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Cornell University

File Storage at Cornell

Cloud with coding and padlock

Secure data storage options 

Cornell offers many options to keep data secure and accessible. The information below offers an overview of services available to the Cornell community. Find detailed information on each linked service page.

As a reminder before using any service to store, share, or collaborate with institutional information, review the Regulated Data Chart.

In This Article

Which one should I pick?

Pick the storage option that’s right for the data—this will save you time in the long run when your status at Cornell changes. This may mean you use OneDrive and Box, or Google Drive and Teams.

Use the What's the Best Place For Your Data selection tool for guidance.

Basic Options

Compare default storage allowances of the free cloud services offered to Cornell students, faculty, and staff.

Box

Box provides current Cornell faculty, staff, students, and affiliates with a simple way to share critical research, collaborate on group assignments, and manage team files, delivering a consistent user experience across campus.

Google Drive

Google Drive is available through Google Workspace (for Students, and for Faculty and Staff) and helps university students, faculty, and staff store, share, sync, and collaborate on their documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files. Google Drive is personal storage where your documents are available only to you, but it's easy to selectively share them with others.

Google Shared Drive

Part of Google Workspace shared drives are not connected to a personal account. Files belong to everyone in the group, and the group members automatically have full rights, including the ability to change or delete them. In order to create a Google Shared Drive you need to fill out this request form.

OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is available through Cornell's Office 365 and helps university faculty, students, and staff store, share, sync, and collaborate on their documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files. OneDrive is personal storage where your documents are available only to you, but it's easy to selectively share them with others.

SharePoint

SharePoint is a robust collection of features, one part of which is a document library. SharePoint also includes list apps, intranet features, and much more. Not everyone needs everything a SharePoint site has to offer, but for those who do, one feature it brings is durable group file storage. (If you are not sure about choosing SharePoint or a Team, choose a Team.)  

Teams

Microsoft Teams contains a files section in every channel for a team. It's similar to a shared library, with a few key differences. Because it's inside Teams, a document in this location is ready for quick access, collaboration, and review in Teams. Files are editable by everyone in a team when in a standard channel, or just by the channel members when it's a private channel. 

Options for Research Data

Before using any service to store, share, or collaborate with institutional information, review the Regulated Data Chart.

Faculty and researchers should use the Data Storage Finder Tool to find additional services that may best suit your collaboration and storage needs.

Large Scale (over 1TB) Options

If you will require very large amounts of storage, please submit a support request to CIT Collaboration and Utility Services.

Amazon Web Services S3 Faculty and staff public cloud services contracted-for service that individual Cornell units can purchase and use.

Azure Blob Storage Faculty, staff, and student cloud-based contracted-for IT infrastructure services that individual Cornell units can purchase and use.

Shared File Services Storage that enables sharing of files between groups of users and computers.

Faculty and researchers can also use the Data Storage Finder Tool to find additional services that may best suit their collaboration and storage needs.

Comparison Chart

Service

Ownership Options

Best For...

What Happens When I Leave?*

Box Personal Group Department
  • Personal file storage
  • FERPA-regulated data
  • Shared departmental drives
  • Simple workflows
  • Cross-campus collaboration

You lose access.

For group or department folders, the folder owner retains ownership.**  

Google Shared Drive

Department Group
  • Class-specific teaching tool
  • Shared departmental drives
The folder owner retains ownership.**

Google Workspace

-For Students -For Faculty and Staff

Personal
  • Personal file storage
  • Limited file collaboration with non-Cornell colleagues
You lose access. 
OneDrive Personal
  • Personal file storage
  • FERPA-regulated data
  • Cross-campus collaboration
You lose access.
SharePoint Personal Department
  • Long-term file storage for departments
  • Power users who need advanced SharePoint features

You lose access. 

For group or department folders, the folder owner retains ownership.**

Teams Personal Group
  • Project-based collaborations
  • Short-term projects
  • Shared department storage

You lose access. 

For group or department folders, the folder owner retains ownership.**

*Retirees should refer to IT Services Available with Your Role at Cornell for information about continued access to some of these storage services.

**If you are the owner/administrator of a group or department folder, contact CIT and request ownership transfer. 

Service Details:

Summary:

Cornell offers many options to keep data secure and accessible. This information offers an overview of services available to the Cornell community. 

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