[Cytometry] archiving data in a flow core?

Cochran, Matthew Matthew_Cochran at URMC.Rochester.edu
Fri Feb 14 15:34:21 EST 2014


- Whenever possible (depending on hard disk space) we retain the current
month and the previous months files on the computer so they can be easily
re-accessed.  For our Diva instruments the FCS files are deleted weekly,
while the Exp files follow the one-two month practice.

- Every week during "long cleans" and QA/QC procedures we clean and defrag
the hard drives.  This isn't a trivial process but if your hard drives are
well organized you only need to check a couple folders per instrument per
	- I think a well organized data storage practice is absolutely critical
and should be the first priority if its not already.  Once the practice is
established you instate the policy that anything not stored appropriately
is deleted immediately.
	- Another note on the Diva instruments: we never allow any storage of
files within the diva software itself.  Everything has to be immediately
exported and deleted from the software.

- Our practice is to store/archive all files as long as they're exported
and stored on the instrument computer appropriately.  We can accomplish
this by using a program called Syncback that automatically scans the hard
drive and backs up data every night.  As you said, this can be an
expensive undertaking, but its a potentially project saving service you
can offer and the price can be rolled back into the instrument charges.
The biggest downside aside from price is figuring out the server or back
up drive system that will work for you.  With any luck your IT department
runs well and can be an asset here.

You didn't specify what imaging cytometer you were getting but the storage
space issue is most definitely compounded once you get into imaging files.
 We routinely generate 200-300 gb of data per month on our ISX, which can
be pretty taxing if you're using 1tb external hard drives as backup.

Matthew Cochran
   Technical Director
   URMC Flow Cytometry
   Office Phone: 585-273-4020
   Office Rm: 3-4113

On 2/14/14 2:17 PM, "Ruth Nissly" <rah38 at psu.edu> wrote:

>Dear flow-ers, 
>If you are in a flow cytometry core facility, I have a question: What are
>the policies held by your core regarding data storage & archiving?
>-How long are users allowed to leave data on the acquisition computer?
>-How are data files older than this time-period removed from the
>acquisition computer?
>-Are old files stored as backups by the core? If so, for how long are the
>backups stored? 
>We're getting to the point where it's taking a lot of time and money to
>archive data that very few people actually ever request, so your
>advice/experience would be helpful in deciding how to move forward. For
>reference, we have files collected using CXP, Diva, Spigot, and Summit --
>and we will soon also be getting imaging flow cytometry files.
>Thank you, 
>Ruth Nissly 
>research technologist
>Microscopy & Cytometry Facility
>The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
>Pennsylvania State University
>W-124A Millennium Science Complex
>University Park, PA 16802
>rah38 at psu.edu 

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