The University provides a number of data storage services.

Personal network drive (H)

Your IT account has a default allocation of personal filespace on the University network.

This filespace appears as the H:\ drive on any networked computer you log onto on campus and is accessible via Computer or Windows Explorer. You can also access your H:\ drive off campus on personal devices via the Virtual Private Network (VPN), and on University laptops using Remote Access - all you need is an internet connection. See our Remote Access page for details.

Only you have access to your H:\ drive, via your login credentials.

You should only use your H:\ drive to store your personal work-related data and, if you manage others, data associated with that role.

Examples of the sort of data you might store on H include:

  • Personal work-related: holiday record, archived email (PST), job description, training/course materials/presentations, transient work data where you are not able to work online (e.g. if you are developing course materials, before publishing them on VLE)
  • If you manage other members of staff: job descriptions, appraisal information, disciplinary correspondence

If you need additional filespace, please contact our Service Desk.

Business related data and work files should be stored on the appropriate departmental or research specific shared drives. For example, if you are working on a research project, all research data should be in project specific shared space. See Shared tab for details.

 

Note: IT Services are unable to backup data you store on your C drive (hard drive). Any data stored here that becomes lost or corrupted cannot be restored.

 

Shared network drives

Colleges, Schools, and University Administration all have allocated filespace accessible via shared network drives for storing University business data (data supporting teaching and learning, research, and administration).

All data on the network storage system can be accessed from one starting point: \\uoa\global. Once this path is mapped in Windows, you will see the following directory structure:

  • Admin
  • CASS
  • Classrooms
  • CLSM
  • COPS
  • Other

You can navigate through this structure to folders and files you have permissions to access. Contact local admin colleagues for further information.

Note: IT Services are unable to backup data you store on your C drive (hard drive). Any data stored here that becomes lost or corrupted cannot be restored.

Additional Storage

Additional storage requirements may be met from shared drive allocations to Colleges/Departments/Projects, or through the purchase of additional storage (minimum purchase ½ TB). This must be owned by a member of staff who will be responsible for ensuring that the storage is used appropriately.

If you require additional storage, please contact the Service Desk in the first instance.

Research

Allocation of filespace

Researchers should, where possible, include data storage and archive costs in their research funding applications. Where grant funding is unavailable, each Principal Investigator (PI) can access up to 2TB of secure network storage per project, at no cost. Storage requirements above this allocation should be met by school or other available funds.

If you need to access this allocation, or require to purchase additional storage, please contact the Service Desk.

Guidance on supplying information to third parties

This document provides detailed information about the University’s unstructured data storage service on the University’s centrally managed servers. This helps research staff understand the system and can also be consulted when completing requests for information (e.g. from third parties, such as funding bodies) on how we store and secure data.

Backup/Retention/Restoration

All data stored on University servers is backed up on a regular basis and can be recovered via the restoration service.

  • All files on your H:\ drive (Home file space) or shared drives are backed-up by IT Services
    • You should always use these drives for all business related files
  • Due to the volume of data, weekly and monthly backups are run on different days of the week

Summary of Backup Policy

A backup is a copy of data that may be used to restore the original in the event that it is lost or damaged beyond repair as a result of human error, hardware failure, or major disaster.

Files are backed up nightly, weekly and monthly, and backups retained for up to 6 months. Service Desk staff can assist you with recovery of deleted files up to this age limit.

PeriodRetentionData protection
Nightly 10 days rolling retention

Files and folders can be restored to any nightly backed up version in the last 10 days

Files or folders that are created and subsequently deleted within the 24 hour window between backups are not retained.

Weekly 12 week rolling retention

Files and folders can be restored to any weekly backed up version in the last 12 weeks

Beyond 10 days, files or folders that are created and subsequently deleted within the 7 day window between backups are not retained.

Monthly (every 4 weeks) 6 month rolling retention

Files and folders can be restored to any monthly backed up version in the last 6 months

Beyond 12 weeks, files or folders that are created and subsequently deleted within the 4 week window between backups are not retained.

Archiving

Long-term archival is a separate process from backup.

Archiving is where a folder or file is set aside (not required to be regularly accessed but must be retained) for a specified period of time. For example, archiving of data may be required to meet funding body conditions, legislative requirements, or for long term comparative studies.

  • Large amounts of data may be archived, on request, for a specified period of time - current storage charges will apply
    • Where possible, research staff are encouraged to build long term archiving costs into grant applications
  • The archival process stores files as they are at the point of archive. This means that, on request, a file will be provided as it stood at time of archive. The file owner may have to address any future incompatibilities (eg software), as this is beyond the scope and control of this service

For advice on archiving data, please contact the Service Desk in the first instance.

OneDrive for Business

What is OneDrive for Business and what can I use it for?

OneDrive for Business is an integral part of Microsoft Office 365 and provides cloud-based file storage for your work-related files. You can save, edit, share, and sync your files from any device with an internet connection and collaborate on documents with UoA colleaguesand students.

Although stored data is encrypted and visible only to you unless you choose to share it, you should not use OneDrive for Business for storing data that is highly sensitive or confidential, or that contains personal details. Please use University provided network storage for this type of data.

OneDrive for Business is a cloud storage service. Files stored on OneDrive for Business are stored within Microsoft’s data centres located in the EU, not at the University of Aberdeen.

 

Is ‘OneDrive for Business’ the same as ‘OneDrive’?

No. OneDrive for Business and OneDrive are different services.

  • OneDrive for Business is online storage intended for business purposes. It allows you to share and collaborate on work documents with colleagues.
  • OneDrive is personal online storage that you get with a personal Microsoft account. You’re free to decide how you want to use it but you cannot link to it from your OneDrive for Business account.
  • It is not possible to share files between OneDrive for Business and OneDrive accounts.

Is OneDrive for Business available for staff and students?

OneDrive for Business is available for both staff and students via Office 365.

How do I access OneDrive for Business?

Sign in at https://www.office.com/ with your University username@abdn.ac.uk – e.g. s01jb3@abdn.ac.uk – and password.

Or login to OWA, or any other Office 365 app, and launch OneDrive from the app launcher.

How do I use OneDrive for Business?

You can create and edit files directly from within OneDrive for Business.

In addition, when working in MS Office 365 applications on University owned and managed devices you have the option to save files directly to OneDrive for Business. This appears as OneDrive – University of Aberdeen in the save dialog, alongside other locations.
(Note: If you have a personal Microsoft Office 365 account, you may also see the option to save to OneDrive.)

OneDrive for Business save option from MS Office applications on University managed devices

For guidance on getting started, see Microsoft's support site - look under the Work or school heading.

How secure is OneDrive for Business?

Although stored data is encrypted and visible only to you unless you choose to share it, you should not use OneDrive for storing data that is highly sensitive or confidential, or that contains personal details. Please use University provided network storage for this type of data. It is up to individual users to ensure that they understand the type of information they hold, the sensitivity of that information, and to ensure it is handled appropriately. 

What happens if I delete a file?

Deleted files go to the Recycle Bin but can be restored from here at any time within a 90-day period. After 90 days they are deleted permanently.

What happens to my data when I leave the University?

Your OneDrive for Business account, including any files stored there, is deleted when you leave the University.