Important: When working with sensitive institutional data, particularly electronic protected health information (ePHI) regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), make sure you understand your responsibilities for protecting the security and privacy of that data, and use only those storage solutions that meet the data management standards required to comply with all applicable laws and institutional policies. See:
- What are my responsibilities when using UITS systems for work with electronic protected health information?
- Which IU services are approved for storing ePHI or other types of sensitive institutional data?
On this page:
- Quick guide to storage options
- Removable storage media
- Cloud storage
- Research systems
- Temporary storage
Quick guide to storage options
|If you need to:||Consider using:|
|Access your word-processing documents, spreadsheets, media files, and presentations and work on them from multiple locations||Removable storage media or a cloud storage solution (e.g., Box or Oncourse Resources)|
|Store and access data and program output related to your research||Research computing and storage systems|
|Share files with a class you're teaching or a project team||Cloud storage solutions (e.g., Box or Oncourse Resources)|
|Share files with colleagues (outside of Indiana University as well as within) via a web interface (graduate students, faculty, staff)||Slashtmp or Box|
Note: Your campus may have additional or alternative options. For details, contact your campus Support Center.
Removable storage media
A portable USB drive (thumb or flash drive) is an excellent option for storing and transporting your files. Flash drives are useful for word processing files (e.g., papers, assignments, and notes), PowerPoint presentations, and other files you need to access and work on from multiple computers.
For more permanent storage, consider burning a CD-R or DVD. Both are useful for completed projects or backing up copies of important files.
Although removable storage media are convenient and useful, your access to the data stored on them is subject to the availability of the appropriate drives. A portable USB drive, which requires only a USB port, is most likely the most commonly supported removable storage option. For more about removable media at IU, see:
- Removable media devices in the IUB STCs
- At IUB, in a Mac OS X STC, how can I view a DVD?
- Removable media devices in the IUPUI STCs
Note: Removable storage media can be easily misplaced, damaged, or magnetized, causing you to lose data. You should always have back-up copies of important files saved in different locations. For critical files, you should have one copy on your computer for convenience and easy access, one on removable media for quick recovery, and one on a server that is regularly backed up (e.g., Oncourse).
Storing your files on a secure, regularly backed-up online (or "cloud") service minimizes your risk of losing data, and lets you access your files from any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet.
Online storage services at IU include:
Box: The IU Box service provides 50 GB of simple,
secure online storage. You can use your Box account to securely share files with anyone who has an email
address. For more, see About Box at IU and How does Box compare to other enterprise and commercial storage solutions?
Box is appropriate for use with personal files and institutional data classified as "Public" or "University-internal". You may not use Box to store sensitive institutional data classified as "Restricted" or "Critical"; see What types of data are appropriate for my enterprise Box account?
- Oncourse: The Resources tool in Oncourse provides 1 GB of storage space for individual use. In addition to storing files in Resources for your own use, if you are an instructor or the owner of a project site, you can use Resources to share files with a class or project team. Oncourse Resources is appropriate for use with personal files and institutional data classified as "Public", "University-internal", or "Restricted". For more, see File storage in Oncourse.
Home directories on IU's research computing systems (Big Red II, Quarry, Mason, and the Research Database Complex) allow you to store 10 GB of data. The 10-GB disk quota is shared among the systems on which you have accounts.
If you need more than 10 GB of permanent storage for your research, consider applying for an account on one of IU's advanced, reliable distributed storage services. The Research File System (RFS) and the Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) provide large storage allotments for storing research data over long periods of time.
Access to research computing and storage systems is available to graduate students, faculty, and staff on all IU campuses. Undergraduates and non-IU collaborators must have IU faculty sponsors. For details, see the "Research system accounts (all campuses)" section of Account availability and eligibility
IU's research computing and storage services are considered HIPAA-aligned (i.e., appropriate for work involving electronic protected health information).
Important: Although UITS HIPAA-aligned resources are managed using standards meeting or exceeding those established for managing institutional data at IU, and are approved by the IU Office of the Vice President and General Counsel (OVPGC) for storing research-related ePHI, they are not recognized by the IU Committee of Data Stewards as appropriate for storing other types of institutional data classified as "Critical" that are not ePHI research data. For help determining which types of data classified as "Critical" are considered ePHI, see Which data elements in the classifications of institutional data are considered protected health information (PHI)? If you have questions about IU's classification of data elements, contact the appropriate Data Steward. For help determining the highest classification of institutional data you can store on any given UITS service, contact the University Information Policy Office (UIPO). To determine which services are appropriate for storing sensitive institutional data, including ePHI research data, see Which IU services are approved for storing ePHI or other types of sensitive institutional data?
The UITS Advanced Biomedical IT Core (ABITC) provides consulting and online help for IU researchers who need help securely processing, storing, and sharing ePHI research data. If you need help managing HIPAA-regulated data at IU, contact the ABITC, or see HIPAA & ABITC. For additional details about HIPAA compliance at IU, see the Office of Vice President and General Counsel (OVPGC) HIPAA Privacy & Security page.
For more, see:
Graduate students, faculty, and staff can use the Slashtmp service to temporarily store and share large files via a web interface.
Important: When using Slashtmp to store data subject to HIPAA regulations, or other information classified as critical at IU (e.g., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account numbers), you must choose the "Critical" version from the Slashtmp home page before proceeding with your upload.
Scratch disk space for temporary storage of data is available locally on Big Red II, Quarry, Mason, and the Research Data Complex. Additionally, Data Capacitor II is mounted to each system, providing shared scratch space for running programs and temporary storage of program output. UITS does not maintain any backups for scratch directories, so you will not be able to retrieve your files if they are deleted.