The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 37.0°F | A Few Clouds

I/S Ups Quota to 50 Megabytes

By Naveen Sunkavally


As a spring time gift to the MIT community, Information Systems has increased the Athena disk quota from 30 megabytes to 50 megabytes.

The increase, which took place the Friday before spring break, applies to the disk quotas for both user directories and activity lockers. It will allow users to write larger files, store more pictures and use the more technical software, said Jonathon Weiss ’93, team leader for I/S Athena server operations.

“We increase quotas periodically when we have enough space to do so. As time goes on, applications require more space,” Weiss said. “Certainly, there are other schools that are increasing disk space, [and we] don’t want to feel left behind.”

Naomi B. Schmidt, team leader of academic computing support in I/S, said that switching to larger file servers and using RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology to provide fault tolerance allowed the increase in quota.

I/S plans summer upgrades

The Athena disk quota refers to the maximum amount of data that users can store in their home directories. When users reach their quotas, they are not allowed to store additional data into their home directory until their usage drops below the quota.

Over the course of the last four years. I/S has doubled the quota increase each year. In 1997, the disk quota was raised from 12.5 megabytes to 15 megabytes. The quota rose to 20 megabytes in 1998, and I/S increased the quota to 30 megabytes last year.

“Disk prices are always getter cheaper; we try to grow as much as we can. Over the last eighteen months we have been able to grow the Athena cell a lot,” Weiss said.

Athena users’ home directories are managed by the Andrew File System, a network file system developed at Carnegie Mellon University. The AFS servers dedicated to Athena, known as the Athena cell, now encompass more than 700 gigabytes of storage.

For the summer, Schmidt said that I/S plans to increase the number of Linux machines. Ten Linux machines were added to the W20 cluster over Independent Activities Period in order to test the viability of Linux Athena machines.

During the summer I/S will also replace a quarter of Athena machines, removing existing Sparc-4s and replacing them with approximately 100 new machines, Schmidt said.