Ursa Major Data

Ursa Major, the University of California, Riverside (UCR)’s strategic partnership with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), empowers researchers with advanced cloud computing resources. This collaboration provides versatile solutions for data storage, analysis, and sharing, paving the way for innovative research across various fields.

Available Storage Solutions in GCP

Ursa Major offers access to several GCP storage options, each tailored to different research needs:

Google Cloud Storage (GCS)

  • Use Cases: Ideal for storing any amount of data, which can be accessed from anywhere globally. Perfect for archival data, backup, and large datasets.
  • Advantages: High durability, availability, and scalability. Offers a variety of storage classes to balance cost and access speed.
  • Learn More: GCS Documentation

Persistent Disks (SSD and HDD)

  • Use Cases: Attached to VMs for reliable block storage. SSDs are suitable for high-performance requirements, while HDDs are cost-effective solutions for less frequent access.
  • Advantages: Automatic encryption, high performance, and the ability to resize without downtime.
  • Learn More: Persistent Disk Documentation


  • Use Cases: A managed file storage service for applications that require a filesystem interface and a shared filesystem for data.
  • Advantages: Fully managed, consistent performance, and integrated with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Compute Engine.
  • Learn More: Filestore Documentation

Google BigQuery

  • Use Cases: A serverless, highly scalable, and cost-effective multi-cloud data warehouse designed for business agility.
  • Advantages: Ability to analyze big data with SQL queries quickly, using the processing power of Google’s infrastructure.
  • Learn More: BigQuery Documentation

Leveraging Ursa Major Data for Research

Accelerating Research Projects

  • Data Analysis: Utilize BigQuery for analyzing large datasets with ease, enabling faster insights and decision-making.
  • Collaborative Work: Share datasets securely with collaborators around the world through GCS, enhancing teamwork and productivity.

Storage Optimization

  • Cost-Effective Storage: Choose between various storage classes in GCS to optimize costs without compromising access speed for active research projects.
  • Persistent Data: Use Persistent Disks with VMs for reliable and scalable storage, ensuring data is always available when needed.

Integrating with Research Workflows

  • Automated Data Processing: Automate data processing workflows with GCP’s data analytics products, turning data into actionable insights.
  • Secure and Compliant: Ensure data security and compliance with automatic data encryption in storage and transit within GCP.

Getting Started with Ursa Major Data

  1. Evaluate Your Storage Needs: Assess the type of data you have and your access patterns to select the most suitable storage solution.
  2. Create or Migrate Resources: Utilize Ursa Major to create new VMs, configure storage solutions like GCS or Persistent Disks, and migrate existing data to GCP.
  3. Leverage BigQuery for Analysis: Import your datasets into BigQuery for high-speed analysis and gain insights faster than ever before.

Ursa Major Data is a cornerstone of UCR’s research computing strategy, offering a robust, scalable, and secure infrastructure for storing, processing, and analyzing vast amounts of data. By tapping into the potential of GCP through Ursa Major, researchers at UCR can push the boundaries of scientific discovery and innovation.