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Storage - Data Storage Guidelines

Pioneers are provided access to a number of file storage locations. With these options come questions regarding content, access, security and reliability. Following are guidelines for whether and where to save University data. You are responsible for your own data, whether it is personal or work-related.

Should I save my data?*

If you are not working with University records, then the first question you should ask when working with data is, “Do I need to save this?” 

  • If you can look the data up from an existing source when needed, then your answer should be “no”.
  • If that source does not exist, then the data should be saved.

* Employees, when determining if data should be saved, be mindful of the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) guidelines for management and retention of public records. For more information, see the Records Management resources available at the UWSA website.

Where should I keep my data?

When working with your own data, there are no restrictions on where you must save those files. However, if you are working with University data, UW System Information Security policy requires that University data must be saved to storage provided or approved by the University. Simply, do not use personal accounts or personal devices to store University data. 

When looking at data reliability, a safe approach is: if a file does not exist in two places, it does not exist at all! While ITS automatically backs up data on campus network storage, we do not have the ability to automatically back up files stored to your local computer or removable devices. Remember to make copies of files that are important to you.

What storage options are available?

   Local  Removable Media  Campus Network Storage  Microsoft 365 Cloud
 Example  Desktop, Documents  USB Flash Drive, USB Hard Drive  User1 (J:\), Shared1 (S:\), Acad1 (K:\)  OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint
 Accessible off-campus No Yes, if you take it with you  Yes, with a network connection Yes, with a network connection
 Automatic backups  No  No  Yes  Yes
 Ability to share  No  No Yes, with other UW-Platteville accounts Yes

Local Drives and Removable Media

ITS does not recommend using local drives or removable media for anything other than your own data and/or low-risk data (information that would not put you or the University in jeopardy if found, or would not be missed if lost). If you choose to use local drives, you are responsible for your own data, whether it is personal or work-related. 

Local drives and removable media are lumped into the same category, as they have similar features and limitations. In both instances, data is saved on a physical disk inside of or attached to a computer. The data is accessible without needing a network connection which can be useful. But it is also available only to the computer it is attached to, which limits the ability to share files, create automatic backups, and secure data. Anyone with physical access to a computer or USB drive can easily copy data from it. Think of a computer sitting in an unlocked office, a laptop stolen from a car or USB flash drive left in a computer lab. If the device contains data with personally identifiable information (PII), that information should be removed and placed in a more secure location such as campus network storage. 

What if I opt to store data on my university-issued local drive/desktop, and then I get a new computer?

Before the new device arrives, you must backup any data that you wish to keep to another location, either removable media, campus network storage, or the Microsoft 365 cloud.  Instructions for Storage - Back Up Files to a Flash Drive  are posted in the ITS Knowledge Base. University data that is high-risk or sensitive should not be stored on local drives and be saved to the appropriate campus network storage drive.

Campus Network Storage

Using UW-Platteville campus network storage is the ITS recommended option for important data. Network storage is hosted on servers owned by UW-Platteville and provides a number of beneficial features. Network storage is available on or off campus with an Internet connection. Data is protected by your username and password. Access is restricted to only authorized UW-Platteville account holders.  Files are automatically backed up on a regular basis, including periodic disaster recovery backups at an off-site data center.  In the event you accidentally delete something, we may be able to recover the document for you. See our Restore from Backup Request web page for more details on making these requests. 

For additional information on how to use features of campus network storage and more detailed information on the storage volumes available, please see additional ITS Knowledge Base articles.

Personal (Home Directory)

All UW-Platteville accounts are issued 10 GB of individual storage in their home directory, also known as User1 or the J:\ drive. Files stored in your J:\ are for your use only; they cannot be shared. The major benefit of using this storage is that it is automatically backed up on a regular basis.  We take care of making the second copy for you.  In the event you accidentally delete something, you can restore the file yourself by following the instructions at Storage - Restoring Files Deleted from a Network Drive .  

Department or Group

It is possible to share documents with other UW-Platteville account holders by using a dedicated folder on campus network storage. Shared folders are commonly used for departments, committees, campus projects, classes, and senior design teams. The purpose of the folder generally dictates which drive will be used, generally Acad1 (K;\) for classes and senior design teams, and Shared1 (S:\) for departments and committees. Access to folders is managed by ITS and can be adjusted to add and remove users as needed. Requests to create shared space or grant access to an existing folder should be sent to the ITS Help Desk. Permissions to existing folders must be requested by the folder’s owner. A list of currently available campus network storage volumes is available at [Link for document 49311 is unavailable at this time]

Microsoft 365 Cloud

Along with your official email, your UW-Platteville account provides access to Microsoft 365's cloud storage platforms: OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint. These Microsoft 365 products are designed to enable you to easily collaborate with others by sharing files, working on documents simultaneously, and creating groups on demand, just to name a few features. With this flexibility, however, comes a responsibility to make sure personally identifiable information or other sensitive data is not shared with unauthorized accounts. 

The following paragraphs only summarize some key differences between OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint. For more information on the products, see Microsoft Support's "Collaborating with Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive".


OneDrive is your personal storage space in Microsoft 365. This is your "UW-Platteville home directory" in the cloud. As Microsoft makes improvements to its environment, things can change. But, as of January 2021, the maximum size for a file saved in OneDrive was 15 GB with an overall quota of 1 TB. Files stored here are accessible only to you by default. However, you have the ability to share files and folders both internally and externally, with other UW-Platteville account holders and with external accounts. Do not share personally identifiable or sensitive information via OneDrive.

Your OneDrive is deleted when your account is disabled. Be sure to make copies of any files that you want to keep before you leave UW-Platteville.


Teams is designed for group collaboration integrating file storage, document collaboration and online meeting tools from other Microsoft 365 products. While Microsoft does not disclose its maximum storage allotment per Teams site, there should be ample space for your group to store files and collaborate. You are able to create your own teams, inviting both those with UW-Platteville email accounts and those without. As the team owner, you can add and remove team members as needed. And, if you are leaving UW-Platteville but the Team continues, you are able to transfer ownership to another UW-Platteville account holder. All of this can be done without submitting a request to ITS, making Teams a truly on-demand tool. 

Note that a Teams site is automatically deleted after one year of inactivity. If you are using Teams for University business, be sure to keep your site active or move data to another location to ensure records retention schedules are honored.


UW-Platteville's official SharePoint site for internal content is Campus Hub. SharePoint is designed as a private document repository and information platform for large organizations. Since SharePoint takes an organizational perspective on data storage, it should not be considered as the first storage choice for most use cases.   

Key Points

Regardless of where you choose to save files, remember the following:
  • Use local storage options at your own risk. Hardware can fail and recovery from these devices can be expensive if not impossible. ITS will not copy data from local devices if you are receiving a new University-owned workstation.
  • If the files are important to you, make at least one backup copy on another storage platform. That could be an external hard drive, campus network storage, or in the Microsoft 365 cloud.
  • Your access to campus network storage and your UW-Platteville Microsoft 365 cloud storage is removed when your account is deactivated. If you need keep copies of personal files, make those backups before your account is disabled.
  • Do not store personally identifiable or sensitive information in unsecure locations.

UW System Resources

If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or  You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.


See Also:

Keywords:storage on the go shared drive user J S K OneDrive user1 shared1 acad1 jump local personal university   Doc ID:63358
Owner:Nathan M.Group:UW Platteville
Created:2016-05-11 11:58 CSTUpdated:2021-08-06 05:28 CST
Sites:UW Platteville
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