Research Data Storage Finder
Evaluate options for data storage at the University
Describe your research data
Answer these questions to help identify data storage services that are suitable for your needs. Checking these boxes will change the list of available services.
If you are uncertain how to answer, leave the question blank to maximize your resulting options.
Data Classification LevelExpand Data Classification LevelU of T classifies data into four levels of risk—1, 2, 3, or 4—based on the potential for harm if data is leaked or obtained by unauthorized individuals. Data Classification definitions and examples are available here: https://isea.utoronto.ca/policies-procedures/standards/data-classification/
Storage TypeExpand Storage TypeDifferent data storage providers are targeted at different parts of the research process. We have split providers into 3 categories: Active Research: These data storage platforms are ideal for storing and organizing data that is currently being worked on, modified, and analyzed. Backup: These data storage providers provide backups/snapshots or versioning copies of data. They are ideal for data, whether that is a copy of the raw data, the production data, or the final completed project and data. Archival and Open data sharing: these providers are ideally suited to long term storage of data from completed projects, and often have special functionality for open sharing of data for re-use by other researchers.
Collaboration LevelExpand Collaboration LevelDifferent platforms offer different capabilities for collaboration and sharing of files. Others within U of T: These platforms can provide access to others at U of T, whether through UTORID or other systems. Named collaborators (internal or external): These platforms allow for sharing of files with specific named collaborators, whether internal or external to U of T. Any individual with a shared link: These platforms allow for sharing of files via a shared link that can be public or password protected. Public: These platforms allow for open public sharing of data files.
Storage AmountExpand Storage AmountSome platforms are not suited for large amounts of data, while others can provide more storage but are more complex to access. Keep in mind that your data storage requirements will only grow over time.
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|M365 Teams (Institutional)||University of Toronto Dataverse||University of Toronto MyMedia||M365 OneDrive (Institutional)||M365 SharePoint (Institutional)||Compute Canada||Information Technology Services (ITS) Private Cloud||Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR)||GitHub||Rotman Research Node (RNN)||UTSC Network Data Storage||UTSC Nextcloud||UTM RES-NAS||UTM Tier Two|
|Brief Description||Microsoft Teams is a collaborative, cloud-based workspace and communications tool that allows users to share files, in addition to supporting private and channel-based messaging.||[fusion_builder_container type="flex" hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="true" min_height="" hover_type="none" link="" border_sizes_top="" border_sizes_bottom="" border_sizes_left="" border_sizes_right="" first="true"][fusion_text columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="" rule_size="" rule_color="" hue="" saturation="" lightness="" alpha="" content_alignment_medium="" content_alignment_small="" content_alignment="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" sticky_display="normal,sticky" class="" id="" margin_top="" margin_right="" margin_bottom="" margin_left="" fusion_font_family_text_font="" fusion_font_variant_text_font="" font_size="" line_height="" letter_spacing="" text_transform="" text_color="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_color="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_delay="0" animation_offset="" logics=""] U of T Dataverse is a multi-disciplinary repository open to U of T researchers to deposit and share research data. It can also be used to discover and reuse data produced by other researchers. Deposited datasets receive DOIs. Files are held in a secure environment on Canadian servers. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]||The University of Toronto Libraries’ MyMedia offers an archival storage and streaming solution for media content. Use MyMedia to upload a wide array of video and audio file formats and manage and share your media. All media files are re-encoded into a standard format for web playback.||Microsoft OneDrive is a secure, personal, cloud-based document management and file storage application, with sharing capabilities that include editing.||Microsoft SharePoint Online is a secure cloud-based platform that enables groups to collaborate, share, store, and publish documents or web content.||Compute Canada is a national governmental organization supporting advanced research computing (ARC) systems and storage, and provides support for large-scale, data-intensive research projects. Compute Canada includes SciNet, the supercomputer centre at the University of Toronto.||The ITS Private Cloud service is an on-site U of T server and storage virtualization platform similar to public could providers.||FRDR is a platform for digital Research Data Management (RDM) and a robust repository option into which large research datasets can be ingested, curated, processed for preservation, discovered, cited, and shared.||GitHub is a website offering storage and collaboration tools for software development, based on the version control system Git. Commonly used to host opensource software, it can also be used to host datasets.||Rotman Research Node (RRN) is a shared Linux server for the Rotman research community. It is also an integrated part of a High Performance Computing (HPC) system. If your computing needs are fairly large, this system can be of benefit to you. User support is provided by the Rotman TD Management and Data Analytics Lab (TDMDAL).||University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Information & Instructional Technology Services (IITS) offers a robust data storage service for research data at UTSC. A storage solution can be provisioned to provide users with controlled access (via UTORid credentials) to network storage that meet compliance requirements.||Nextcloud is a next-generation Enterprise file synchronization and sharing service, similar to products such as Dropbox and Sync.com.||Fast speed, high performance storage designed to be used at UTM for active, daily use data. Can be used as a share drive, in addition to directly interfacing with specialized data collection instruments.||Standard speed, typical enterprise level performance storage server designed for slower processing requirements, infrequent data access, and general backups.|
|How To Access||https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/teams/||http://dataverse.library.utoronto.ca||https://mymedia.library.utoronto.ca/||https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/onedrive/||https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/sharepoint/||https://www.computecanada.ca/||https://its.utoronto.ca/its-units/eis/hardware-infrastructure/server-virtualization-services/||https://www.frdr-dfdr.ca/||https://github.com/||https://tdmdal.github.io/computing-research/||https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/iits/network-data-storage||https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/iits/nextcloud-0||https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/iits/utm-research-storage||https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/iits/utm-research-storage|
|Contact||https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/ Supported by University of Toronto Enterprise Service Centre||mailto:email@example.com Created by Scholars Portal, and supported by University of Toronto Libraries.||mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org MyMedia is developed and operated by the University of Toronto Libraries.||https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/ Supported by University of Toronto Enterprise Service Centre||https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/ Supported by University of Toronto Enterprise Service Centre||mailto:email@example.com Compute Canada is a national governmental organization. Contact them directly.||mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org University of Toronto Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions owned and operated.||https://www.frdr-dfdr.ca/repo/contactus Created by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and Compute Canada. Contact FRDR directly.||https://support.github.com/contact?tags=dotcom-footer Owned by Microsoft Corporation. Contact GitHub directly.||mailto:email@example.com User support is provided by the Rotman TD Management and Data Analytics Lab (TDMDAL). Contact them directly.||mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org This storage service is provided by UTSC's Information & Instructional Technology Services. Contact them directly.||mailto:email@example.com This storage service is provided by UTSC's Information & Instructional Technology Services. Contact them directly.||https://uoft.service-now.com/utm_iits This storage service is provided by UTM's Information & Instructional Technology Services. Contact them directly.||https://uoft.service-now.com/utm_iits This storage service is provided by UTM's Information & Instructional Technology Services. Contact them directly.|
|Availability||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||University-wide||Division specific||Division specific||Division specific||Division specific||Division specific|
|Storage Available||250 GB of storage. Increase by exception only.||Individual file limit, but users can upload multiple files||1TB limit. Total storage increases may be individually requested||By default, you will receive 250GB of storage in a site. This can be increased with proper business justification up to current max of 10TB.||Each group starts with 1 TB of project space, access to more storage is available through research competitions. 20+ TB of temporary working space ('scratch') is available (varies based on system) but files on scratch that have not been accessed in 60 days will be deleted. Users are encouraged to save data that may be used at a later date on “nearline” tape-based storage. This is available on all sites. On SciNet, this service is referred to as HPSS. Space on nearline is allocated through the Resource Allocation Competitions and must be renewed (or grown if necessary) yearly.||Resources are available to meet your specific needs and can be added incrementally according to the pricing schedule outlined online.||1TB by default, more available upon request||5 GB per repository, more with Git Large File Storage. No cost. Additional features and storage available by subscription.||3T per user at home directory and 50T at project directory shared among users.||Free 500Gb. Once in place, the capacity can be upgraded to larger sizes effortlessly, allowing the service to grow alongside your storage needs. Contact Helpdesk for larger capacities.||Free 100Gb. Capacity upgrades are available. Contact Helpdesk for larger capacities.||Up to 2TB free depending on use case. Additional cost per 1TB per year.||Up to 2TB free depending on use case. Additional cost per 1TB per 5 years.|
|File Size Limit||250 GB||5GB||No file size limit||250 GB||250 GB||N/A||This will depend on the operating system running on the virtual machine. We recommend talking to our technical staff to discuss file size limitations of various operating systems.||N/A||25 MB via web, 100 MB via command line||No restriction||No limit imposed by the system||No limit imposed by the system||No file size limit||No file size limit|
|Cost||Institutional license||No fee||Institutional license||Institutional license||Institutional license||No fee||Payment/Purchase required||No fee||No fee||No fee||Free tier limit, over limit fees||Free tier limit, over limit fees||Free tier limit, over limit fees||Free tier limit, over limit fees|
|Backup Details||Native Microsoft backup only of files only. For complete details on document recovery options see https://uthrprod.service-now.com/sp?id=kb_article&sys_id=46be5a8a1b957010a98e54a51a4bcb5f&spa=1 Microsoft backs up current content for disaster recovery only. It does not maintain snapshots, historic data, or offline copies. Each time you share files in a Team, they are stored in the associated site in SharePoint (automatically created). Microsoft backs up data from SharePoint Online every 12 hours and retains this data for a period of 14 days.||Scholars Portal makes daily backups of all Dataverse content using an enterprise disaster recovery system for the purpose of long-term preservation. Data backups are stored securely and replicated securely at remote locations.||MyMedia content is stored locally on the University of Toronto Libraries servers, with daily backups using an enterprise disaster recovery system for long-term preservation. Data backups are stored securely and replicated at a secure remote location. If you are using external streaming platforms such as YouTube, Microsoft Stream, etc. and would like for your media to be preserved and accessible long-term, get in touch with us. Please note that MyMedia, YouTube, Microsoft Stream and other streaming platforms usually convert and compress your original media for web streaming, so the original master needs to be preserved separately.||Native Microsoft backup only. For complete details on document recovery options see https://uthrprod.service-now.com/sp?id=kb_article&sys_id=46be5a8a1b957010a98e54a51a4bcb5f&spa=1 Microsoft backs up current content for disaster recovery only. It does not maintain snapshots, historic data, or offline copies.||Native Microsoft backup only. For complete details on document recovery options see https://uthrprod.service-now.com/sp?id=kb_article&sys_id=46be5a8a1b957010a98e54a51a4bcb5f&spa=1 Microsoft backs up current content for disaster recovery only. It does not maintain snapshots, historic data, or offline copies. Microsoft backs up data from SharePoint Online every 12 hours and retains this data for a period of 14 days.||Home and project space are backed up nightly. Retention periods vary with the host site. For backup practices at SciNet please see https://docs.scinet.utoronto.ca/index.php/Data_Management#Backup_Policy||Snapshots of the storage clusters are sent to an off-site facility at 15-minute intervals as an institutional protection against data loss but are not retained for long before rotation and are not intended to be used as a recovery service on a client VM. Any customer hosting a production service in the ITS Private Cloud is responsible for making their own backups using whatever service they wish. ITS offers a centralized backup service called UTORrecover. UTORrecover backups are stored in a different data centre facility on the University campus on completely separate storage infrastructure. Details and pricing can be found here: https://its.utoronto.ca/its-units/eis/hardware-infrastructure/backup-services/||Regular backups and geographically distributed storage for research data. FRDR's stated aim is for secure repository storage for a minimum of 10 years after deposit.||GitHub performs regular data backups of stored content for disaster recovery, and GitHub repositories can also be downloaded and backed up manually or using another storage system. GitHub is not designed to act as a backup service for content housed elsewhere.||CAC manages a next-generation backup system offering dual encrypted backups using IBM’s flagship product Spectrum Protect. CAC takes daily snapshots of home and project filesets on its GPFS system in addition to scheduled daily backups of home and project directories to Spectrum Protect (TSM).||Yes, configurable. Live data under active processing should be used locally before being copied here.||Yes, configurable. Live data under active processing should be used locally before being copied here.||Locally backed up for up to 30 days. File recovery procedure is performed by IT by user’s request, via Trouble Ticket.||Locally backed up for up to 30 days. File recovery procedure is performed by IT by user’s request, via Trouble Ticket.|
|Data Storage Location||Canada, United States||Canada||Canada||Canada||Canada||Canada||Canada||Canada||United States||Canada||Canada||Canada||Canada||Canada|
|Sharing Capabilities||Users can share files through Teams both internally and externally to U of T. Users can access their Teams environments (working group channels and shared files) through Teams or on SharePoint. Owners of Teams environments can easily manage access to files. Users can only access individual Teams Channels by invitation. Teams is now available to all graduate students. Note that Teams is not currently available to undergraduates.||Any data uploaded to Scholars Portal Dataverse can be made publicly available or can be restricted to authorized users only. You can easily manage the restrictions of your Dataverse and studies to be private, available to only certain IPs, to individual account(s), or to specific groups.||You may designate your MyMedia files as unpublished (available for playback only by the media owner) or published. Published files can be made publicly accessible or restricted to the University of Toronto community only. MyMedia provides an embed code or permanent play link that you can use to share MyMedia files.||You can control the sharing rights on individual documents or folders. Files may be accessed remotely. Files can be shared with users internal and external to U of T. Rights may be revoked at any time by the owner. Links to files shared externally have maximum 30-day lifespan and may be set for shorter periods. After link expiry, they must be renewed if continued access for externals is required. Restrictions on ability to edit or download shared files may be applied.||You can control access and site content permissions to anyone internal to UofT. External sharing is disabled by default on standalone SharePoint Online sites but can be enabled by request at the site level to invite external users. See more details for external sharing capabilities.||Any qualified researcher at a Canadian University is eligible to use Compute Canada resources for free. Data can be shared with other Compute Canada users, Canadian or not, as long as they are collaborators and sponsored by the PI. Once the faculty PI has made an account, they can sponsor research staff and graduate student accounts. Compute Canada files and folders can be shared with non-group members using filesystem permissions in the Compute Canada system.||Since the data would be stored on dedicated virtual servers managed by the customer, it is up to the customer to determine how data is shared and with whom, informed by the data classification.||FRDR provides powerful functionality to search for Canadian research data. This federated search tool aggregates metadata from numerous repositories, including datasets deposited in FRDR’s repository platform.||GitHub is an excellent tool for collaboration. Multiple users can work together on the same project, with the Git version control software ensuring that all file versions changes are tracked. GitHub repositories can be made public or created with user access limited to only approved users.||Data can be shared among Rotman researchers and their collaborators (internal and external to U of T).||Each share is restricted to only authorized users from the UTSC community.||Users can share files with other users at U of T and externally. Option to share files through a share link function. Options are available for public folder sharing and users can modify editing permissions and add password protection. Users can also let others upload files to the private cloud.||Access to data can be provided to anyone with a valid and active UTORid. Users can access the data by mapping a network drive. Off-UTM campus and Wireless users will need to use UTM VPN. External, long-term collaborators can be granted access but need to apply for a Long-Term UTORid via a sponsor at UofT.||Access to data can be provided to anyone with a valid and active UTORid. Users can access the data by mapping a network drive. Off-UTM campus and Wireless users will need to use UTM VPN. External, long-term collaborators can be granted access but need to apply for a Long-Term UTORid via a sponsor at UofT.|
|Example Use Case||Teams creates a shared group environment for collaborative work. Users are permissioned to a Teams environment and stored files can be viewed alongside integrated chat and video functions.||Dataverse is a great place for depositing data for sharing, re-use, or preservation once a research project is complete. Many journals and funders now require sharing of data. Data deposited in Dataverse are given DOIs and can include a related publication citation. If made publicly available, data and related metadata are indexed for public discovery.||MyMedia can be used to store and share videos and audio files.||Using OneDrive, you can securely store files in one place, easily share them with your colleagues, and access them from any device.||SharePoint enables groups to collaborate, share, and publish documents or web content using a variety of template options. It provides a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from almost any device and all major web browsers.||Any research needing computer processing power beyond that of a desktop computer can benefit from Compute Canada resources.||The ITS Private Cloud is best suited to hosting individual virtual machines running web servers, databases, etc. and is not designed to accommodate large-scale server clusters or “high performance computing” (HPC) applications.||FRDR is designed to provide a repository platform for all Canadian researchers. FRDR is an excellent choice for depositing large research datasets, and provides curation, discovery, and preservation services. Deposits are given DOIs and are discoverable alongside other Canadian collections in the FRDR Discovery Portal.||GitHub repositories can be used to host line-oriented datasets. It offers features such as access control, versioning, public sharing to enable data checking, and the option to create web pages for contextual information. GitHub Actions provide tools for developing automated workflows around GitHub repository content.||If you are a Rotman researcher and your computing needs are fairly large, this system can be of benefit to you.||A safe place to store large amounts of data on enterprise storage that is secure and protected. Also accessible via a web interface.||A Dropbox-like interface allows file sharing and data storage on secure enterprise storage.||UTM RES-NAS is an option for storing highly accessed or large databases of research data; for example, high bandwidth instruments that require direct access to a network storage location.||Used for standard and infrequent data access use cases, simple databases, datasets, and typical collaborative work.|
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Original creators of Data Storage Finder: Cornell University Research Data Management Service Group and Cornell Information Technologies Custom Development Group (2018). Finder Module. Drupal 8. https://github.com/CU-CommunityApps/CD-finder. Adaptation by University of Toronto, on WordPress 5.8.