Faculty Storage Options

Various data storage options are available to UF faculty for use in University business, each with special features to meet different use cases.  Faculty may use as many of these options as necessary in the course of conducting their business.  It is important to consider several factors in the selection of the storage type to be used (see table below).

When a faculty member makes a storage investment, the resources are made available to the members of the research group sponsored by the faculty member within one or two business days. It is not required that the faculty member herself or himself has a user account on the system. If no user accounts exist in the group of the faculty sponsor at the time the investment is made, then the resources will be ready immediately with the first request for creation of a user account in the sponsored group.

UF Enterprise Infrastructure and Operations also offers options for storage at a seemingly comparable price point, but this option is intended to serve a different purpose than Research Computing storage.

Self-Service Data Storage Options for Faculty

Faculty activate one or more of Dropbox, Google G-Suite, Microsoft OneDrive covered by contract with these companies by going to https://cloud.it.ufl.edu. That page compares the features of each service. These cloud storage options are covered by enterprise agreements for University of Florida business use; they are distinct from any personal accounts you may have with these cloud services.

Managed Data Storage Options for Faculty

Option Data Type & Security Data Volume Transfer Speed Collaboration Management Convenience
HiPerGator-RV Restricted data. Previous file versions can be restored. High (limited by investment) High, 10 G Ethernet + InfiniBand Moderate – world RC-managed. Regulatory compliance restrictions. Easy sharing with approved collaborators.
See Storage Procedures
HiPerGator No restricted data. Previous file versions can be restored only if a data protection option is purchased. High (limited by investment) High, 10-25 G Ethernet + InfiniBand Easy – world RC-managed. Easy sharing with collaborators.

See Storage Procedures

Enterprise Storage Restricted data within HSC. Previous file versions can be restored in certain cases. High (limited as provisioned by College/Dept) Moderate, 1-10 G Ethernet + Fiber Channel Within extended campus only4,5 Managed by departmental IT staff. Ideal for larger groups, changing groups, other complex situations.
See file service hosting at hosting.it.ufl.edu/services
 Tape No restricted data. Previous file versions can be restored. High (limited by investment) Low None Managed by departmental and UF IT staff.
See Storage Procedures
  • The eLearning system Canvas has the ability for faculty and TA’s to share data with students within the context of a course, physical or online, usually for the duration of a semester.
  • The File-Express service supports easy transfer of files to collaborators, even with restricted data. However, the service only retains data for a limited time (up to one week).

Use Case Examples for Self-Service Storage

  • Faculty working collaboratively on a manuscript/journal article with colleague (external or internal): Use DropBox for Faculty/Staff or OneDrive for Business. Make sure that no restricted data is contained in any of the materials.
  • Storing documents with unrestricted data for work-related use from multiple locations (i.e. ability to edit on tablet / laptop / home computer / work desktop, view it on phone): Use DropBox for Faculty/Staff or OneDrive for Business.
  • Faculty is working on a project with PHI data of small size (less than a few GB) and wants to work on the data from multiple locations (office, laptop, home) without making copies on all systems. Restricted data can be stored on Dropbox for Faculty/Staff, but make sure that the data is not disclosed or distributed outside approved UF systems for which the proper IRB (Institutional Review Board) protocol is in place.
  • Sharing a small research data set (1 GB or less) with a collaborator (external or internal): Use DropBox for Faculty/Staff or OneDrive for Business or HiPerGator (if using HiPerGator for other reasons) but make sure no restricted data is disclosed or distributed outside UF systems.

Use Case Examples for Managed Storage

  • Sharing instructional power point presentations, exams, and assignments with a TA: Use department/college managed file share or storage capability in Canvas associated with the course being taught.
  • Faculty working on grades for a course: Use Canvas.
  • Sharing public document with the entire world: Publish on department/college web server.
  • Sharing and collaborating on large data sets (10 to 100 GB and larger): Use HiPerGator and Globus.
  • The College Shared Service Center (SSC) would like a share folder setup for local departmental personnel to access from their college workstations. The planned folder will contain information pertaining to college business information processes. A shared drive on the enterprise storage system managed by SSC/Local IT is the optimal option.
  • Faculty member is working on a collaborative project involving restricted data governed by ITAR/EAR (International Trade of Arms Regulation/Export Administration Regulation): Use HiPerGator-RV for storing and working with the data.

Examples of Inadmissible Use

  • Family vacation photos sharing with family and friends, some of whom may be employees of UF: Use any one from a long list consumer sharing services, because this activity is not University business.
  • Work on personal financial records with your spouse who also works at UF: These are restricted data as they contain bank and credit card information. The activity is also not University business, therefore any consumer storage service can  be used to store this data.

Examples of Build-Your-Own

  • Faculty with technical skills is doing research on computer systems of experimental nature with the need to perform invasive intervention into the hardware and operation of the system. For example, monitoring temperature and electrical power consumption to measure performance under extreme environmental conditions. If the list of storage services does not meet the needs of this project, then the faculty research group should manage the computer and storage system like experimental laboratory equipment.
  • Faculty performing research that involves storage of data. Storage systems or storage appliances managed by faculty or students in support of University business increases the risk to the University and is not cost effective for the Institution.

Helpful Links

  • Click here for Enterprise Storage options and pricing