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Mass Storage System - Gyrfalcon

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

Gyrfalcon is designed to keep the most frequently used data quickly accessible and to economically store data that is accessed less often. This is achieved by employing high-performance disks for the freshest working data and by moving older data to economical tape storage with the help of software algorithms and the system configuration.

This mass storage system is available to all HPC system users and projects. Users without an account may also request access.


  • Both the amount of data and the number of files will be managed with quotas, and quotas are enforced by the group of the files.
  • Users with accounts on any NREL HPC system will be provided with accounts on this system for personal storage. Every system user receives a default 1 terabyte, 1 million file quota automatically when their account is created. To request additional space, contact us.
  • Projects that receive an allocation on HPC systems will be provided with space on this system, with the project quota determined as part of the allocation process.  Allocations receive a default 2 million file quota when the allocation is created. To request additional space or file quota, contact us.
  • Gyrfalcon is not backed up. Two copies of all data are stored on different media; however, if a user deletes their files, there is no backup from which to restore them.

System Configuration

The Gyrfalcon system includes a 1 petabyte disk storage system as well as an Oracle StorageTek robotic tape library with seven high-performance T10000C tape drives and seven T10000D tape drives. It uses Oracle's QFS file system and SAM archiving software, which allows users to simply copy data to and from the file system without knowing or worrying about which tier the data is stored on. It has a capacity of over 3 Petabytes of user data, with an architecture that allows the capacity to be easily expanded at relatively low cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. You must first request a NREL HPC account.
  2. Once account is created, see Allocations.
  3. Complete Allocation Request leaving "NREL Hours" at zero.

The disk system capacity is 756 TB and the tape capacity of this system is 5.2 PB. By policy, two copies of each file will be stored on different media, with copies being handled automatically by the archive software. This provides over 2.5 PB of long term data storage.

Users may access their /mss directories via a server -