Puzzling over data storage at Duke? Learn about your options here

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Data management in the research environment is a complex and constantly evolving challenge. Good management practices are important throughout the data lifecycle, from planning your data management strategies before you collect any data, to safe and easily accessible storage while you are actively analyzing, to reliable archiving post publication. Researchers need user-friendly, appropriate, scalable options for storing and using electronic data. Here we will discuss three Duke-supported data storage options for storing data that are not being used for immediate analysis.


OneDrive for Business

Working at Duke means that all faculty, staff and students with a Duke email account can access Duke Office 365 resources at no cost, which includes OneDrive for Business at Duke (sign in with your Duke credentials at https://office.com). This resource is intended for storage and to support mobile Office apps. OneDrive for Business at Duke means that you can share Office documents with other Duke Office365 account holders. Each user of OneDrive for Business at Duke is provisioned 1 terabyte of file storage. For more information, visit the OIT article on this subject https://oit.duke.edu/help/articles/kb0024693.

Duke Box

All faculty, staff, and students at Duke also have access to 50 gigabytes of file storage on Duke Box at no cost to them. What many may not know is that users can access more space on Duke Box via Toolkits, which allows Duke faculty, students and staff to create and define online communities or groups called Toolkits spaces. By creating a Toolkits space and storing data for your group on Duke Box, researchers will no longer be limited to 50 gigabytes of space since group Toolkit space does not affect your personal quota. More information about how to use Toolkits is here: https://oit.duke.edu/help/articles/kb0022203 or you can contact OIT for more help.

 S3 Object Storage

Duke has recently launched a new research data storage option, S3 Object Storage. DHTS provides this object storage via “buckets” that reside in their on-site data centers. S3 Object Storage works well for archiving less frequently used files to free up primary storage on your Isilon file share, local servers, departmental drive, etc. It can handle high volumes and velocity of data and is one of the most cost-effective data storage options available to Duke researchers. Using this data storage option requires researchers to contact DHTS for assistance in mounting their S3 bucket as a usable storage location. More information about this storage option can be found here: https://bit.ly/DukeS3help.

These three options do not represent the totality of data storage options available to Duke researchers and they alone will not meet everyone’s needs (e.g. those who must safely store sensitive data, people analyzing very large datasets, etc.) If you are not sure what storage option is best for you, consult with the Duke Libraries guide “Best Practices for Storage and Backup”, or contact your department’s IT support team.