Some HPSS file "billing" information inadvertently changed

May 31, 2012

CISL recently became aware of an issue related to the accounting information associated with a large number of HPSS files. We learned that, due to some HPSS changes performed in January to allow CISL to maintain consistent group information across the Yellowstone environment, the "billing information" -- the project to which a file is charged -- was also inadvertently changed for some files.

While not all users or files were affected, many were, so we are extending this information to all HPSS users. In addition, the cause has been identified and, although CISL will avoid similar changes in the future, users need to understand the cause because you can affect your own files in the same way using standard HSI commands.

The following key points should help users understand the problem and whether they might have been affected:

1. We emphasize that NO files were altered or lost due to these changes. For some files, only the project to which the files were being charged was changed.

2. If you have only one project to which you can charge HPSS usage, your files were not affected. You can view your available projects and change your default project by visiting the CISL Portal (https://cislportal.ucar.edu/).

3. For users with more than one valid HPSS project, files charging to a non-default project may now be billed to your default project. Users with significant HPSS holdings may want to to check the account/project information for their files. CISL has some information about which users were affected and how many files for each user were affected. However, we do not know exactly which files may have been affected. Please contact cislhelp@ucar.edu for these details.

4. In most cases, the most efficient fix is to use the "chacct" command yourself on affected files or directories. Please see the HPSS documentation at https://www2.cisl.ucar.edu/docs/hpss/projects. Users with very large numbers of files (hundreds of thousands) can contact cislhelp@ucar.edu for assistance.

5. All users should review the HPSS documentation for the "chgrp" and "cp" commands and for setting your "default project." In HPSS, the normal behavior of the chgrp or cp commands also changes the account (i.e., project) for the associated file(s) to the user's HPSS default project. Given the volumes of data likely to be produced from Yellowstone, all users are strongly encouraged to become more familiar with the HSI commands related to accounting.

We regret the error on our part and will provide assistance wherever possible.

Please contact cislhelp@ucar.edu if you have any questions or concerns.