Data handling and storage policy


User areas and project areas are private

You can share files with other project members using project areas.

All data accessed, stored, communicated, or transferred on any national HPC system (Betzy, Fram and Saga) or the National e-Infrastructure for Research Data (NIRD), must be handled in compliance to legal and regulatory requirements.

In addition, all data has to be directly related to the work effectuated and/or the research project(s) the user is participating.

User areas

User’s private data (such as keys, sessions, e-mails, etc.) may reside in their home directory ($HOME). $HOME is not a shared area and all data stored there has to be treated as being private, regardless of its content.

To limit access to $HOME only to the user and designated system administrators, the directory permissions are set to 0700 (meaning: only the user can read, write, and execute). Permissions are regularly controlled, and in case of mismatch, reset.

On the HPC clusters, users also have a user work area, /cluster/work/users/$USER ($USERWORK). It is possible to grant other users access here, f.ex for debugging purposes, but you may not grant write access to others. Be mindful of the permissions you set here, as you may inadvertently allow others to delete or modify your files.

Project areas

Project data is private to the project and shared between the project members. The project leader (PL) has sole discretion over project members, thus access to the project area(s).

Project local to a particular HPC system has its own directory, created with permissions set to 2770 (meaning that only the group can read, write, and execute).

Group ownership is regularly controlled for each project directory and reset in case needed to the group ID. This is required for storage accounting purposes.

Shared project areas

In special cases there might be a need for sharing data between projects for collaboration and possibly preventing data duplication.

If such a need is justified, a meta-group and the corresponding directory can be created. Access to the shared project area is at the project leader’s (PL) sole discretion. For example, if the PL of the project owning the file group acme wants /cluster/shared/acme/inventory_db to be world readable, the project leader is allowed to do this (e.g., by running, chmod -R o+r /cluster/shared/acme/inventory_db).

Please note that:

  • The shared project areas must not contain any private data.

  • You must never set any directory or file to world writable.

For accounting purposes, the group ownerships are regularly controlled, and in case needed, reset.

If you need to share with the outside world (outside of your HPC systems), please refer to our File transfer documentation.


Starting at the 2020.1 resource allocation period, storage decommissioning procedures have been established for both HPC and NIRD project storages, to make storage more predictable for the projects and the provisioning more sustainable to Sigma2. For more details, please visit the data decommissioning policies page.