GLADE File Spaces

Home space | Scratch space | Work space | Project space | Checking usage

The /glade/p project file system was updated July 10 as part of the transition to new disk storage practices and technology. Related changes were made earlier this year to /glade/work, and new scratch space is now available. See these Daily Bulletin items for details:

GLADE project space changes July 10
New GLADE scratch space now available
New, larger GLADE work space now available

The Globally Accessible Data Environment—a centralized file service known as GLADE—uses high-performance GPFS shared file system technology to give users a common view of their data across the HPC, analysis, and visualization resources that CISL manages.

GLADE file spaces are intended as work areas for day-to-day tasks and are well suited for managing software projects, scripts, code, and data sets. They are available by default except for project spaces.

File space Quota Backup Purge
25 GB* Yes Not purged User home directory
10 TB No See below Temporary
computational space
1 TB No Not purged User work space

changes July 10 to:
replaced by:

N/A No Not purged Project space allocations
(via allocation request)
GLADE system status report

Data can remain in each of these spaces in accordance with the policies detailed below. The policies are subject to change; any changes necessary will be announced in advance.

CISL backs up the GLADE home file space several times a week and also creates snapshots to enable users to recover deleted files quickly and easily.

CISL does not provide backups of scratch, work, and project spaces. You are responsible for the safe storage of any data that must be preserved.

Best practice: Check your space usage regularly as shown below, and remove data that you no longer need. 

You can conserve GLADE space by storing large files, such as tar files, rather than numerous small, individual files. This is because the system allocates a minimum amount of space for each file, no matter how small it is. This list shows the block size and the sub-block size for each space. Sub-block size is the smallest amount of space the system can allocate to a file, including directories and symlinks.

  • Home: /glade/u/home - 1 MB block size, 32 KB sub-block allocation
  • Project: /glade/p - 8 MB block size, 16 KB sub-block allocation (effective 7/10/2018)
  • Project: /glade/p_old - 4 MB block size, 128 KB sub-block allocation
  • Work: /glade/work - 8 MB block size, 256 KB sub-block allocation (effective 5/29/2018)
  • Scratch: /glade/scratch - 8 MB block size, 256 KB sub-block allocation

These differences in block and sub-block sizes may cause small files and sets of files to occupy different amounts space depending on where they are. For example, a 17 KB file will use 32 KB of quota space in home and 256 KB in scratch.

Home space

Each user has a 25-GB* /glade/u/home/username space that is ideal for managing scripts, source code, and small data sets.

CISL creates snapshots of this space to enable users to recover deleted files quickly and easily.

Backup policy

  • Your /glade/u/home directory is backed up several times a week while your account is open. Each backup is kept for several weeks. The frequency and scheduling of backups and the length of time they are kept may change with no prior notice. If you are unable to find files that you would like to restore in the snapshots of your home directory, email to request restoration of the files if they are in a backup.
  • Core dump files may or may not be backed up at CISL’s discretion. Core dump file names typically follow this format: core.xxxxx (where the extension can include from one to five digits).
  • CISL does not purge or scrub your home directory, and deletes files only as stated in the following data retention policy.

Data retention policy

  • When your account is closed, your home directory is removed from GLADE and retained in HPSS in accordance with the HPSS orphaned and abandoned files policy.
  • If one or more of your project allocations expires but your account is not closed, files are retained in your home directory.
  • Core dump files are not archived.

Scratch file space

Each user has a /glade/scratch/username space by default, with an individual quota of 10 TB. The scratch file space is intended to support output from large-scale capability runs as well as computing and analysis workflows across CISL-managed resources. It is a temporary space for data to be analyzed and removed within a short amount of time.

If you will need to occupy more than your quota of scratch space at some point, request a temporary increase by emailing Include a paragraph justifying your need for additional space.

Purge policy

Individual files are removed from /glade/scratch/username automatically if they have not been accessed (for example: modified, read, or copied) in more than 60 days. A file's access time (atime) is updated at most once per day for purposes of I/O efficiency. To check a file's atime, run ls -ul filename.

New 5/7/2018: Files that are retrieved from HPSS to GLADE or untarred in this space are treated as new on that date to prevent them from being purged prematurely.

Users may not run “touch” commands or similar commands for the purpose of altering their files' timestamps to circumvent this purge policy. CISL staff will reduce the scratch quotas of users who violate this policy; running jobs may be killed as a result.

In addition:

  • CISL routinely monitors scratch space usage to ensure that it remains below the 90% mark and to determine if a reduction in the retention period is necessary.
  • We will announce in advance any changes to the retention period.

Best practice: To help us avoid the need to shorten the retention period, please use this space conscientiously.

Delete files that you no longer need as soon as you're done with them rather than leave large amounts of data sitting untouched for the full 60 days. If you need to retain data on disk for more than 60 days, consider using your /glade/work space or requesting an allocated project space.

Data retention policy

  • When your account is closed, files are purged automatically as they become 60 days old.
  • If one or more of your project allocations expires but your account is not closed, your scratch files are removed as stated in the purge policy.
  • Files are not recoverable from backups, as there are none.

Work space

Your /glade/work/username space is best suited for actively working with data sets over time periods greater than what is permitted in the scratch space.

The default quota for these spaces is 1 TB.

Purge policy

  • This space is not purged or scrubbed. CISL deletes files only as stated in the following data retention policy. 

Data retention policy

  • When your user account is closed, files are retained for 30 days before being deleted.
  • If one or more of your project allocations expires but your account is not closed, your work directory files are retained.
  • Files are not recoverable from backups, as there are none.

Project space

Dedicated project spaces are available through our allocations process to support longer-term disk needs that are not easily accommodated by the scratch or work spaces. Allocations for project spaces are made to collaborative groups of users through the University/CHAP, CSL, or NCAR allocations processes. The allocations are based on project needs and resource availability. Requests are reviewed according to the various allocation schedules.

If you have an allocation, you can request a project space via the online request form. Justifications for project spaces are scrutinized closely. Carefully document which parts of your data and data workflow cannot be accommodated within the home, scratch, or work file spaces and policies.

If you have a user account and project space but lack the directory permissions you need for that space, email your request for changes to Identify the directories and the permissions you are requesting.

Purge/backup policy

  • Project spaces are not backed up. You are responsible for archiving your own data.
  • CISL does not purge or scrub files from project spaces, and deletes files only as stated in the following data retention policy.

Data retention policy

  • 30 days after your allocation expires, CISL will delete all data and remove your project space.
  • You are responsible for saving (moving or archiving) any data that you need to retain before the 30-day period expires.
  • Files are not recoverable from backups, as there are none.

Project spaces and others are not intended as permanent storage, and the limited disk is a community resource. These spaces should be used as efficiently as possible so that other projects can take advantage of the storage resource.

Checking space usage

Knowing your quotas and usage is important

All files that you own are counted against your GLADE quota, regardless of the directory in which they are stored. If you write files to another user's home or scratch space, for example, they still count against your own individual user quota for that space.

If you reach your disk quotas for the GLADE file spaces, you may encounter problems until you remove files to make more space available. For example, you may not be able to log in, the system may appear hung, you may not be able to access some of your directories or files, your batch jobs may fail, and commands may not work as expected.

If you cannot log in or execute commands, contact You can check your space usage as shown below.

gladequota command

This command will generate a report showing your quota and usage information:


* The gladequota output will show the home space quota as 50 GB rather than 25 GB because the system stores dual copies of users' data for increased data integrity and safety.