Various University services are available for securely storing, sharing, collaborating on and publishing files. This page gives an overview of key services and provides advice about which is most appropriate to use under which circumstances.



 Information about key file storage services

  • Page:
    Microsoft Teams help and training — multi featured collaboration tool. You can share and collaborate on files with groups, host conversations, video conference, meet online and chat with anyone.
  • Page:
    Microsoft OneDrive help and training — provides secure cloud storage as part of Office 365. It is a personal storage service in which all files are associated with individual IT accounts. You can access your files from anywhere via a web browser, mobile apps and from your PC or Mac.
  • Page:
    Departmental filestores help — Shared files in departmental filestores are accessible via PCs on campus (via drives such as P:, R:, S:, T: and Z: respectively) and from off campus (using the VPN). Files are shared with departmental colleagues.
  • Page:
    Personal filestore (H drive) help — A personal filestore is available to store your files on site at Lancaster University, with a default quota of 10GB that can be increased on request. Files are accessible via PCs on campus (via the H: Drive) and from off campus (using the VPN). Files are accessible only to you.


For information about how to move files between these services, see Moving files between different file storage services.




 Tool to help decide which service to use

The tool below can help you decide which service is best for your circumstances and guide you to appropriate guidance and help.





 Comparison of all file storage, sharing, collaboration and publishing services
Files stored in service...Available for... (upload of files)File sharing possible with...Used for...Access via...Default quota...Acceptable information classifications...
Microsoft TeamsAll staff and students
  • Any named person (internal or external)
  • Everyone in the university
  • Collaboration with colleagues, students and externals
  • Sharing files in departments
  • Sharing files widely within the university
  • File explorer (PC)
  • Finder (Mac)
  • Mobile app
  • Web

250TB per team

15GB individual file size limit

  • Ordinary
  • Confidential
  • Restricted
  • Personal
Microsoft OneDriveAll staff and students
  • Any named person (internal or external)
  • Everyone in the university
  • Your own cloud-based file storage space
  • File explorer (PC)
  • Finder (Mac)
  • Mobile app
  • Web

2TB per person*

15GB individual file size limit

  • Ordinary
  • Confidential
  • Restricted
  • Personal
Personal FilestoreAll staff and students
  • Not supported 
  • Your own file storage space
  • File explorer (PC)
  • Finder (Mac)

VPN needed off campus

10GB per person*

  • Ordinary
  • Confidential
  • Restricted
  • Personal
Departmental filestoresStaff in some departments
  • Your department
  • Departmental file storage space
  • File explorer (PC)
  • Finder (Mac)

VPN needed off campus

High capacity

  • Ordinary
  • Confidential
  • Restricted
  • Personal
Research filestoresResearchers (by request)
  • Your internal research group
  • High speed, high capacity research file storage space
  • File explorer (PC)
  • Finder (Mac)

VPN needed off campus

High capacity
  • Ordinary
  • Confidential
  • Restricted
  • Personal
MoodleAcademic department staff
  • Students enrolled on a course
  • Staff sharing files with students
  • Web
  • Mobile app
High capacity
  • Ordinary
TerminalFour CMSWeb or intranet editors
  • Anyone in the world
  • Publishing content to the web
  • Publishing content to the intranet
  • Web

High capacity

100MB individual file size limit

  • Ordinary
Web spaceAll staff and students (by request)
  • Anyone in the world
  • Publishing content to the web
  • File explorer (PC)
  • Finder (Mac)

VPN needed off campus

50MB per person*

High capacity for departments

  • Ordinary
WordpressAll staff and students (by request)
  • Anyone in the world
  • Publishing content to the web
  • Web
1GB per site
  • Ordinary


*The quotas listed are the default level. With some services, quotas are able to be increased on request.

For information about how to move files between these services, see Moving files between different file storage services.

There are also a range of other, more specialist services available for you to consider, such as PURE.




Download key information infographic poster


Files should always be stored using a University-supported services as these are backed up and secure. Please don't store files on USB drives or on the hard drive of your PC, as these are not backed up or secure.



Frequently asked questions

 Can I move files between services? e.g. from filestores to Teams or OneDrive?
 Are there benefits of using a cloud-based Office 365 service like OneDrive or Teams?

Using Office 365 cloud-based services offers various advantages over personal and departmental filestores. These include:

  • Access to files from mobile devices;
  • Easier access to files from Macs;
  • Access to files from anywhere in the world without requiring VPN;
  • No need to spend time mapping network drives – just install an app on any device for immediate access to files;
  • Ability to selectively synchronise certain files for offline access with ease;
  • Ability for multiple people to edit Microsoft Office documents at the same time, however they open the file (desktop app, web app or mobile app), avoiding the file conflicts that occur frequently in departmental filestores and making business processes more efficient;
  • Significantly higher default quota meaning the vast majority of people will never run in to quota-related issues (2TB in Microsoft OneDrive versus 10GB in personal filestore, 250TB per Team);
  • Complete and immediate control over who you share teams, files and folders with, without having to wait for requests to be fulfilled;
  • Ability to generate shared links to files;
  • Ability to collaborate with those external to the University;
  • Ability to easily collaborate and share files with students;
  • Ability to form groups and collaborate across traditional departmental hierarchies with ease (for example, for cross-department projects);
  • Direct integration into Microsoft Office, meaning all files are constantly automatically saved, so you don't have to remember to use the save button and never lose any data;
  • Direct integration to Outlook, meaning files are shared securely using links, discouraging the poor and inefficient practice of sending email attachments.



 What is the difference between using OneDrive and Teams for file storage?

 Video explaining difference between Teams and OneDrive

OneDrive is a service for storing your files. Files are owned by individuals, though others can be invited to folders as collaborators if desired and files can be shared using links. As files are owned by individuals, your files are deleted when you leave the university.

Teams is designed for wider collaboration beyond just files, including on-going conversations, collaborating on planning, linking to other content such as web content and holding online meetings. It allows groups to be formed across departmental boundaries to collaborate. Files stored in Teams aren't owned by any single user, but can be updated, discussed and distributed by all members of the Team.

OneDrive

Teams

Personal filestore

Group / Team filestore & wider feature set

Associated with individual IT accounts – deleted when you leave

Not associated with individual IT accounts – not deleted when you leave

Can share your files with others

Can collaborate on Team files with the Team

Can share Team files widely with the university

Security, methods of access and features are the same across both

Quota level 2TB per person for OneDrive, 250TB per Teams team




 Where should I store my research data?

Various services are available to staff and postgraduate researchers for research data storage. You should use the tool above to help guide you to the most appropriate service for you.

For further advice about research data management, see the library's advice on Research Data Management planning.



 Can I use these services to store my personal files?

You are allowed to store personal files in your personal filestore (H: Drive) and in OneDrive. This might include photos and documents. There are some best practice guidelines below.

  • Do not store any files locally on your computer (on the C: Drive on a Windows PC). They are likely to be lost in the event of PC failure, and may not be securely stored.
  • Ensure files are only stored in your personal filestore or OneDrive – don't store personal files in the departmental filestore.
  • If you store files in OneDrive, create a separate folder for them and ensure it is not shared.
  • Ensure adherence with relevant copyright and other laws with any stored materials.




 What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is the storing and accessing of files in specialised internet based services. These services allow you to access files from many different computers and devices  just as long as you have internet access and can remember your username and password.



There are a large number of free online cloud services that make it very easy and quick to provision services and share data. While we understand that these are often an attractive solution these sites often have intrusive terms and conditions and put university data at risk. It is the University’s policy that personal data must only be processed or stored on, or by services that have been assessed and that have a valid data contract with the University. 

Some examples of sites and services that the university does not have an agreement with include, but not limited to:

  • Google Mail/Drive/Suite
  • Apple iCloud
  • Dropbox
  • Amazon
  • FlipDrive
  • MailChimp
  • Benchmark




 Which cloud storage is allowed for University data?

For online storage and collaboration Lancaster has an agreement with Microsoft (Office 365) that permits classifications of data to be uploaded, up to and including personal data (for more information, see Information classifications). Office 365 is available to all users of the University. It is a good rule of thumb that uploading University personal data to any other free service is against the university policy and would also see us in breach of the Data Protection regulations. This is not exclusive to file sharing and storage sites, but any external site that requires you to share personal data with them. 

When sharing files via cloud services, extra care should be taken to ensure data remains protected.

Storing data in the cloud

The services offered by cloud providers and how they manage the data they process is however, by their very nature, outside the control of the University. Unless the University has a contract with the service provider, this presents a significant risk in terms of being able to prevent a breach of the General Data Protection Regulations. 

The table below summarises the classifications and related encryption requirements of files placed in cloud services.


Information Classification

Electronic Information stored on 

University Office 365
(e.g. Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint)


Other Cloud
(e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive etc.)

Ordinary


Acceptable 

(including special category personal data)

Acceptable

Confidential

 Encryption required

Restricted

Personal

Personal data NOT permitted in other cloud providers

Your responsibilities

It is your responsibility to ensure that where systems can synchronise data automatically with Cloud Service storage (such as DropBox or EverNote), they must be configured in such a way as to prevent any confidential, restricted or personal data from being automatically synchronised. For example, in Teams and OneDrive you can set permissions when sharing files to disable the downloading of files.

If your account for a cloud service becomes compromised and you have used that service to process any University data (personal or otherwise) you must report this to your Head of Department/Section and to ISS to ensure that appropriate steps may be taken to minimise its impact.




 Where can I find out more about records management, retention and governance for university data?

 Which service should I use for archiving files?

Before looking at which IT service is most appropriate, it is recommended that you seek advice from Strategic Planning and Governance as to whether it is appropriate to retain and archive your files, or whether it is more appropriate to delete them. For guidance on this, see: Records management.

If you are required to retain files, it is recommended they are stored in a filestore service, such as Departmental filestores. It is not recommended to keep archives of data in cloud services such as Microsoft Teams or Microsoft OneDrive as these services are for current, working files.




Download key information infographic poster

Training

Access online courses now

Blogging with WordPress

Communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Introduction to Moodle (for staff)

Managing files with Microsoft OneDrive

Request access to online TerminalFour CMS training


Register for upcoming sessions

View additional dates and topics


Request a session in your area