Data storage alternatives at SLU

Last changed: 08 January 2024

This page gives an overview of the different storage and backup options and their characteristics, available for storing scientific data at SLU.

For general information about storage and backup, see How to store and backup scientific data at SLU.

SLU computer (my Documents folder)

The SLU Computer is a Windows computer configured by the SLU IT department. Most departments use SLU computers, but not all.

When files are stored on your work computer, they could be either stored only locally (with a possible backup solution implemented) or be synchronised with storage on a server or a cloud service, possibly allowing remote access and sharing files with others.

The folder My documents (including My Pictures, My Music, My movies), Favorites and Desktop on a SLU computer are connected to a central storage space and is automatically backed up and accessibly remotely. Please note that you need to be connected to the SLU network (at campus or through VPN) for the automatic synchronisation and backup to work. If you are working offline, your files will only be stored on your computer until you connect to the network so you may need to use another backup solution temporarily.

Note that files stored in other locations on the computer will not be automatically backed up or synchronized to the server.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Access via your SLU AD account. VPN can be used for access outside the SLU network. Not used for sharing files with others.

Physical storage location

Servers in the SLU network (within Sweden).

Sensitive information and personal data

Can be used for personal data and sensitive information.

Backup

Backup is managed by SLU. If you lose your computer or if it is broken, you can access the files stored on the SLU server.

Storage capacity

100 GB storage included.

File system and operational system compatibility

NTFS file system accessible from Windows. Can also be accessed from other operating systems using e.g. Samba.

Version control

Built-in versioning.

Non-SLU computer

Internal storage on a computer not connected/included in the SLU computer services (for example a Mac or Linux computer, or a windows computer at a department not using the SLU IT department services).

When files are stored on your work computer, they could be either stored only locally (with a possible backup solution implemented) or be synchronised with storage on a server or a cloud service, possibly allowing remote access and sharing files with others.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Normally, data is stored locally on the computer, but network sharing could also be set up.

Physical storage location

The same as the location of the physical computer.

Sensitive information and personal data

Data is not automatically exposed to a third party and can be used for personal data and sensitive information. However, computer can get lost or be stolen, especially laptops. The contents of the computer can be encrypted to mitigate such risks.

Backup

Not included.

Storage capacity

Depends on the computer.

File system and operational system compatibility

Normally, the drive is formatted with a file system that suits the pre-installed operating systems.

Version control

Has to be added on top of the file system.

Microsoft OneDrive (account through SLU)

Files stored in the cloud can easily be accessed remotely and shared with others. As an employee of SLU, you have access to OneDrive, which is part of Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud service. Please note that your Office 365 account is linked to your SLU account, which will be disabled when your SLU employment ends.

Access, sharing and collaborations

You have access to Office 365 via your SLU account. Files can be shared with other people, including people outside SLU.

Storage location

Servers at Microsoft.

Sensitive information and personal data

Data is stored outside Sweden and therefore Onedrive should not be used for personal data or sensitive information.

Backup

Backup is managed by Microsoft.

Storage capacity

1 TB storage included.

File system and operating system compatibility

OneDrive storage can be mounted under different operating systems.

Version control

Built-in versioning.

External cloud services

If you use an external cloud service, it must meet requirements regarding information security as well as legislation such as GDPR.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Depends on the terms of the service.

Storage location

Servers at the cloud provider.

Sensitive information and personal data

SLU do not have control over the storage, and this service should not be used for sensitive or personal data.

Backup

Backup is normally managed by the cloud provider. You can manage your own backup to avoid dependency of a provider which may e.g. run out of business.

Storage capacity

Depends on the terms of the service.

File system and operating system compatibility

Depends on the service.

Version control

Depends on the service.

Shared folder / Common

The SLU IT department offers, for a fee, the option to store files in a shared folder on the IT department’s servers. The folder is available on SLU-computers under Favorites and is called Common.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Common is a shared space that is allocated to a specific group within SLU, for example a department. Everyone in that group can read, save, edit and delete files in the folder. VPN can be used for access outside the SLU network.

SLU AD account and permissions required for access.

Physical storage location

Servers in the SLU network (within Sweden).

Sensitive information and personal data

Since the folder can be accessed by a large group (that also can change, e.g. when someone new starts at a department), a restricted folder (see below) is a better option for data containing sensitive information or personal data.

Backup

Backup is managed by SLU.

Storage capacity

According to SLU IT prices.

File system and operational system compatibility

NTFS file system accessible from Windows. Can also be accessed from other operating systems using e.g. Samba.

Version control

Built-in versioning.

Restricted folder

A service offered by the SLU IT department for a fee. Files are stored in a shared folder on the IT department’s servers. The folder is available on SLU-computers under Favorites and is called Restricted.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Access to the ‘Restricted’ folder is only granted to the specific individuals within SLU, who need to have access, for example named members of a project team. VPN can be used for access outside the SLU network.

Storage location

Servers in the SLU network (within Sweden).

Sensitive information and personal data

Can be used for personal data and sensitive information. SLU AD account and permissions required for access.

Backup

Backup is managed by SLU.

Storage capacity

According to SLU IT prices.

File system and operational system compatibility

NTFS file system accessible from Windows. Can also be accessed from other operating systems using e.g. Samba.

Version control

Built-in versioning.

SLU server storage

Storage on a drive within the SLU network. Can be mounted on e.g. a virtual server.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Primarily via your SLU AD account. Further sharing can be set up on the server.

Storage location

Servers in the SLU network (within Sweden).

Sensitive information and personal data

Data will be protected from unauthorized access.

Backup

Backup is managed by SLU.

Storage capacity

According to SLU IT prices.

File system and operational system compatibility

A suitable file system can be chosen.

Version control

Depending in file system (versioning with a tool like git can always be added on top of the file system).

SLU Sharepoint

Storage on a SLU Sharepoint site.

Access, sharing and collaborations

Users can be provided access via their SLU AD accounts.

Storage location

Servers in the SLU network (within Sweden).

Sensitive information and personal data

Data will be protected from unauthorized access.

Backup

Backup is managed by SLU.

Storage capacity

According to SLU IT prices. 10 GB storage is free.

File system and operational system compatibility

Primarily via Sharepoint web interface.

Version control

Built-in versioning.

External drives and memory sticks

A USB memory stick or an external SSD/HDD can be used to store active data, as well as to back up and to share data. If used for backup, it should not be kept in the same physical location as the main files.

Access, sharing and collaborations

The drive can be physically shared with others, or shared via network, from the computer which it is connection to. However, such network access will be lost when the drive is physically disconnected, or the computer turned off.

Physical storage location

The same as the location of the physical drive.

Sensitive information and personal data

Data is not automatically exposed to a third party. However, an external drive can easily get lost or be stolen. The contents of the drive can be encrypted to mitigate the risk of data being access by others if the drive is stolen.

Backup

Not included.

Storage capacity

Different on different drives.

File system and operational system compatibility

In general, the drive can be formatted with a suitable file system.

Version control

Has to be added on top of the file system.

Using external services

If none of the solutions available at SLU fits your project, it is possible to buy a service from an external provider. However, it is very important that all guidelines, policies and legal requirements are met, for example concerning information security and personal data.

Local (department/unit) solutions

Your department or unit may have storage solutions different from those mentioned above.