Research Data Service

Active data storage

Discover how to use DataStore to hold your active research data securely.


DataStore is a file store for active research data, and is available to all research staff and postgraduate research students (PGRs).

DataStore provides the following key features:

  • a free 'at point of use' individual allocation of 500 GB for every researcher (research staff and postgraduate research students)
  • individual allocations can be pooled into 'group spaces' for free; additional capacity for group spaces can be purchased
  • new storage allocations can be created immediately
  • backed up to 3 different locations with offsite disaster recovery platform and offsite backup and retention
    • daily file system snapshots are available online for 14 days
    • daily off site tape backups have up to 60 day retention period
  • access is restricted to computers registered on the University of Edinburgh network using University login credentials or via the University Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • support for very large data (>1 PB)
  • you can connect your DataStore personal allocation or group space with DataSync to share your files anywhere and with anyone
  • NOTE: DataStore is not encrypted, and additional safeguards are needed if working with sensitive data (see 'Data security')

More details on the DataStore backup schedule are available on the Research Services wiki

DataStore group spaces

DataStore “group spaces” are storage spaces on the DataStore file store suitable for sharing data and collaboration within research groups.

Individual allocations can be pooled into group spaces for free and each researcher may allocate up to half (250 GB) of their individual allocation to group spaces. Additional group space can also be purchased (see below).

To request a group space created through pooled individual allocations, a researcher should email the IS Helpline with the following information:

  1. Name for the group space
  2. Universal User Names (UUNs) of those who may access the folder
  3. Desired size in GB
  4. Which researchers are allocating space from their individual allocations

Read the allocation policy for DataStore for further information:

Purchasing DataStore group storage

In addition to allocating half their individual allocation to a group space, researchers can also purchase DataStore group storage. This can be requested through the Storage Manager web portal, which can also be used for managing the quota of your DataStore group space.

Storage Manager web portal

Costs for additional storage

Accessing DataStore

You can connect to DataStore as a network shared drive, and users of the University’s Supported Desktop already have their individual DataStore space mapped to their M: drive. Other connection methods and full connection instructions for different operating systems are available on the Network Shares web page.

You can control access to your DataStore group space through the Group Manager Wizard or by contacting the IS Helpline with your access requirements.

For further guidance and support:

Data security

Research data classified as personal or confidential will require additional security.

Please visit the Information Security website to learn more about keeping data safe.