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Research Data Management

Storage and Backup

The university’s Information Solutions and Services (ISS) provide advice and services for:
protecting research data;
handling sensitive and highly sensitive data;
backing up data; and
laptop encryption

There is also related information in the Guidance notes for Research Ethics Application 

8.1 – Data/Sample Storage

8.3 – Data/Sample Retention & Disposal

On-site storage

50 TB which is dedicated to research and is only available on the University of Galway network though remote access is possible

  • No restrictions on filenames or sizes
  • Data is not encrypted by default
  • Fast - suitable for use with high velocity/realtime data
  • Backed up nightly by ISS
  • Can limit access to certain University of Galway users only

OneDrive for Business

  • Accessible anywhere on multiple devices
  • Access controlled by the data owner with strong file sharing capabilities
  • Transparent synchronisation across PCs
  • 1TB initial storage, unlimited on request
  • Max filesize is 10GB
  • Some restrictions on filenames
  • Data encrypted in transit and at rest
  • Data is stored in EU
  • Strong development roadmap from Microsoft

Compute/Analysis options

  • ISS also offer a Research VM cluster
    • 2 HP Gen 9 blades
  • Windows or Linux VMs available
    • Researcher installs applications and manages the VM
  • VMs backed up nightly
  • PowerBI is also available as part of your standard Office 365 subscription


Both on-site and cloud (ODfB) storage options can be used for Research data

  • ODfB offers more features and flexability
  • On-site is faster, potentially safer and has better backup options

See also IT Security and ICT Policies. Online IT security awareness training is provided by ISS.

Regarding storage the 3-2-1 backup rule is a useful guide i.e. at least 3 copies of data, at least 2 different kinds of storage media, at least 1 copy in a different location.

Data Management Expert Guide produced by CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives) and ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) includes a section about good practice relating to storage. Use it to explore the pros and cons of different storage solutions.

UK Data Service guidelines on Data Storage including guidance on how to store sensitive or confidential data.