Storage, Back-ups & Security

Storage

Accessibility of any data is dependent on the quality of the storage medium and availability of software to view the data. 

  • Store data in a non-proprietary or open standard format for long-term readability (see Data Organization)
  • CD's and DVD's are not reliable in the long-term, copy or migrate data to new media between 2-5 years after creation
  • Check the data integrity of stored data files at regular intervals
  • See Security concerns listed below

General Purpose Storage Services at UA

These are general purpose storage options that are available campus-wide to UA researchers for data storage. Your department or school IT department may have additional options.

On their own, these options are not intended as long-term archival storage and the risk of data loss is higher without a backup strategy. For other long-term options see Data Sharing & Archiving. Also see the UA Data Retention Policy.
Service Quota Cost Regulated
Data
Notes

Box@UA

50 GB Free No UA-recommended storage location. Integrates with OSF.
50 GB Free HIPAA Special box account that is certified for HIPAA compliance.

OneDrive (Office 365)

1 TB Free No Integrates well with other Office 365 services (Outlook, Office, etc). Public OneDrive integrates with OSF however the Office365 subscription does not.

Google Drive

Unlimited Free No Via the university's G Suite for Education subscription. Integrates with OSF.

HPC Std. Allocation

50 GB Free No

High performance storage, not backed up. Requires an HPC account (must be sponsored by a UA faculty member). PI's receive a 500GB allocation.

HPC Buy-in 133 TB $120,000 No For those that need less than 133 TB, the above options are better.

HPC Rented Storage

None $39/ TB/Yr No Rented storage managed by Research Computing, attached to the HPC cluster. Not backed up. The HPC no longer provides this service as of Spring 2020.

Back-ups

An essential element of data management is making back-ups of your files.  This will protect against damage or loss due to hardware failure, software or media faults, virus or hacking, power failure and human error.  Back-ups involve making copies that can be used to restore original data if there is a loss of data. 

It is recommended that you have three back-up copies (original, external but local to your institution, and external at a remote location).  Check the integrity of your data on a regular basis using checksum.  Create a back-up schedule, use reliable back-up medium, and test your back-up system by testing file restores. The following are some locations for backing up your data:

  • Personal Computer
  • Departmental or University Server
  • Tape Backups
  • Subject archive (repository)
  • External Hard Drives
  • Cloud Storage
  • CDs or DVDs are NOT Recommended

Privacy & Security

You need to consider how you are going to provide physical security, network security and security of computer systems and files to protect your data from unauthorized access, changes to data, and disclosure or destruction of data. For protected health information (PHI) or other data that is protected by regulatory requirements (ITAR, CUI, etc), see the Export Control ProgramHIPAA Privacy Program, Research Computing, or your departmental IT.

Physical Security

  • Restrict access to buildings and rooms where data is kept
  • Only allow trusted individuals to trouble-shoot computer problems

Network Security

  • Store confidential or sensitive data on computers not connected to an external network (such as the internet)
  • Keep firewall and security-related upgrades and patches to operating systems up-to-date

Computer Systems and Files

  • Use passwords on files and computers
  • Don't send confidential data by email or FTP (use encryption if you must send files)
  • Keep virus protection up to date

The Information Security Office has more guidance on data security and disposal.

UA Data Classification Standard

The Information Security office has developed the Data Classification Standard that specifies the protections and protocols needed to store and transmit each kind of data.  They have also developed a quick guide to help determine what kind of data can be stored on what systems (NetID login required).