Performing system backups and keeping reliable copies of your data on separate storage platforms is an integral part of responsible data management. We recommend keeping at least two copies of your data. However, storing multiple copies of your data is not the same as finding long-term access and preservation solutions. For long-term access and preservation options see our Public Access to Data and Long-term Preservation pages.
Approaches to Maintaining Copies
Cloud storage. You can use Box @ UNH to store copies of your data on remote cloud servers. Box @ UNH is a cloud-based storage solution that provides UNH researchers unlimited storage. Data is stored on remote replicated cloud-based servers which allow for collaboration and multiple user access. This is an ideal place for storing copies of your data.
Active storage. You can store copies of your active research data to Rocinante, RCC’s central shared storage system. This system offers up to 2TB of research storage space to UNH researchers without cost to the individual or unit. This storage is intended for researchers who need a safe place to store their data. If you need a second copy for laboratory computers, hosting of large data sets (e.g. too big for UNH Box), scratch space for analysis, or have data on a laptop or desktop and need a more secure place to put it, then we encourage you to stop by during one of our drop-in sessions. If space permits, larger amounts of storage will be available at a cost.
Automated backup. You can use the built-in features of your operating system or a backup software tool to make copies of your data. Backup software allows you to copy your data to portable storage media such as an external hard drive. CD/DVDs and external hard drives have a life expectancy of up to 5 years and are not reliable for long-term storage. You should not rely on them as your only copy of important data. USB (thumb) drives should only be used for temporary copies of non-sensitive information, such as bringing a copy of your conference presentation.
UNH IT does not recommend the use of portable storage media for most types of sensitive data.
You can use native backup programs found on your operating system:
- Mac OS - Time Machine
- Microsoft - Windows Backup and Robocopy
- Linux - rsync and Duplicity / Deja Dup