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Research Data Storage Service

The Research Data Storage Service (RDSS) allows campus researchers to subscribe to a minimum of one Terabyte (TB) of desktop mountable storage for research purposes. This service, in addition to Sharepoint, provides a platform to store research data. RDSS can accommodate large files (no size limit) and satisfies most security protocols needed for Northwestern research data, including HIPAA.

About the Service

The Research Data Storage Service is the University’s central research storage platform. It includes two storage zones based on data regulation guidelines:

Once storage has been allocated, campus researchers will access the service by mapping a network drive to the provisioned share.

RDSS is housed at the University’s central data centers; these resources benefit from a secure, reliable, and stable environment and are designed to meet the storage needs of our researchers.

Key Service Features and Benefits

*You must be on the Northwestern University computer network to access the Research Data Storage Service share drive. If accessing the share remotely, Northwestern VPN is also required.

How to Request RDSS Storage

RDSS Request Form

The requesting researcher (primary contact) must complete the Research Data Storage Service Request form. Both the primary and secondary contacts must have a Northwestern University MS-Exchange email account to be able to manage access permissions. If an exchange account is needed, please contact the IT Support Center. The request form requires a valid University Chart of Accounts String. If sponsored funds are used for purchase of data storage, the faculty member is responsible for assuring the purchase is consistent with the purpose and aims of the grant. The faculty member will complete any necessary rebudgeting of the sponsored project, if required, to ensure appropriate management of the funds.

Within five days of requesting service, Northwestern Information Technology (IT) will email instructions on how to access the shared network and manage user access permissions.

Automatic Renewals

Every August, Northwestern IT will send the primary contact an email reminder that their Chart of Accounts String will be charged beginning September 1, unless the allocation is canceled. Participants who wish to discontinue service, must notify by August 31 of each year. Data in discontinued storage allocations will not be retained by Northwestern IT. 

*** For Feinberg Researchers  Only***

To request storage, visit the Storage Options web page. The Feinberg IT Infrastructure group will consult with the individual making the request for storage and will recommend the preferred option for the specific storage needs. Questions about storage can be addressed to Please note that the FSM storage is not mountable on Quest.


The annual cost is $137.00 per 1 TB of storage with the option to pre-pay for storage up to 5 years in advance. New orders will be pro-rated based on the date of purchase. See the table below:

Month/Period Activated Cost/TB
September 1 - November 30 $137.00
December 1 - February 28 $102.75
March 1 - May 31 $  68.50
June 1 - August 31 $  34.25

Additional Information and Documentation

Last Updated: 30 June 2022

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