OIT General Storage Services

Service Overview

General storage services include Block Storage (fiber channel) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) for campus departments and units for an annual fee. Each storage offering listed below includes backups with a primary and disaster recovery (DR) copy following the campus retention policy of 28 days. For special storage requirements beyond what is listed please contact oit_storage@help.ncsu.edu to discuss other options.

Service Offerings

Block Storage

Block storage service is designed for departments/units that need to maintain an existing server infrastructure or have performance requirements not be met by network attached storage. The Block storage service is also used to support the VM hosting service and related VM hosting rates. The appropriate level of block storage is determined by the peak IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) that a specific application service needs. OIT-PCS will work with customers to determine an initial level based on performance monitoring and historical experience. However, adjustments will be made as necessary based on actual consumption reporting. As OIT refreshes storage systems, we will be able to enforce Quality of Service (QoS) to throttle specific application resource consumption to a predetermined level so that it may not impact the performance of other applications. It is critical for the customer to select the right level of resources for the application so as to reduce impact on other applications or customers.

  • Block-Capacity
    • Best suited for general desktops and lightweight services
    • Workloads not exceeding 500 IOPS and less than 30% writes
  • Block-Standard
    • Best suited for web and application services
    • Workloads not exceeding 900 IOPS and less than 50% writes
  • Block-Performance
    • Best suited for highly transitional applications (databases/etc)
    • Workloads exceeding 900 IOPS or 50% write operations

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

NAS includes SMB and NFS services and are replacements for standalone file services such as departmental shares for Windows and Linux client systems. Virtual file servers are created by OIT and co-managed by OIT and the campus department/unit IT staff.

  • File system snapshots are not enabled by default, but are available by request
  • Up to 7 file system snapshots or Shadow Copies
  • Snapshots(shadow copies) will not consume any of your allocated storage this fiscal year
  • OIT cannot guarantee snapshots will occur on a consecutive daily basis

During this fiscal year 19-20, storage for NAS snapshots are provided by OIT. After completing the project of migrating to a scale-out NAS solution, customers will gain the flexibility of custom snapshot scheduling and the snapshots will take place on a reliable basis. Under the new architecture, the storage for the snapshots will become part of the customer’s storage allocation. Snapshot storage consumption depends on the rate at which the data changes and number of snapshots.

Data Protection (Backups)

Backups are included in current storage offerings and consist of weekly Full backups with Daily incremental. The standard backup policy consists of a primary and disaster recovery copy. Backups are for accidental deletions and disaster recovery and are held for a minimum of 28 days as per campus data Record Retention policy. https://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-01-25-12/

Storage Rates (FY19-20)

Storage rates include the shared cost of infrastructure, equipment, equipment maintenance, primary and DR backups, and FTE effort supporting the service.

Storage Type Annual per TB rate Annual per GB rate Cost per GB/Month
NAS $325.00 $0.32 $0.026
NAS (without backups) $265.00 $0.26 $0.021
Block-Capacity $500.00 $0.49 $0.041
Block-Standard $800.00 $0.78 $0.065
Block-Performance $1,100.00 $1.07 $0.089



Data-at-Rest Encryption (D@RE)

Requirements for D@RE have increased on campus for certain data classification types and various research grants. A  primary goal of D@RE is to prevent data from physically leaving the data center either through failed drive replacement or theft. In agreement with OIT Security & Compliance and OIT Assistant Vice Chancellor’s the strategy consists of two options that include utilizing storage arrays with built-in encryption capabilities or drive retention with proper disposal policies of failed drives.

Special Requests

For needs beyond general storage offerings listed, contact oit_storage@help.ncsu.edu to discuss your needs. Special requests include bulk storage purchases, building location specific storage solutions, replication options, or longer backup retention requirements.

Storage Costs & rate refresh

OIT Storage rates are calculated yearly through detailed analysis of all cost to manage the service. This includes storage array cost and maintenance of infrastructure amortized over 5 year life span, connectivity cost, and average staff-FTE cost in supporting the service. As storage technology advances, storage costs change, and older storage sub-systems are retired, OIT will annually evaluate storage costs in an attempt to provide the best cost and offerings to help meet the IT strategic goals. Please see historical rates for past rates.