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Data storage and backup

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10/22/2012 - 5:15pm

Data Storage and Backup

Now that the NSF is interested in where you keep your data and how your data travels to storage locations, your plan should include a technical description of your storage infrastructure and the pipeline you use to deliver data to it. 

Relevance

  • A granting agency may require that you retain data for a given period and may ask you to explain in a data plan how you will store and back it up.
  • Storing and backing up your data ensures that it will be there when you need to use it for publications, theses, or grant proposals.
  • Good preservation practices help make your data available to researchers in your lab/research group, department, or discipline in the future.

Recommended TRANSACTIONAL storage options

The following are storage options for dynamic data, to be used during your award cycle.

Option Redundant Secure Description Size and cost Notes
UTO CIFS Storage Yes Yes Storage on DoIT's Data Center platform that you access as a networked drive on your computer

$1500 / TB for a 5-year term

$1000 / TB for a 1-year term

Storage is inside the ASU network and accessible only on the ASU campus
ASU Google Apps Yes Varies Google's suite of online applications 1.0 GB free storage Intellectual property right protection only in effect if data is not shared
Third Party Cloud Storage Varies Varies Amazon S3
Dropbox
MobileMe and others
Varies ASU has no negotiated terms of services with these providers.

Recommended END-OF-AWARD storage options

The following are non-transactional data repositories, where static data and meta data can be indexed and kept safely for an extended period of time.

Option Redundant Secure Description Size and cost Notes
ASU Digital Repository Yes Yes The ASU libraries' digital archive Varies
  • Repository contents are indexed by Google and other search engines to increase discoverability;
  • Repository contents are archived and preserved for the long-term;
  • Page view and digital item download statistics available;
  • Staff who can help you with copyright questions;
  • Digitization services (fee based);
  • Custom metadata creation (fee based);
  • Support for batch digital material submission.
ASU Center for Digital Antiquity tDAR  Yes Yes tDAR is an international digital archive and repository that houses data about archaeological investigations, research, resources, and scholarship. tDAR provides researchers new avenues to discover and integrate information relevant to topics they are studying. TBD 
  • Quick and easy data contribution;
  • Repository contents are indexed by Google and other search engines to increase discoverability;
  • Focus on long-term preservation.

Alternative storage options

Option Recommended Redundant Secure Description Size and cost Notes

External hard drives

No Varies Varies Also known as 'hard disk drives' Varies At best, a short-term storage option
Portable media

No No Varies Flash drives, CDs, and DVDs Varies At best, a short-term storage option

Departmental server or storage network

No Varies Yes Your department's IT unit may offer storage on their server or network Varies Since access to this type of storage is limited and space reastrictions often apply, this solution is sufficient for use while data is being generated.  Once evaluated, data should be moved to a secondary location.