3.3  Using Pouta Object Storage in CSC computing environment

Computing projects, that have access to cPouta cloud resources, can use the Pouta Object Storage service provided by CSC. This data storage service can be used to store and share up to 1 TB of datasets so that the data can be accessed from anywhere: from a virtual machine in cPouta, Sisu and Taito servers, your local computer or a third party web server elsewhere. The service resembles HPC-archive and IDA in that sense that you can only upload or download data to the service. Modifying a dataset will require replacing the whole dataset with an updated version.

This chapter describes how you can use the CSC Object Storage service from the CSC computing environment. We focus here in configuring and using s3cmd Object Stoirage client.  More detailed description of the Object Storage service can be found for the Pouta User Guide.

3.3.1 Configuring s3cmd tool in Sisu and Taito

In Sisu and Taito you can access Pouta Object Ĺštorage using two command line tools: swift and s3cmd. Both provide easy to use way to access you Object Storage area. However in the case of swift you allways need to have you CSC password stored in an environment variable in human readable format  when you use the Object Storage service.

In the case of s3cmd, you need to give your CSC password only once,  when you configure the connection. After this you will automatically use separate Object Storage specific key pair for authentication.

In Taito the s3cmd configuration process can be done by executing commands:

module load bioconda/3


The poutaos_configure command asks first your CSC password. Then it lists your cPouta projects and asks you to define the name of the cPouta project to be used. During the proceeding configuration steps, the system asks  you about the values that will be used for the Pouta Object Storage connection. In most cases you can just accept the proposed default values, but there is two exceptions:

  1. It is recommended that you define a password that is used to encrypt the data traffic to and from Object Storage server. This password is not connected to any other passwords in the CSC environment so you can freely define it. Note however, that this password is stored to the s3cmd configuration file in human readable format so you should not use this password elsewhere. 
  2. As the last question the configuration process asks if the configuration is saved. The default is "no" but you should answer y (yes) so that configuration information is stored to file $HOME/.s3cfg.

This configuration needs to be defined only once. In the future s3cmd will use this Object Storage connection described in the .s3cfg file automatically. However, if you wish to change the Object Storage project that s3cmd uses, you have to rerun the poutaos_configure command.


3.2 Using Object Storage with s3cmd

The syntax of the s3cmd command is:

s3cmd -options command parameters

Table 3.2 below lists the most essential s3cmd commands. For more complete list, visit the  s3cmd manual page or execute command:

s3cmd -h

Table 3.2. Most commonly used s3cmd commands

s3cmd command Function
 mb  Make a new bucket
 rb  Remove a bucket
 ls  List objects or bukets
 la  List all objects in all buckets
 du  Show the disk usage of buckets
 put  Put file into a bucket
 get  Get file from a bucket
 setacl  Modify Access control list for Bucket or Files

In Object Storage the files are stored as objects that locate in buckets. The buckets resemble folders in normal file systems. There are however big differences compared to folders. Firstly, the file structure on Object Storage is flat: you can't create a bucket that is inside a bucket. Secondly, all bucket names must be unique throughout the Object Storage system. You can't use a bucket name that is already used by you or some other Object Storage user.

In the example below we store a simple dataset to the Object Storage.

First we create a new bucket. The ls command shows that in the beginning we don't have any data in the object storage. After that, we use mb command to create a new bucket called "fish-bucket".

[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ s3cmd ls

[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ s3cmd mb s3://fish-bucket
mb s3://fish-bucket/
Bucket 's3://fish-bucket/' created
[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ s3cmd ls
2018-03-12 13:01  s3://fish-bucket

Just like in the case of HPC arvchive, it is recommended to collect the data to be stored into larger units and compress the data before uploading it to the system.

In this example we will store the Bowtie2 indexes and genome of the Zebrafish (Danio rerio) to the fish-bucket. Running ls -lh shows that we have the index files available in the current directory

[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ ls -lh
total 3.2G
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 440M Mar 12 13:41 Danio_rerio.1.bt2
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 327M Mar 12 13:41 Danio_rerio.2.bt2
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 217K Mar 12 13:20 Danio_rerio.3.bt2
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 327M Mar 12 13:20 Danio_rerio.4.bt2
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 1.3G Mar 12 13:13 Danio_rerio.GRCz10.dna.toplevel.fa
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 440M Mar 12 14:03 Danio_rerio.rev.1.bt2
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 327M Mar 12 14:03 Danio_rerio.rev.2.bt2
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 599K Mar 12 13:13 log

The data is collected and compressed to a single file with tar command:

tar zcf zebrafish.tgz Danio_rerio*

The size of the resulting file is about 2 GB. Now the compressed file can be uploaded to the the fish-bucket with command s3cmd put:

[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ ls -lh zebrafish.tgz
-rw------- 1 kkayttaj csc 2.0G Mar 12 15:23 zebrafish.tgz

[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ s3cmd put zebrafish.tgz s3://fish-bucket
put zebrafish.tgz s3://fish-bucket
upload: 'zebrafish.tgz' -> 's3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz'  [part 1 of 136, 15MB] [1 of 1]
 15728640 of 15728640   100% in    0s    22.49 MB/s  done
upload: 'zebrafish.tgz' -> 's3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz'  [part 2 of 136, 15MB] [1 of 1]
 15728640 of 15728640   100% in    0s    23.17 MB/s  done
upload: 'zebrafish.tgz' -> 's3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz'  [part 135 of 136, 15MB] [1 of 1]
 15728640 of 15728640   100% in    0s    24.13 MB/s  done
upload: 'zebrafish.tgz' -> 's3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz'  [part 136 of 136, 3MB] [1 of 1]
 4002097 of 4002097   100% in    0s     8.96 MB/s  done

[kkayttaj@c306:~]$ s3cmd ls s3://fish-bucket
ls s3://fish-bucket
2018-03-12 13:29 2127368497   s3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz

Uploading 2 GB of data takes few minutes. The uploaded file could be retrieved with command:

s3cmd get s3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz

By default this bucket can be accessed only by the project members. However, with s3cmd setacl you can make the file publicly available:

First make the fish-bucket public

s3cmd setacl --acl-public s3://fish-bucket

And then make the zebrafish genome file public:

s3cmd setacl --acl-public s3://fish-bucket/zebrafish.tgz

The syntax of URL of the file is:


So in this case the file would be accessible through link:



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