scratch2 Purge Policy

The scratch2 1.4PB Lustre file system at the Pawsey Centre is allocated to the ASKAP project and the MWA. Quotas are being applied from 27/2/2017, at a level of 550 TB for each of ASKAP and MWA. Manually managing free space on scratch2 is not practicable. Due to the configuration and characteristics of the Lustre file system, file writes can fail even if the total free space is greater than the file size required. This is primarily due to individual Lustre Object Storage Targets (OSTs) running out of space. To maintain operational stability of the scratch2 filesystem, and ASKAP, free space must be maintained at a reasonable level.

To address this, an automated file purging policy is in place on scratch2. This automatically removes files with an access time older than a set value. Analysis shows that a most recent access time of 30 to 45 days gives reasonable benefits. It should be noted that the term scratch means temporary and not intended for long term data archiving. However, alternative locations for your data are available and you are urged to regularly examine your data usage on scratch2 and selectively attend to the data you wish to keep.

The Policy

The current policy is that all files are subject to purging once they are older than 30 days unless they are within the list of exclusions. The list of exclusions include ingested measurement sets, CASDA files, busy week datasets, MWA files, and any other files deemed excluded by Pawsey administrators.

User directories are subject to purging.

Alternative Locations for Your Files


The advice from Pawsey admin is that you should be placing scratch2 data that you want to keep in /group/askap/$USER. The group filesystem has a total quota of 90TB for the askap group.


Although /group is effectively a robust file system with redundancy and data recovery in place, it is not backed up. It will be upgraded to a system that is backed up later in the year when its capacity is also increased. This means, at the moment, if you delete something from group once you have moved it there it cannot be recovered.

Small amounts of data can be copied directly:

you@galaxy2> scp data.tar.gz /group/askap/$USER/data.tar.gz

See the Pawsey documentation for transferring small files for more information.

Large amounts of data should be copied via the data transfer nodes with a batch job and copyq. There is no efficiency gain for internal transfers, but it is done in the background and more robust:

you@galaxy2> sbatch --cluster=zeus --partition=copyq

See the Pawsey documentation for transferring large files for more information.

Commissioning archive

Ingested measurement sets owned by askapops residing on scratch2 will be purged according to the Commissioning Archive policy which is independent. Once this data has been archived it will be removed, however, measurement sets can be retrieved from the archive by ASKAP Science Operations staff. Requests should be submitted to ASKAP Support, specifying the scheduling block ID (email

See Commissioning Archive Platform for more information.


For the Early Science program, CASDA should be used to store science products and the associated raw measurement sets and calibration results.

Removing Your scratch2 Files

Once you have moved the files you need to keep from scratch2 to another location it would be good to remove them if you or no-one else requires them. This will immediately free up space without waiting for the purge period to elapse. Using the normal rm command is not recommended on a Lustre filesystem like scratch2 and the munlink command should be used instead.

See the Pawsey documentation for Removing files on /scratch and /group and the munlink command.

This process also applies to removing files from group.

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