ResearchDrive is a University-funded and DoIT-provided data storage system available to all faculty PIs and academic staff with permanent PI status, and their research teams. Five terabytes of storage is provided on request to each PI, with the option to purchase additional storage at $200 per terabyte per year.
ResearchDrive is secure enough for most research data, but is not appropriate for data covered by HIPAA or other sensitive data. RestrictedDrive is a related service that is secure enough to store sensitive data, but it must be paired with secure computers for analyzing it like those provided by Silo.
ResearchDrive is easy to use: you can map a drive to it just like SSCC network drives, from your own computer or Winstat. Performance is generally comparable to SSCC drives as well. At this point the tools for using ResearchDrive from Linux work on user machines but not servers like Linstat, but DoIT is working on that.
There are two primary advantages of ResearchDrive over SSCC network drives:
- You don't need an SSCC account to use ResearchDrive, though you do need a UW NetID.
- ResearchDrive is fully funded by the University, while hardware for data storage is one of SSCC's larger capital costs.
However, there are several disadvantages of ResearchDrive compared to SSCC network drives:
- Users will need to map ResearchDrive, once on each computer they use, rather than it being mapped automatically.
- PIs must manage permissions on ResearchDrive rather than SSCC staff (some may consider this an advantage).
- SSCC staff can provide little support for ResearchDrive; you'll need to work with the DoIT Help Desk .
- ResearchDrive only retains backups of deleted files for one month, compared to a year for SSCC, and does not retain as many older versions of files.
Based on these advantages and disadvantages, we would suggest using ResearchDrive for storing data that are not in active use (so you're less likely to need files restored from backup due to user error) or if you need to share files with UW-Madison researchers who don't have SSCC accounts and don't need them.
For more information on ResearchDrive or to request a drive, please see Getting Started with ResearchDrive .