ResearchDrive - FAQ
This document answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the ResearchDrive storage service.
- What is ResearchDrive?
- Who is eligible for ResearchDrive?
- Who are the sponsors for the ResearchDrive service?
- What are the guiding principles for ResearchDrive?
- How much does ResearchDrive cost?
- Can I store restricted data like HIPAA ePHI or CUI on ResearchDrive?
- How do I sign up for an account?
- How do I purchase additional storage for my ResearchDrive account?
- How should I reference ResearchDrive in a Data Management Plan (DMP)?
- How do I get support for ResearchDrive?
- What data protection features does ResearchDrive provide?
- How is data on ResearchDrive kept secure?
- I need storage but I'm not a PI. Can I still get a ResearchDrive account?
- How does ResearchDrive differ from SharedDrive?
- What storage protocols and operating systems does ResearchDrive support?
- How does ResearchDrive differ from cloud services like Microsoft 365, Box, or GoogleDrive?
- How do I connect to ResearchDrive?
- How do I transfer data to or from ResearchDrive?
- How can I transfer data from Box to ResearchDrive?
- How do I add someone from UW-Madison to my ResearchDrive account?
- How do I add someone from outside of UW-Madison to my ResearchDrive account?
- Can I use an existing Manifest group to control access to my ResearchDrive account?
ResearchDrive a university-wide file storage solution for Faculty PIs, permanent PIs, and their research group members. It is suited for a variety of research purposes, including backup, archive, storage for data inputs/outputs of research computing, and others. It is a secure and permanent place for keeping data.
ResearchDrive is available to UW-Madison PIs and their collaborators.
ResearchDrive is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Chief Information Office and Vice Chancellor for Information Technology's Office as part of a campus Research Cyberinfrastructure Initiative and provides 5 TBs of storage to all PIs and their research group members. See the ResearchDrive - Terms of Service for additional details.
A Research Technical Advisory Group (RTAG) data storage sub-committee developed the following guiding principles for ResearchDrive:
- It should be available to all PIs and the members of their research groups they designate
- It should be a predictable resource, so that every PI can include it in grant proposals and data management plans and departments can leverage it for new faculty recruitments and start-up packages
- It needs to be a resource for keeping research data safe (an alternative to portable hard drives, an environment for restricted/sensitive data, etc.
- It needs to be scalable and adaptable so it can accommodate expanding and changing needs of researchers over time
- It needs to support research workflows and data lifecycles; i.e., it should enable collaboration, controlled access levels for research group members, delegated PI roles, working and archival storage
5 TB of storage provided to each PI at no cost. $200/TB per year for additional storage space and maintenance on ResearchDrive for PIs who need more than 5 TB (billed to DoIT Number).
Yes, ResearchDrive can support restricted data. Additional security controls are required to store restricted data like HIPAA or CUI in ResearchDrive. Restricted data, may only be stored, with approval, in specific folders that have access managed by authorized data administrators. In addition, workstations used to access and store PHI must meet specific security guidelines. See the UW-Madison HIPAA Security Program for more details.
UW-Madison PIs or their designees can signup for a ResearchDrive account by completing the form in the ResearchDrive - Getting Started Guide
UW-Madison PIs or their designees can purchase additional storage for a ResearchDrive account using the ResearchDrive - Purchasing Additional Storage form.
The Research Data Services (RDS) group from the Libraries offers free consulting on Data Management Plans (DMPs). The text below can be used as a template for referring to the handling of data storage in the Data Management Plan portion of a research grant application:
“Data will be stored on ResearchDrive, the University of Wisconsin campus-wide file storage service managed by the Division of Information Technology. This is a secure space with data protection and security features based on the NIST Cybersecurity framework including off-site backups, encryption, and monitoring by the University of Wisconsin Cybersecurity Operations Center. The space required for this project is approximately XX Terabytes. The university provides up to 5 TB of storage at no cost, however, should we need more space the cost is $200/TB/year.”
Your local IT support will be an important resource as you begin using ResearchDrive to help you take advantage of it. We encourage you to work with your local IT support, but if needed you can also get help setting it up from the ResearchDrive service team. See ResearchDrive - Requesting Support for details.
- Data stored on ResearchDrive is automatically backed up daily and replicated offsite to an encrypted storage cluster for additional data protection.
- Snapshots are taken once a day and kept for 14 days and then weekly snapshots are kept for an additional five weeks
- These data protection features allow you to recover accidentally deleted files or folders within the past seven weeks.
- The snapshots are immutable and the replicas are not user accessible - they cannot be overwritten or deleted by a ransomware attack against your ResearchDrive.
- ResearchDrive is monitored by the UW Cybersecurity Operations Center (CSOC) with the Superna Ransomware Defender security platform. It monitors ResearchDrive storage in real time and sends alerts to CSOC if any ransomware attacks are detected.
- DoIT monitors the backend data protection features of ResearchDrive and gets alerts if there are any failed snapshots. However, DoIT does not perform test restores of customer data.
- It is a ResearchDrive customer responsibility to verify that they have current, comprehensive backups of their data. Users are encouraged to test data backups at least once every 90 days.
- See ResearchDrive - Restoring Files or Folders from Snapshots for instructions on how to recover data.
- If the default snapshot schedule does not meet your needs, please contact the ResearchDrive team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a custom data protection strategy.
ResearchDrive is a secure space with data protection and security features based on the NIST SP 800-53 Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations framework including off-site data protection, encryption, and monitoring by the University of Wisconsin Cybersecurity Operations Center.
Only PIs are eligible for Research Drive which includes 5 TB of storage provided by the VCRGE. However, you can still get storage through SharedDrive, which has a very similar feature set as ResearchDrive minus the free 5 TB. SharedDrive costs $200/TB. Contact email@example.com
ResearchDrive and SharedDrive are similar services that share the same storage technology and infrastructure. ResearchDrive is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Chief Information Office and Vice Chancellor for Information Technology's Office as part of a campus Research Cyberinfrastructure Initiative and provides 5 TBs of storage to all PIs and their research group members. ResearchDrive has self-service collaboration features leveraging the Roles and Access Management (Manifest) and Active Directory Services as well as a collaborative support model providing delegated administration and resources for local IT and research support staff. SharedDrive is available to departments or research groups and features a delegated administration model for campus IT but does not support self-service collaboration like ResearchDrive.
ResearchDrive support Samba (SMB) or Common Internet File System (CIFS) from the UW-Madison campus network or off campus through a VPN connection. ResearchDrive is accessed by mapping a network drive on Windows or mounting a share on Mac OS or linux and supports both workstations and servers.
There are multiple considerations but several key differences between ResearchDrive and cloud collaboration services are:
- ResearchDrive is accessed by mapping a network drive on Windows or mounting a share on Mac OS or linux and supports both workstations and servers. The cloud collaboration services are typically accessed via a web browser or sync/streaming clients on workstations or mobile devices but not servers.
- ResearchDrive is designed to support Restricted Data and the cloud collaboration services should not be used to store Restricted Data with the exception of Document Storage for ePHI in Secure Box Folders.
- Please see the Research Data Services - Data Storage and Backup Guide for a detailed comparsion of storage services.
Yes, you can add individual people or add existing Manifest groups to your ResearchDrive collaboration groups. See ResearchDrive - Working with Collaborators and Manifest - Manage Group Members for more details.