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Storage areas available on Balena

There are two local storage areas available on Balena, NFS Home area and a BeeGFS Parallel file-system.

Home - /home

The home file-system has a total capacity of 50TB, but each user is limited to a quota of 5GB. This file-system is connected via 10 Gbps links to the login-nodes, interactive-development-nodes and the visualisation-nodes, and via 1 Gbps links to the all compute-nodes. The home area is backed up and should be used for storing only critical files and small permanent datasets. A user can access their home area via the $HOME environment variable.


Check your home area usage


$ quota -s

Usage summary

$ cd $HOME
$ du -smhc * .[a-zA-Z0-9]*

BeeGFS Parallel File System - /beegfs

The BeeGFS parallel file-system has a total capacity of 560TBs and there is no user limit at the moment. This is a non-archival storage area which means it is not backed up. It should be used as the primary data store for all workloads submitted to the cluster. This file-system is connected via 40 Gbps Infiniband links to the compute nodes. A user can access his scratch area via the $SCRATCH  environment variable and also from the scratch soft-link in the user's home directory.


Check your scratch area usage

Usage summary

$ du -smhc * .[a-zA-Z0-9]*

Campus Storage

The Campus Storage file-systems is visible from Balena on the Login Nodes, Development Nodes and Visualisation Nodes. These file-systems are external to Balena and is served off other data servers.


The BUCS home which is available via the environment variable $BUCSHOME is the users university home directory which is visible to the user on any Windows/Linux/Mac systems across the campus. On Balena, the $BUCSHOME will be available on the Login Nodes, ITD Nodes and the Visualisation Nodes.


Research data storage (x-drive)

NFS mountable research storage (x-drive) can me made available to individual groups. This file-system will be available on the Login Nodes, ITD Nodes and the Visualisation Nodes.

$ ls /x
Architecture  Biology  Chemistry  ElecEng  Maths  Physics  shared  tmp

Further information about the Research data storage can be found here, or speak with the HPC Team via

Backup Policy

File-systemBackup frequency
HomeFull backup over the weekend (which runs on a Friday) and Incremental backups on Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu


Non-archival storage

Access X drive to copy Balena data

Moving your Balena data to the X: drive

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