Storage Services

Duquesne University has many different storage options available to the campus community. The best storage option for your needs will depend heavily on the type and amount of data that you wish to store.

Data Classification:

Please refer to the list below to acquaint yourself with the different classes of data. A full explanation of how this data should be handled by members of the university can be found here:

Institutional Data Classification Summary
Data Classification Institutional Risk Description Examples
Level 1 - Restricted Data High Institutional data that could seriously or adversely impact Duquesne University and/or could have consequences on our responsibility for safety and education if accessed by unauthorized individuals. Institutional data is considered as high risk related to compliance, reputation, and/or confidentiality/privacy concerns. This data should have the highest level of security controls applied.
  • PII (Social Security Number-SSN, Driver's License Number)
  • Bank/Financial Account Information
  • Credit Card Information (PCI)
  • Student Protected Data (FERPA)
  • Health Protected Data (HIPPA)
  • Human Resource Data
  • University Financial Data
  • Central Authentication Data
  • Intellectual Property Data
Level 2 - Internal Data Medium Institutional data that should be protected from general access and/or restricted to protected groups or individuals. A reasonable level of security controls should be applied.
  • Non-Banner Information stored in and/or accessed via DORI
  • Institutional data not publicly available and not classified as restricted.
Level 3 - Public Data None All public institutional data. While little or no controls are required to protect this data, some levels of controls should be applied to prevent the unauthorized modification or destruction of the data. Generally accessible institutional data such as information accessible at that does not require authentication to access.


Level 1 data should only be stored on Domain shares. For capacity restrictions, please see below.

Storage Service Offerings

Storage Option Primary Use Capacity VPN Required Web Access Mobile Access Versioning Internal Collaboration External Collaboration
Local Hard Drive Level 2 and Level 3 Governed Data Typically less than 500gb None None None No None None
Network Drive (CIFS/Einstein) Level 1 and Level 2 Governed Data Approx. 250gb per share Yes No No Manual Yes No
One Drive for Business Level 2 and Level 3 Governed Data 1TB No Yes Yes Manual Yes Yes
BOX for Duquesne Level 2 and Level 3 Governed Data/Synchonization Unlimited No Yes Yes Automatic Yes Yes

Local Storage

Examples: Local Hard drive, USB drive, External Hard Drive

  • Default storage repository
  • Not backed up unless you configure the back up

Network Drives

Examples: CIFS, Einstein

  • Managed by Computing and Technology Services 
  • Regularly backed up
  • Off-campus access requires VPN
  • Only accessible by Duquesne users

Microsoft One Drive for Business
  • Allows for synchronization of local storage such as your computer's hard drive
  • Allows you to share folders and files with internal and external users

  • Synchronize and backup local storage with Mobile Devices and multiple systems
  • Extensive versioning
  • Allows you to share folders and files with internal and external users
  • Local storage backup

Best Practices

A common best practice for backing up and storing your data is the 3-2-1 Rule which says you should keep 3 copies of your data on 2 types of storage media and 1 copy should be offsite.

  • Having 1 copy offsite protects your data from local risks like theft, lab fires, flooding, or natural disasters.
  • Using 2 storage media improves the likelihood that at least one version will be readable in the future should one media type become obsolete or degrade unexpectedly. 
  • Having 3 copies helps ensure that your data will exist somewhere without being overly redundant.

Desktop Computers and Laptops

While working on your data you'll likely be using and saving your files on your desktop computer or laptop. Make sure to save often but also keep master copies in another location in case your computer crashes, is stolen, or falls victim to other unfortunate events.

Networked Drives

Networked drives are a good place for one copy of your data. They're managed by your school, department, or the university so they're generally quite stable.
Talk to your department or Computing and Technology Services about the storage available on your networked drives. Consider asking:

  • how often networked drives are backed up 
  • how to recover data if there's loss
  • what the security is like
  • how much space you have, and
  • if they have any policies about deleting files from the drive 

Some offer automatic backup services that backup daily or at other intervals but these services may not be designed to save your research data. SAS, for example, explicitly says this is not their backup services purpose and advises users to talk to their local support provider.

Cloud Storage

Storing your data in the Cloud is an easy way to meet the "1 copy offsite" piece of the 3-2-1 Rule. Cloud storage is also nice because you can often sync your files from your computer, making backing up a breeze. However, most cloud storage solutions are owned by private companies, so it's important to remember to be aware that

Your data may not be private as the company probably has the right to look at it and might have the right to do what it pleases with that data and
That company may go out of business or otherwise become obsolete.
A note about syncing: While it's very handy to have your files automatically synced onto a cloud server, make sure the files on your computer are not automatically overwriting what's in the cloud.

Faculty, students, and staff at Duquesne have access to a BOX account and a Microsoft OneDrive account (through their Duquesne email). Microsoft OneDrive is better for personal use, and contains 1TB of storage. BOX has been reviewed and vetted by Duquesne's Information Security team and has been approved for storing Level 2 and Level 3 data (see chart above), and contains unlimited storage. More storage is available for purchase through your local support provider.

Flash Drives

Flash drives are very convenient places to store data. However, flash drives, like all storage media, degrade over time. They are also very small and easily lost or broken. For this second reason especially, it is not recommended that one of your 3 copies of your data be stored on a flash drive.