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ATHENA File Server storage policy

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ATHENA File Server storage policy

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The ATHENA file server is built to be a temporary repository for your files acquired with our instruments. Its main purpose is to facilitate the transfer between acquisition devices, analysis and processing workstations, and the user’s own final storage destination whether its a remote share, a mobile hard drive or any other means.

Security and safety

The file server is designed to be fail-safe, but not fail-secure.


  • The volumes rely on a RAID 6 architecture. They can sustain two simultaneous hard drives failures.
  • The Volumes are backed up each week and each month on two other systems, one of them located on another campus. Backing up the whole volume can take several days. Consequently we can recover files with a one week time difference.

The system is then considered as fail-safe – to a degree.

Fail-Secure (NOT):

  • The data is NOT encrypted
  • The individual folders are accessible by the users based on their UNIL credentials.
  • The PI can also have access upon request to his collaborators folders.
  • The server is accessible from outside the UNIL (UNIL green list)
  • Administrators (both CIF and UNIL) have complete access to the data stored in the server.

The ATHENA server is thus NOT fail-secure.


The user can only store data directly related with his scientific work at the CIF platform :

  • Images, datasets of all sorts, analysis results and any documents related to the scientific work done by the user is accepted.
  • Everything else, including music, movies, personal records or any other kinds of data not related to imaging is not allowed to be stored on this server.

Storage duration

The data stored on ATHENA has to be removed as soon as it is not needed anymore. Regular cleanup sessions are organized to keep the available capacity large enough for the system to accept new data and run properly.


If you need some alternatives, some options are listed here :

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