File Storage


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Files on a computer screen

Faculty, staff and students have a variety of options for storing files (data, web, email, research) on University servers, including both personal file storage and shared storage areas for collaboration.

Data Storage Standard

University data must be stored to comply with regulations or contractual agreements related to data storage and to maintain the confidentiality,integrity and availability of the data. The University has developed a Data Security Classification that defines data as public, private-restricted or private-highly restricted, and also defines the security level of the data as high, medium, or low. Users and data owners are responsible for working with IT staff to understand and follow the data storage requirements for the data they store.  For more information, see: Information Security Standards: Data Storage.

Personal file storage options and quotas

Active Directory:
Faculty or staff can request a personal folder (P: drive) on the ITSS Active Directory file server and store up to 10Gb of data. To be eligible for this data storage, the user's primary workstation must be on the University's Active Directory service. Additional storage may be requested as needed and will be billed a service fee at our current hourly rate.
Google:
Students, faculty and staff have unlimited data storage for Gmail, Calendar and Drive.
Box Secure Storage:
Box Secure Storage is a cloud storage and collaboration service configured to meet the University security standards for HIPAA data. Box can be used for storing varying types of sensitive data including PHI, SSN, drivers license, etc. (but is not appropriate for PCI data such as credit cardholder data). Data storage is unlimited.
Myfiles (Samba) Internet storage:
Students, faculty, and staff can store data in their personal MyFiles Samba folder. The total Internet disk storage quota is 5Gb for faculty and staff and 500Mb for students.
NetFiles (set to be retired):
Faculty, staff and students have access to 5Gb of data storage on the Netfiles server. Netfiles is a web-based network file storage service based in the Twin Cities. You must request a NetFiles account to use this service, but there is no additional cost for the service. (Note:  A plan is being developed to retire NetFiles; no specific date has been determined at this time. You can continue using NetFiles until further notice, however, you may want to consider transitioning to one of the other file storage solutions.)

Data collaboration

A number of options are available for those who wish to securely share files with others within the University or elsewhere. Please note that email is not a secure method to share private or confidential data.

Active Directory:
For collaboration between faculty and staff, Active Directory customers can use the departmental COMMON shared area (N: drive). Customers may also request additional shared access groups from ITSS.
Google Drive:
Within Google Drive, individuals can set their own shared access folders and provide access to other students, faculty, staff and even those outside the University.
Box Secure Storage:
With Box Secure Storage, invite anyone to view, edit and upload files with options for real-time and offline editing. Box Secure Storage automatically saves files, and offers options for version history.
NetFiles (set to be retired):
Within Netfiles, individuals can set their own shared access folders and provide access to other students, faculty, staff and even those outside the University. (Note:  A plan is being developed to retire NetFiles; no specific date has been determined at this time. You can continue using NetFiles until further notice, however, you may want to consider transitioning to one of the other file storage solutions. )

Tiered Data Storage (for research or other large data sets)

For large (250Gb+) storage areas for research data sets, videos, and archiving, customers may request data storage on our tiered data storage server. For more information, contact the ITSS TechCenter Help Desk (726-8847, itsshelp@d.umn.edu)

Backup and restore services

Active Directory:
Files stored on the Active Directory file servers are backed up nightly. Windows users can self-restore personal files from shadow copies; ITSS staff can restore individual files at our current hourly rate.
Google:
Files in your University Google account (Gmail, Drive) are backed up for disaster recovery purposes only. Deleted files and older versions are stored in the user's "Trash" for a short period of time (30 days) and can be retrieved by the user during that time. 
Box Secure Storage:
Files in your Box account are backed up for disaster recovery purposes only. Deleted files and older versions are stored in the user's "Trash" for a short period of time (60 days) and can be retrieved by the user during that time.
NetFiles (set to be retired):
Files in your NetFiles account are backed up for disaster recovery purposes only.  Deleted files and older versions are stored in the user's "Trash" for a short period of time (30 days) and can be retrieved by the user during that time. (Note:  A plan is being developed to retire NetFiles; no specific date has been determined at this time. You can continue using NetFiles until further notice, however, you may want to consider transitioning to one of the other file storage solutions. )
Internet storage:
Files stored on ITSS servers (MyFiles, MyWeb, home directory) are backed up nightly. Individual files can be restored on request by ITSS staff, billable at our current hourly rate.

Summary of Data Storage, Backup & Restore Options

The following table summarizes the options available for network data storage.

Service Intended use Data backup & restore? Disk Quota What you need
AD File Server

Private data

  • Personal file storage (P: drive)
  • Departmental file storage and sharing (N: drive)

Data is backed up for disaster recovery.

Windows users may self-restore to previous shadow-copy versions. Individual file restores for deleted files are available on request.

10 Gb personal; additional storage available on request

Designated department shared area; additional storage available on request

Active Directory services
Google Drive

Private data

  • Personal file storage
  • Collaborative file sharing

Data is backed up for disaster recovery.

Users may self-restore from their Trash file (30 days)

Unlimited University Internet (Gmail) account
  • Faculty and staff: Your Internet account is automatically created when you begin employment.
  • Students: Your Internet account is automatically created when you register for classes.
Box Secure Storage

Private highly-restricted data (but not PCI data)

  • Personal file storage
  • Collaborative files sharing

Data is backed up for disaster recovery.

Users may self-restore from their Trash file (60 days)

Unlimited (individual file size limit is set to 15 GB)

University Internet (Gmail) account

Duo Two-factor Authentication

Box account

    NetFiles

    Private data

    • Personal file storage
    • Collaborative file sharing

    Data is backed up for disaster recovery.

    Users may self-restore from their Trash file (30 days)

    5Gb NetFiles account
    Tiered Data Storage

    Private data

    File storage and sharing for data over the standard disk quotas.

    Data is backed up for disaster recovery.

    Individual file restores for deleted files are available on request.

    Available in 250Gb tiers Contact ITSS TechCenter Help Desk (itsshelp@d.umn.edu, 218-726-8847) for further information.

    Managing your data when you leave the University

    When an employee is leaving the University, the employee and their supervisor should review the employee's digital data on all University systems, including:

    • University-owned computers or tablets
    • Active Directory file storage (P: and N: drive)
    • Google files (Gmail, Drive and Sites)
    • Box Secure Storage files
    • UMD web server (www.d.umn.edu)
    • Samba (Myfiles)
    • Netfiles
    • Department databases or servers

    For details on this process, please see: Digital Data Process for Terminated Employees.