Data Transfer

Beginning January 2021 all deliverable data will be deleted from our systems 60 days after it is made available to download.


UWBC provides multiple options to download deliverable data:

  1. UW-Madison PIs don’t need to download data at all. We can deliver it to your UW-Madison ResearchDrive.
  2. Globus Web
  3. Globus Connect provides the best performance, better than SFTP or the web portal. It also provides the best user experience, with email notifications of your download status and automatic retries of failed transfers. UW-Madison clients can log in using their NetIDs. Globus is also available for external users whose institution is a member of the InCommon Federation (most larger universities are), or a Google or ORCiD login can be used. Globus requires some setup, details are below on this page.

Data access for deliverable data is based on your lab membership. Download directories are created for each PI. The PI, plus every member of the PI’s lab who is set up in our system will have access to those directories.

Globus Connect (step 7 below)

Please follow these instructions to download data from the UWBC Globus Connect servers. Globus Connect is a very fast, convenient method to transfer large amounts of data. Many educational institution users can log in using their home institution credentials. Globus also allows logins using Google or ORCiD accounts. UW-Madison users can log in with their NetIDs.

Regardless of the data transfer method, you need a certain level of network connectivity on your end. If the data to be transferred is over one TB we HIGHLY recommend you download it from a computer with a gigabit connection or faster. Work with your network support staff to get that if possible. A TB of data over a 100 Mb connection will take roughly 30 hours to download. Gigabit will reduce that by a factor of 10.


  • Please use a WIRED connection to transfer large amounts of data.
  • Make sure you have enough hard drive space to hold the data.

How To Log In and Transfer Files with Globus Step by Step

This step-by-step guide will show you how to log into Globus and use it to transfer files reliably and securely. You will become familiar with basic Globus concepts and interfaces, and begin to experience how Globus can help you transfer your files more efficently.

1. Log in with an existing identity

Visit and click “Login” at the top of the page. On the Globus login page, choose an organization you’re already registered with, such as your school or your employer. (Try typing a few letters of your organization’s name to narrow the list.) When you find it, click “Continue.”

You’ll be redirected to your organization’s login page. Use your credentials for that organization to login.

Some organizations will ask for your permission to release your account information to Globus.

Once you’ve logged in with your organization, Globus will ask if you’d like to link to an existing account. If this is your first time logging in to Globus, click “Continue.” If you’ve already used another account with Globus, you can choose “Link to an existing account.”

You may be prompted to provide additional information such as your organization and whether or not Globus will be used for commercial purposes. Complete the form and click “Continue.”

Finally, you need to give Globus permission to use your identity to access information and perform actions (like file transfers) on your behalf.

2. The File Manager

After you’ve signed up and logged in to Globus, you’ll begin at the File Manager.

The first time you use the File Manager, all fields will be blank.

Tip: Collections

A collection is a named location containing data you can access with Globus. When you use Globus, you don’t need to know a physical location or details about storage. You only need a collection name. A collection allows authorized Globus users to browse and transfer files. Collections can also be used for sharing data with others and for enabling discovery by other Globus users. Globus Connect is used to host collections.

Data are transfered between endpoints not downloaded to a your local machine. You can transfer data to any endpoint that you have permission to access. There are instructions below for setting up a Globus Connect Personal create an endpoint and collection on your personal machine so that you can “download” your data locally.

3. Access a collection

Click in the Collection field at the top of the File Manager page and type the name of the endpoint. Globus will list collections with matching names. The collections hosted by UWBC start with “UW-Madison Biotechnology Center…

The collections Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1 and Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 are collections administered by the Globus team for demonstration purposes and are accessible to all Globus users without further authentication.

Click on the Globus Endpoint that has data you wish to transfer. Globus will connect to the collection and display the default directory, /~/. Click the “Path” field and change it to the directory containing the data to be transfered. You can also navigate using the arrow in the
If using the Globus tutorial data this drirectory will be: /share/godata/. Globus will show the files in the new path: three small text files.

4. Request a file transfer

Click “Transfer or Sync to…” in the command panel on the right side of the page, or change the “Panels” view at the top right of the File Manager page. This will show both panels for both endpoints. Select the “Transfer or Sync to” field to select the endpoint that will receive the data.

Find the second endpoint collection and connect to it as you did with the first endpoint above. Instructions for creating a personal endpoint on your local machine can be found below. The default directory will again be /~/. Navigate to the receiving location on the second endpoint.

Between the two Start buttons at the bottom of the page, the Transfer & Sync Options tab provides access to several options. By default, Globus verifies file integrity after transfer using checksums. Click the information icons for explanations of the other transfer settings. Globus gives you powerful control over the behavior of the transfer with a simple mouse click. Change the transfer settings if you’d like. You may also enter a label for the transfer, but this isn’t required.

Click the Start> button to transfer the selected files to the collection in the right panel. Globus will display a green notification panel—​confirming that the transfer request was submitted—​and add a badge to the Activity item in the command menu on the left of the page.

Tip: Fire-and-forget data transfer

After you request a file transfer, Globus takes over and does the work on your behalf. You can navigate away from the File Manager, close the browser window, and even logout. Globus will optimize the transfer for performance, monitor the transfer for completion and correctness, and recover from network errors and collection downtime.

The Globus service routinely achieves high availability, providing nearly uninterrupted oversight of data transfers taking place on much less reliable networks and collection hosts. When a problem is encountered part-way through the transfer, Globus resumes from the point of failure and does not retransmit all of the data specified in the original request.

Globus can handle extremely large data transfers, even those that don’t complete within the authentication expiration period of a collection (which is controlled by the collection administrator). If your credentials expire before the transfer completes, Globus will notify you to re-authenticate on the collection, after which Globus will continue the transfer from where it was paused.

These wide-ranging capabilities make data transfer with Globus truly “fire-and-forget.”

5. Confirm transfer completion

Click Activity in the command menu on the left of the page to go to the Activity page. On the Activity page, click the arrow icon on the right to view details about the transfer. You will also receive an email with the transfer details.

Click File Manager in the command menu on the left of the Activity page to return to the File Manager. The collections you were viewing before will reappear. You may notice that the transferred files are not listed in the right panel with the “recieving” endpoint collection, even though the transfer has completed. Click the refresh icon (circular arrows) at the top of the collection panel to see the updated contents.

6. Uploading Files to UWBC

NOTE: Uploads

For security reasons, data uploads to UWBC servers is not enabled by default for globus users. You must first request permission to upload data to our servers. Additionally, you can only upload data to your account subfolder under the /Upload/… direcory.

You can transfer files to the selected “UW-Madison Biotechnology Center…” endpoint in the same way that you downloaded data. You do not need to install any software to upload files from your local computer to our Globus endpoint.

Select the “UW-Madison Biotechnology Center…” endpoint from the File Manager page as described above. Set the path to:
/Upload/Bioinformatics Resource Center/account_name/

Click “Upload” from the command panel. You may get a message that asks you to approve permissions for file transfer.

Click the “Select Files to Upload” button. Your computer’s local file explorer window will open and allow you to select the files to upload.

You may need to click the “refresh list” button at the top of the directory viewing panel to see the uploaded files on the UWBC endpoint.

7. Creating Endpoints

Make sure to explore to get a full description of how to configure and use Globus.

Tip: Endpoints

An endpoint is a server or workstation that hosts collections. If you want to be able to access, share, transfer, or manage data using Globus, the first step is to create an endpoint on the system where the data is (or will be) stored.

Globus Connect is used to create endpoints. An endpoint can be a laptop, a personal desktop system, a laboratory server, a campus data storage service, a cloud service, or an HPC cluster. As explained below, it’s easy to set up your own Globus endpoint on a laptop or other personal system using Globus Connect Personal. Administrators of shared services (like campus storage servers) can set up multi-user endpoints using Globus Connect Server. You can use endpoints set up by others as long as you’re authorized by the endpoint administrator or by a collection manager.

Set up and use Globus Connect Personal.

You don’t need administrative privileges on your system to install Globus Connect Personal.

  • Follow these instructions to download Globus Connect Personal and set up an endpoint on your own Mac, Linux, or Windows system.
    During the install, remember that you are naming an endpoint (or computer) not a collection. You set your collection folders later.
  • Once Globus Connect is installed, you need to make a collection on your computer.
    • Right (or control) Click on the Globus icon (task bar on Windows or menu bar on a Mac) then Options (or Preferences).
    • Use the Access tab to set up your local storage to be available as a collection in Globus. Remember to make your collection writable or no data can be transfered to your collection.
    • Right (or control) Click on the Globus icon and select “Web: Transfer Files”.
  • Navigate to the File Manager page and request a transfer between your new collection and another Globus endpoint.
  • Navigate to the Activity page and review your transfers.

8. FAQ

What happens to my personal endpoint when I turn off my computer or I lose internet?

Transfers to and from your system won’t fail if you shut your system down or disconnect from the network. Instead, transfers will be suspended and they’ll automatically resume when your system comes back online.

Globus, on your behalf, continues to retry the transfer when a problem is encountered. The problem could be permissions (as is the case in this exercise), the endpoint might become unavailable (perhaps you closed your laptop while copying data to it), or any number of other issues preventing the transfer from progressing. Globus will continue to retry the transfer until (1) the problem is fixed (permissions changed, resource becomes available), (2) you cancel the transfer task (click Cancel Task on the Overview tab), or (3) no progress has been made in three days, at which point Globus will notify you the transfer has failed.

Does Globus support command line?

Yes, Globus does have support for a command line interface (CLI). However, this goes beyond the scope of this tutorial. See the documentation provied by Globus, here.

Can I use Globus to tranfer data if my organization is not listed?

Yes, if your organization’s email is powered by Google, then you are already set and you can use your email as your Globus ID. Globus also supports ORCiD authentication if you have an ORCiD account. If all else fails, you can create a Globus ID directly through Globus. Don’t worry, if your organization decides to support Globus in the future, you can link this Globus login method to your organization later by following the steps above.

A Globus ID will is always be formatted like an email address (