Several cloud storage options are available to PNW faculty, staff, and students.
Cloud storage services provide remote data storage space to subscribers, allowing them to store and access their data from any device and any location. Purdue Northwest faculty, staff, and students have access to several services. Each service offers a wide array of features, including security and privacy, backup and restore, collaboration tools, and integration with common desktop and mobile applications. This guide will provide guidance on which service is right for you and your department, including the storage size capability and allowable data types for each option.
Note: Local server storage share (H:) will be retired at the end of December 2022 (read-only for all users December 2022, and disabled entirely in June 2023).
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service developed by Google. Google Drive integrates well with other Google services – such as Google applications (Docs, Sheets, etc.) and Google Mail (Gmail). Locally installed applications are available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices that facilitate automatic backup and sync of local files to the cloud, and between devices.
Google Drive allows for easy file sharing to other PNW users and the public. Entire folders may be shared, or individual files. Sharing can be limited to only PNW users, specific Google users, or anyone with a link to the file/directory. Collaboration between users works very well when accessing the file from Google applications, but not as well when opening non-Google app files (such as Microsoft documents, spreadsheets, etc.)
What classification of files can be stored on Google Drive?
Google Drive can only be used to store data classified as public (not sensitive or restricted.)
How do I get access to Google Drive?
Google Drive is currently available to all PNW faculty, staff, and students. Google Drive can be accessed by navigating from any browser, on any device, to https://drive.google.com. Authenticate using your full email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will then be directed to the central login page.
How do I use Google Drive?
Google has created a documentation page with instructions on using the various Google Drive services. Please contact CSC@PNW.EDU with any additional questions.
Are there storage size limitations on Google Drive?
Yes. Due to recent changes made by Google to academic accounts, users may be limited to 100GB or less of total storage space available. For many users, this may be a limiting factor on choosing Drive as their primary storage location.
Microsoft OneDrive is a Microsoft 365 cloud storage service where you can store, share, and sync your files. OneDrive is installed and available on all Windows devices, and has optional applications to integrate with Android, iOS, macOS devices.
Microsoft OneDrive allows for easy file sharing to other PNW users and the public. Entire folders may be shared, or individual files. Sharing can be limited to only PNW users or anyone with a link to the file/directory. Collaboration on Microsoft files, such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations is seamless when sharing files on OneDrive. Multiple users can edit these files concurrently, with changes shown to all users in real-time.
What classification of files can be stored on Microsoft OneDrive?
Microsoft OneDrive can only be used to store data classified as public (not sensitive or restricted.) Reviews are being conducted to determine if other file types may be stored.
How do I get access to Microsoft OneDrive?
Microsoft OneDrive is currently available to all PNW faculty, staff, and students.
- Windows users can search for the OneDrive application already installed on their computers. If using a PNW-managed computer, OneDrive will automatically authenticate using your PNW career account (as used to sign into the computer.) If using a personal computer, you will need to Add a Different Account in OneDrive.
- macOS users can download and install the OneDrive application. When prompted, authenticate using your PNW email address (email@example.com) and password.
- Android and iOS users can download and install the OneDrive application. When prompted, authenticate using your PNW email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password.
How do I use Microsoft OneDrive?
Microsoft has created a documentation page with instructions on using the various Microsoft OneDrive services. Please contact CSC@PNW.EDU with any additional questions.
Are there storage size limitations on Microsoft OneDrive
Yes. However, individual limits are upwards of 1TB+. Most users will never come close to reaching this threshold. If you are concerned about this limitation, please contact email@example.com to discuss your needs.
What classification of files can be stored on Box?
Box may be used to store data classified as public, sensitive, or restricted (depending on enrollment.) If you only need to store public classified data, follow the standard enrollment procedures below. If you need to store data classified as sensitive or restricted, you must first request access to the REED folder on Box. (See instructions on requesting access to REED below.)
How do I enroll in Box (for public data)?
Any actively enrolled student or currently employed staff or faculty member can use Box.
- Go to https://purdue.box.com in any browser.
- Click Continue, and enter your career account username & password.
If you have problems logging in, you may already have a Box account connected to your Purdue email, or you may not have an active license. If you have an existing Box account, log into it and remove your Purdue email address. If you still can’t log in, call the ITaP Help Desk at (765) 49-44000 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I request access to the REED folder in Box (for sensitive or restricted data)?
- Go to https://www.rcac.purdue.edu/orders/products?category=3 (Career Account login) and “order” the REED folder – Level 3 Data. It is a $0 cost order.
- You will receive a questionnaire to complete describing the data you are storing. Answer the best you can, marking N/A if something doesn’t apply. If asked to sign off on who in IT is supporting your request, you can write N/A there as well.
- Once your REED folder is created, you will be contacted to schedule a training session on folder security, using the file request feature, etc.
How do I use Box?
Spirion is a data protection and privacy software solution that helps organizations identify and protect sensitive data.
- Right-click on the folder location you want to search.
- In the context menu, look for the Spirion option or any relevant option related to data search. If you don’t see it, you might need to click Show More Options.
- Click on the Spirion option to initiate a quick search on the selected folder. There might be a small delay while the software loads.
- Review the search results displayed by Spirion.
Compare Your Storage Options
|Storage and File Transfer Options||PNW Network Drives||Cloud Storage||File Transfer||Wiki/Collaborative Sites||Personal Computer Hard Drive|
|Home (H) Drive||Departmental (R) Drive||Google Drive||Microsoft OneDrive||Box||FileLocker||Microsoft SharePoint||Confluence|
|Description||Storage allocated by PNW to faculty and staff, accessible through File Explorer.|
To be retired in December 2022.
|Storage allocated to a department. For storing files for collaboration with other members of your department.||File storage and synchronization service, developed by Google. Integrates well with other Google services, providing automatic backup and sync of local files to cloud and between devices. Collaborative function that works best when accessed from Google applications.||Cloud storage service through Microsoft 365. Built into PNW’s Office365 subscription.||Cloud based collaboration application for secure file storage. Box integrates with Microsoft 365, allowing multiple people to edit a file at the same time.||An open-sourced program from ITaP offering temporary secure storage for files and data. Allows faculty, staff and students to securely share files both on and off campus.||Web-based collaboration platform for document management and workflow. Functions for wikis, blogs, and more.||Web-based collaboration platform, primarily for wikis and blogs. Can be used for courses or departments, via Purdue.||(including any internal or external hard drives, CDs, DVDs and USB storage devices)
Personally owned devices. In almost all instances, restricted data should never be stored on personally owned computing devices.
|Requirements for use||Active faculty or staff||Active faculty or staff; based on department association||Active student, staff or faculty; accessible with @pnw email address||Active student, staff or faculty; accessible with @pnw email address. Must set up Microsoft MFA.||To store data classified as sensitive or restricted, you will need to first request access to the REED folder on Box.||Must have an active career account||Departments must name a primary and backup administrator to manage content.|
Requests for new sites, permissions, etc. can be sent to email@example.com
|Request through firstname.lastname@example.org||None. Data users are reminded to use central and departmental servers, where Purdue authentication is required, to store Purdue system data.|
|Preferred Option||❌ (after December 2022)||✔||✔||❌|
|Storage limits||5 GB||5 GB||Up to 1 TB of files or media||1000 GB||1 GB||Up to 1 TB of files or media||Determined by the capacity of the device|
|Data retention policy||30 days (for deleted users)||Files and messages removed after 30 days||30 days (for deleted users)|
|For use with sensitive and restricted data (FERPA or HIPAA)||❌||❌||❌||❌||✔, if using REED folder||✔||❌||❌||❌|
|Built in file share||❌||Only with those who access the department drive||✔||✔||✔||✔||Only those who have permissions for the department share site||❌||❌|
|Integrated into Microsoft 365||❌||❌||❌||✔||✔||❌||✔||❌||✔|
|Uses Purdue Login or MFA to access||❌||❌||✔||✔||✔||✔||❌||❌||❌|
|Available to students for use||❌||❌||✔||✔||❌||✔||❌||✔, in some instructional cases||❌|
|For the person wanting…||No access after June 2023||Only to share with those in department||A network share feeling||A ‘set and forget’ feeling; hands-off||Sensitive or restricted data storage||FTP and no long-term storage||Web based collaboration and storage; library-esque file checkout||Web based wiki-style collaboration and storage||Limited backups and security|