Storage Options

How you should store data depends on the nature of your data, and the degree of security required to protect your data against unauthorized access or accidental loss. Data security is about more than just confidentiality — even if you don't deal with sensitive information, your data may be crucial to University business continuity, and you should protect it against technical problems or hardware theft.

ITS offers several secure file storage options, including options for collections of data that you and your colleagues use collaboratively. Please refer to the collaboration and file sharing web page for other options.


Faculty and Staff Options

Service & Capacity Features

Central File Services



  • (3-lock data compliant)
  • You are required to use Central file services servers for storage of ePHI whenever any of the following conditions apply:    

    1. More than 500 ePHI records are stored.

    2. Data is shared with other users.

    3. More than 500 GB of data is stored.

  • Allows one person to access files from multiple locations on-campus, or multiple people to share files with each other. 
  • Files can be accessed from any Windows or Macintosh computer on-campus. Clients can access the same file space from locations off-campus when VPN is enabled.
  • Viruses can erase or damage data – The central file service is protected by robust virus checking.
  • Share critical files and directories on shared secure disk space via Windows drive mappings or Macintosh mounted volumes (not Web accessible).
  • Access to data stored on a share can be restricted by a person or group, allowing some people to have read-only permission and others full control to edit and delete.
  • Files, directories, and sub-directories are backed up, allowing the ability to restore recently deleted files.

Virtual Server Service

50 GB

(additional storage is available in 50 GB increments)



  • (3-lock data compliant)
  • Virtual servers use less power and cooling, support University sustainability goals and improve resource utilization in the data center.
  • Virtual servers should be less affected by hardware failures and maintenance requirements.
  • Provisioning a virtual server is much faster than provisioning a physical server.
  • Servers can host applications, databases, or file storage.

Research Storage Solution

Storage Capacity Varies


  • (3-lock data compliant)
  • Access: Allows access to your data for individual and multiple users from multiple locations on and off campus. Off-campus users must connect via the VPN.
  • Mirroring: Files, directories, and sub-directories are mirrored, allowing for their recovery in the event of complete appliance failure or physical disaster in one data center. The data is replicated between the two devices and no archival back-up data is retained. This means a copy of current files will exist on the second device (located in the ITS data center), but previous versions of files will not be kept.  We can also provide snapshots as well as mirror the data to a second data center.
  • Security: You control access by specifying the NetIDs (only users with valid Yale NetIDs can be specified) of those who can gain access to any particular “folder” of data. 

Online Collaborative Spaces

Storage Capacity Varies


  • Web-based collaborative work space for departments and teams to share information.
  • Two of the most used are ClassesV*2 (aka Sakai) and Microsoft Sharepoint.


Student Options

Method & Capacity Features

Optical Media

~ 700MB (CD-R/RWs)

~4.5GB (DVD-ROM/RWs)

~8.5GB (DVD-R Dual Layer)

~25GB (Blu-ray)

~50GB (Blu-ray Dual Layer)

Where to purchase...

Optical storage is a good way to create regular small backups over a time span, and their ease of storage is both a blessing and a curse, since they can be easily lost, and must be cared for to prevent scratches



  • Long-term storage with little decay
  • Can do many backups at regular intervals and store conveniently
  • Inexpensive


  • Can become scratched or heat-warped
  • Relatively small storage capacity

USB Flash Drive
(aka "Jumpdrive/Thumbdrive")


Where to purchase...

Flash Drives have rapidly surpassed optical discs as the fast way to transfer files and documents. They are durable and reliable, but can age quickly and should not be used for long-term storage or heavy file transfer.



  • Many models are durable
  • Convenient and fast
  • Most work on both Windows and MacOS X


  • Small and easy to misplace
  • No read/write protection on many models

External Hard Drive


Hundreds of GB or Several TB

Where to purchase...

External hard drives come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, but are an invaluable way to quickly backup large amounts of data. They are less durable than flash drives, but have longer life spans and are generally more reliable for long-term storage.



  • High Capacity
  • Fast data transfer
  • Reliable, depending on model


  • Often heavy and/or sensitive to transport
  • Potential for mechanical failure
  • Often not transferrable between Windows/MacOS X


Related services
  • ITS Backup Service
    • The ITS backup service provides clients with the ability to automatically (usually nightly) or manually backup critical files and directories to the backup system. Functions of the network back-up service include:
      • Backup: Scheduled or manual backups of your data and important computer system files.
      • Security: The ability to recover previous versions of files, or files that have been deleted.
  • Mobile Storage Devices