Research Data Storage



There are a variety of options for storing large-scale research data at UVA. Public and internal use data storage systems can be accessed from the Rivanna high performance computing system. Sensitive and highly sensitive data can be stored and accessed within the Ivy secure computing environment. Information Security at UVA provides an overview of the data sensitivity classifications.

UVA graduate and undergraduate students are not permitted to request storage accounts. This must be done by their faculty advisor[s].

Information Technology Services (ITS) also provides multiple tiers of data storage for personal and non-research storage needs.

Public & Internal Use Data Storage

Public data are intentionally made available to the public. Examples of public data in research computing include:

  • Data intended for a public website
  • Datasets downloaded obtained from a publicly available source
  • Open source code

Internal use data are classified as public records available to anyone in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) but are not intentionally made public. Examples of internal use data within a research computing context include but are not limited to:

  • Files collected or generated from experiments that contain no personally identifying information (PII) or otherwise protected information
  • Models, scripts, and logfiles
  • Preliminary analyses
Feature Research Project Storage Research Standard Storage
Quota 1TB increments 1TB increments
Price $60/TB per year (effective July 1: $70/TB) $45/TB per year (effective July 1: with 10TB provided to each PI free of charge)
Snapshots1 daily snapshots for 1 week No
Replication2 No No
Backup3 No No
Access Rivanna, mountable on local workstation Rivanna, mountable on local workstation
Use cases Ideal for long-term storage of data to be accessed from Rivanna. Research Project storage is ideal for sharing data within a research group and for running jobs with smaller files. Budget solution for storing data that can be accessed by a personal computer or Rivanna. It is not recommended to run Slurm jobs against research standard storage unless absolutely necessary. File operations on Research Standard storage are slower than on Rivanna /home, /scratch, or Research Project storage.

1Snapshot files are uneditable backup copies of all the files and folders in your account, taken at a daily interval. The system keeps these snapshots for a week. Snapshot files are deleted sequentially after a week has passed. This saving method is useful for human error prevention as any accidentally deleted files may be recovered. Look to our FAQ page to learn how to access your snapshots.

2Replication is a data management process that stores copies of data fragments over a distributed cluster or database. By having replicated data across each node or server on a given database, data can be accessed more reliably than data that only resides on a single server. This saving method is useful for disaster scenarios where if data is stored on multiple disks, and one disk fails, the data is still accessible.

3Backup files are copies of files that are stored on a separate disk storage than that of the original copies. Files may be backed up on a separate disk storage or within cloud storage. Backed up files are not synced with their original, so any edits to the original are not reflected on the backup. This saving method is useful for disaster scenarios where if the original disk storage is unsavable, the backups may still be accessible.


Sensitive & Highly Sensitive Data Storage

Highly sensitive data are data that require restrictions on access under the law or that may be protected from release in accordance with applicable law or regulation. Highly sensitive data (HSD) currently include personal information that can lead to identity theft. HSD also include health information that reveals an individual’s health condition and/or medical history. Examples of HSD include, but are not limited to:

  • Personally identifying information (PII) such as social security number, passport number, driver’s license number, military identification number
  • Information defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as protected health information (PHI)
  • Cardholder data (CHD) such as credit card numbers, primary cardholder account numbers, cardholder names, expiration date, and/or service code

Sensitive data is the default classification for all data that is not explicitly defined as highly sensitive data, may be held from release under FOIA, or that is not intended to be made publicly available. Examples of sensitive data include:

  • University ID numbers
  • FERPA-protected student information not covered by the definition of highly sensitive data
  • Personnel and financial information not covered by the definition of highly sensitive data, but not intended to be public
  • Any information that doesn’t fit into the other three categories
Feature Ivy Central Storage (ICS)
Quota 1TB increments
Price $45 TB/year
Snapshots No
Replication No
Backup No
Access Ivy Virtual Machine
Use cases Ideal for long-term storage of highly sensitive data and is suitable for computation with smaller file sizes. Files stored in ICS are read-write only.

Researchers who request space on ICS must first request an Ivy account using the Ivy request form. Further information on Ivy and the ICS can be found here.

Ivy Central Storage is accessible by using Globus and connecting to the Ivy DTN.


Request Storage

Storage requests can be made via this form: