

Question: What are your policies regarding the use of temporary/scratch disk space?
Author: Joseph Tam
Date: Jan. 4, 2008

The following locations have been assigned for your use as part of your MathNet IT account:

Public Unix
Home directory: ~user or /nfs/user
Web folder: /nfs/HomeWeb/user
Email Inbox: /var/mail/user
Public Windows
Contents of "MathNet" folder

The use of any storage locations not listed above (unless assigned to you by the MathNet IT staff) is solely at the user's discretion. Examples of spare or scratch storage are

Unix /tmp, /var/tmp
Windows Desktop, Temp folders, scratch disk

These storage locations are typically used for transient files or for bulky data that may exceed the user's quota. No attempt will be made by the IT staff to maintain, secure or retain this data. The users of these storage areas bear all the risks and disadvantages of its use, including

  • Data is local to that computer: you cannot access it readily from other computers. If you need to share data across several computers, store it within your home directory (Unix) or the MathNet\Common folder (Windows). For the latter, you will need to set up your Samba account.
  • Data is not backed up: if you lose it, it stays lost.
  • Data will not migrate: when your account expires, it will be purged. It will not be archived or forwarded to your new account.
  • Data is not secured against unauthorized reading or writing. It is responsibility of the user to make sure that proper permissions have installed.
  • There is no expressed or implicit guarantee for the upkeep of this data. If the workstation is replaced or hardware replaced, this data may disappear.
  • Space usage may not be enforced and it may be possible for a user to consume all available space, depriving others of its use. If this happens, the IT staff can elect to remove any or all items at their discretion. Disk hogs, you have been warned.
  • On the Windows spare disks, you must create a top-level folder for yourself: you cannot create files. You would typically create a folder with the name name as your username to avoid confusion.

If your data is important enough to require backup, retention, accessibility from other workstations or networks, you should not use temporary storage, but rather your home directory, web folder, the MathNet\Common folder or other storage assigned to you by the MathNet IT staff.