Whether you are a student, staff, or faculty member, your electronic files are critical to your work at Western. Most of us, unfortunately, have experienced some data loss due to failed hardware, file corruption, and sometimes malware. To avoid the disaster of data loss, you should carefully choose the place where you store your data.
Western has many applications that safely store and process data such as Banner, Canvas, MyHousing (StarRez) and PageUp. We all have many additional files that are not managed by these enterprise systems, such as Office documents, text files, photos, videos, and research data files. For these, we need:
- secure data storage,
- the ability to file share with collaborators,
- a method for restoration from older file versions,
- backups for catastrophic data loss, and
- large storage capacity.
Ten years ago, our solution was to store our personal files on our desktop computers, and maybe back it up to a tape, hard drive, or other external storage media. If you worked at a company or the University, you would also have a network file drive. Today we have much better options.
For your file storage, Western strongly recommends using our Office 365 environment. Your data is stored in multiple locations on redundant hardware and is available with the Office Applications from any Mac or Windows system. Also, all data is web accessible, making it available to any system that supports a web browser. You can easily restore earlier versions with a few clicks. Office 365 is safe and meets compliance requirements for any type of confidential data. Security tools are continuously monitoring the environment and you will know if there is a problem with one of your files! OneDrive for your personal files has 1 TB of storage, and SharePoint and Teams storage is unlimited!
For University staff, keep in mind that University data can only be stored in approved locations. Never store University data in storage accounts such as Dropbox, Box, or personal (i.e., non-University managed) Office 365 or Google Docs environments. For any confidential data stored outside of a University-managed enterprise application, the only approved location is the University’s Office 365 environment. Staff may only use the University’s Google Docs for non-confidential data because the University does not have an agreement in place for confidential data and only offers limited support.
To learn more about Office and other file storage options at Western, please visit ATUS’s File Storage, File Sharing, and Backups page. If you need assistance with special storage needs such as high-performance local storage or databases, open a ticket with ATUS.