What is a Group Workspace?

This article describes the JASMIN project storage provision known as Group Workspace (GWS). It covers:

  • What is a GWS?
  • Accessing a GWS
  • GWS Management
  • Which data sets are in my GWS?

What is a Group Workspace (GWS)?  

Group Workspaces (GWSs) are portions of disk allocated for particular projects to manage themselves, enabling collaborating scientists to share network accessible storage on JASMIN. Users can pull data from external sites to a common cache, process and analyse their data, and where allowed, exploit data available from other GWSs and from the CEDA archive.

It is important to understand that these Workspaces are not the same as the CEDA archive. Data in a GWS can be earmarked for ingestion into the CEDA archive, but this process should be discussed directly with CEDA, it is not systematic in any way.

Data within GWSs are the responsibility of the designated GWS manager and are not backed up by CEDA (see below). 

Accessing a GWS

Where are the GWSs?

Each GWS is found in a directory mounted under  /group_workspaces/ . There are four sub-directories called jasmin/ , jasmin2/ , /cems and /cems2 and your GWS will be found under one of these (e.g. : /group_workspaces/jasmin/jules/).

GWSs are available on:

  • The transfer servers
  • The general scientific analysis servers
  • The LOTUS cluster
  • Some project-specific servers (if requested by the GWS Manager)

Requesting access to a GWS

There is a Unix group associated with each GWS to provide convenient access control. Any JASMIN user can apply for access to a given GWS by following the links provided in the  list of available GWSs. The GWS Manager will need to authorise the request before you are granted access.

Once you have been granted access then the relevant Unix group will be added to your account. If you are not sure of the group name for your GWS you can find this by entering the command  groups to see the names of the groups you belong to. This name normally has the prefix “gws_".

You should have received the specific GWS location from the CEDA Helpdesk when you were granted access.

GWS management

Each GWS has a designated manager. See the article on managing a GWS.


Please note that data on a GWS is only backed up if the GWS Manager has put systems in place to do this. An  Elastic Tape service is available to support back-up and efficient management of data in a GWS. Please discuss details with your GWS Manager.

Directory structure of a GWS

We recommend that a sensible directory structure is set up within your GWS in order to conventions are used within your GWS:

        <userid>/   # each user can create their own directory here
    public/         # required if you want to share data via HTTP
        internal/   # internal/intermediate data
        incoming/   # third-party data brought to the GWS
        output/     # output data generated by project

See the GWS etiquette article for more details about GWSs and the  GWS data sharing via HTTP article for information about use of the public directory.

Which data sets are in my GWS?

Scientists using a GWS can publicise the data sets they are storing by adding a simple metadata file per directory. A  list of data sets is a available to enable collaboration/sharing around pre-archive or third-party data held in GWSs. Please note that data sets documented in this way are not held for long-term curation and are not part of the CEDA archives.

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