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Research Data Storage

Northwestern researchers, faculty researchers, and post-doctoral researchers can choose from several research data storage options depending on their storage needs and data requirements. These services include: Research Data Storage Service, Quest Storage, and Northwestern Box.

NOTE: Only the Research Data Storage Service may be used to store data that is subject to regulatory or compliance requirements, including but not limited to:

Data Storage Options

Features and Uses Research Data Storage Service Quest Storage Northwestern Box


Desktop  Mountable Quest Login Web-based portal, desktop sync, and mobile Apps


 $137/TB Annually

 $355/1 TB –for 5 years  N/A

Data Loss Prevention

 Daily Snapshots and  replication  kept for 28 days  N/A File recovery from Trash up to 30 days
Intended for Non-Sensitive Data  Yes  Yes  Yes
Intended for Legally/Contractually Regulated Data
 Yes  No  No*

Special features/Limitations

Read-only or read-write access groups managed through Outlook Web Access Only accessible through Quest File size limit 15 GB

*Note: The Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences is part of an ongoing Northwestern IT pilot program to use this service for regulated data.

About the Storage Services

Research Data Storage Service

The Research Data Storage Service provides campus researchers the ability to subscribe to desktop mountable storage for research purposes. The service includes two types of storage based on data sensitivity guidelines:

  • Non-Audited – Appropriate for non-regulated and non-sensitive research data.
  • Audited – Appropriate for the storage of sensitive or regulated research data, such as Personal Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), or must be in compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and FISMA.

Quest Storage

Quest Storage connects to Quest, the University's high performance computing (HPC) system through InfiniBand fabric enabling high-speed access to read and write data.

Eligible researchers must submit a letter of intent to request this additional storage on a cost per TB increment basis.

This service may NOT be used to store legally or contractually restricted data.

Northwestern Box

Northwestern University has partnered with Box to deliver file sharing services to faculty, employees, and The Graduate School (TGS) students. Northwestern Box provides unlimited, flexible online space for storing or sharing files at no additional cost to schools, departments, or individuals. All Box content can be accessed online from computers or mobile devices.

This service may NOT be used to store data that is subject to regulatory or compliance requirements.

Last Updated: 20 December 2018

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