IT Connect
Your connection to information technology at the UW

Online storage

The UW offers online storage solutions that meet a variety of online storage needs. Some are designed for easy access and collaboration with others on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc., while others are good for storing large amounts of data, system backups, extensive libraries, or allow for a higher degree of security. Check with your local IT department or administrator for their online storage recommendations, policies, and guidelines suited to your needs. UW Records Management Services Choosing the Right Electronic Storage Location guide provides a breakdown of the security, privacy and complaince policy considerations for various online storage platforms.

U Drive: Central File Storage for Users

U Drive is a central file storage that provides students, faculty and staff with a place to store files that can be accessed from anywhere, on- and off-campus. U Drive files are available via the network in real time, from any computer on campus, both personal and institutionally owned. Files are automatically backed up and accessible from off campus with a virtual private network like Husky OnNet. Note: This service is not appropriate for storing regulatory-protected data, or sensitive information that may be subject to compliance regulations, such as HIPAA and FERPA.

More about U Drive

Shared File Systems

The following shared file services are provided by or in cooperation with UW-IT. Your department may have its own shared file service.

Standard Windows File Service
Windows File Service (WFS) provides IT departments scalable and secure file-based storage targeted towards Windows clients.

Managed Workstation File Services
Managed Workstation Services provides three file service options: Managed Workstation Home Directory, Managed Workstation Shared File Services, and Managed Workstation Windows File Services.

Shared File System for Research Archives (lolo)
The lolo Archive is a file-based repository for researchers. It is appropriate for data that you rarely access, but for which you want to ensure long-term safekeeping and fast, convenient retrieval.

Alternatives to traditional file storage

UW Google Drive

UW Google Drive is included in UW Google and is designed as a collaborative service for document creation and sharing. Content can be accessed from any device with an internet connection using a web browser or mobile apps. This service is not intended as a general-purpose file server and sometime in the near future will be subject to a reduced storage quota from the current unlimited size. Note: UW Google Drive is FERPA-aligned but is not HIPAA-aligned.

More about UW Google Drive

Please note: As of 8/25/21, the creation of new UW Google accounts for Shared UW NetIDs and the creation of new Google Shared Drives has been disabled. Additional changes to UW Google are likely. For more detail and regular updates, see UW Google Changes Project.

UW Office 365

UW Office 365 is designed as a collaborative service for document creation and sharing platform with a wide range of user experiences and workflows. Content can be accessed from any device with an internet connection using a web browser or mobile apps. This service is not intended as a general-purpose file server and comes with a limited storage quota. Note: UW Office 365 is both FERPA- and HIPAA-aligned.

Storage options in UW Office 365 include:

More about UW Office 365

File Service Comparison

View a detailed comparison of file service capabilities. The comparison, compiled by the Managed Workstation Services, helps determine if a file service option meets your needs, specifically on Managed Workstation computers.

Storage Quotas

A storage quota is the maximum amount of storage space allocated to each computing account on an online storage system. Each system may have different storage quotas and policies, and some systems may allow users to purchase additional storage at an additional charge.

More about storage quotas

Considerations

Be sure to check with your local IT department for their online storage recommendations, policies and guidelines. Some departments may have specific requirements or systems for you to use, or other considerations when choosing an online storage option.

You should be certain the online storage system you choose meets the regulatory compliance standards of HIPAA and/or FERPA, if either of those laws apply to the information you are storing.

Many collaborative applications like UW SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365 Groups also include a form of online storage for files.