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Mass Storage System - Gyrfalcon

The Mass Storage System (MSS), known as Gyrfalcon, is a long-term storage system of user data for NREL’s high-performance computing (HPC). 

System Changes

NREL HPC Operations is in the process of retiring the on-premise MSS capability and has started using a cloud-based data storage capability.


The vendor has announced end-of-life for the technology previously used to provide MSS (Gyrfalcon).  In exploring alternatives, a cloud-based solution leverages expertise of the Advanced Computing Operations team and is significantly more cost effective. Adequate bandwidth is available to/from Cloud (10x more bandwidth than to/from the previous on-premise MSS).  Also, a very small percentage of data written to MSS is ever read again, thus prompting a change to a fixed 15-month retention from when data is written to MSS.

When and How

On Dec. 1, 2020, all new writes to MSS will be to cloud-based storage.  Reading data from the existing on-premise MSS capability will be supported through March 31, 2021.  Active data (written or last read within the last 15 months prior to Dec. 1, 2020) will be migrated from the on-premise MSS to the new cloud-based storage.

What Stays the Same

MSS is an additional location available to projects active on Eagle to keep and protect important data in addition to the Eagle high-performance storage (/projects, /shared-projects, /datasets). 

What Changes

Data will be retained for 15 months from the date written.  This differs from the current retention policy of minimum 15 months with deletion if needed. Restore requests of MSS data that are cloud-based will initially require a request to the HPC Help Desk, and may require 48 hours to be able to recover.

Also a reminder:  Project data (/projects) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 projects not continuing into FY 2021 will have until Dec. 31, 2020 to move data off Eagle to MSS or other long-term storage, before it is purged from Eagle on Jan. 1, 2021.