Flexible, Secure and Sharable Storage for Researchers


Academic researchers require access to storage services that meet their varied research needs. They also want to share research data and collaborate with other researchers worldwide.

Griffith’s 2009-2010 Seeding the Commons project funded by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) identified issues around the lack of storage and difficulties of collaborating with external partners. This study also noted the use of researchers using desktop/laptop and external hard drives as their primary places of data storage.

A 2012 Curtin Research Survey

(http://espace.library.curtin.edu.au/cgi-bin/espace.pdf?file=/2012/10/19/file_1/187518) also shows the extent of Australian institutions using Dropbox for storing research data.

Institutions want research data to be stored securely to protect intellectual property, insure confidentiality of research data and meet institution best practices with regards to research data storage.

Expectations are made of researchers and universities to retain and make some sets of research data available to other researchers or the public forever.

Information Technology (IT) departments want to be able to provide solutions that meet researcher needs in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.


Currently, it appears that no single product meets all research storage needs. As a result, Griffith have identified and created a number of different storage services required to meet researcher requirements and selected products that meet those requirements.

In 2013 Griffith University commissioned an archiving storage service that used a Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) solution based on Oracle’s SAM-QFS to provide cost-effective long-term storage for use by researchers.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of Griffith’s research storage services and focus in particular on our Dropbox-like collaborative research storage service (based on Owncloud), which launched in 2014.

We will also share the challenges, successes and lessons learnt as part of Griffith’s ongoing efforts to provide storage solutions to meet research needs.

Andrew Nielson and Stephen McGregor
Griffith University

3 thoughts on “Flexible, Secure and Sharable Storage for Researchers

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