Advice: Aspera services withdrawn for GPFS collections

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We recently discovered that the QRIScloud Aspera data access services (shares and sync) were a major contributing factor in the GPFS performance issues that have been experiencing. It turns out that the Aspera back-end services have been  repeatedly scanning all collections.  The file system load from this scanning on the NFS services running on the main GPFS servers was starving other servers and causing major problems.

When we discovered this problem, we quietly turned off the Aspera for all GPFS-based collections. 

  • GPFS-based collections now report errors if you attempt to use them via Aspera shares or sync.
  • You can check whether your collection is GPFS-based via your QRIScloud "My Services" page, but as a rule of thumb, most collections from Q0272 are GPFS based.

Based on these and other operational issues, and also issues with Aspera licensing costs, QCIF intends to shut down user-facing Aspera services for all other RDS collections later this year.

We therefore advise all Aspera users to switch to using the QRIScloud Nextcloud file sharing and syncing services.  From the end-user perspective, Nextcloud provides similar functionality to Aspera.

If you are changing from Aspera to Nextcloud:

  • Please read the Getting Started Guide - Nextcloud.
  • For more detailed explanations of how the Nextcloud user interfaces work, check Nextcloud's online help.
  • If you need further assistance, please talk to the custodian for your collection, or the QCIF eRA for your university.
  • For users who obtained a collection through the UQ Library, please request further assistance through their support channels.
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