Storing Files

What and Why?

There are many types of files and many reasons for storing them. Such as:

Advice from UNSW

UNSW Research Infrastructure lists common places to store research data.

UNSW IT has published suggestions for file storage.

They provide links to information about Home Drive, OneDrive and Teams, FSAM, AARNET Cloudstor, UNSW Data Archive, and others. You should read the links above before asking questions about file storage.


UNSW operates a media archive called theBox. It allows UNSW staff to curate collections of online media files. (Not just videos.) Access restrictions can be applied to those files.

Additional information:

  • When to use theBox.
  • File types handled by theBox. The file types handled are typical video and media formats, as well as document types. At September 2021, theBox does not appear to serve other file types, such as software bundles in ZIP files.

UNSW Systems of Record

See: Systems of Record and the UNSW Data Archive for permanent storage and collaboration features for Research Data.

Your UNSW Home Folder

UNSW central IT provides UNSW file storage for all UNSW staff and students.

UNSW OneDrive and Teams

Aside from your home folder, there are OneDrive and Teams which are intended more for distributing files. They are associated with UNSW's Sharepoint service.

According to Microsoft these are the file size limits:

  • 250 GB - File upload limit. Applies to each individual file uploaded to Microsoft Teams Files tab, SharePoint document libraries, OneDrive folders, and Yammer conversations.
  • 250 MB - File attached to a list item. Applies to Microsoft Lists and SharePoint lists - both based on same lists platform.

These Office 365 options have the added benefit of allowing specific users to access the content based on their course enrollment if the instructor requests that UNSW IT configure the course to have a Teams site created for them. This will create a Microsoft AD group which the instructor can then use to limit access to content in Office 365. They also don't need to activate the Teams site if they don't need to use it, but the AD group should still function and be regularly updated throughout the term.

External Cloud Providers

There are various cloud services that can store your data, such as google drive, dropbox.

There is also AARNET CloudStor available for researchers.

CSE Servers

Some files are hosted on CSE servers, particularly the media webserver. (Requires CSE account login.)

Use of CSE servers for large file hosting and especially video hosting is not encouraged. If the load from storing or downloading videos becomes a burden, the Computer Support Group will require them to be moved somewhere more suited for hosting video.

Your CSE Home Directory

For small amounts of data, you can copy your files into your CSE home directory.

If you're running short on disk quota, you can ask your supervisor to request additional temporary space on your behalf.

CSE keeps long-term backups of this directory on tape and can restore them at any time. Although this service may not be continued much longer.

However, you should make your own copy of important files before you leave CSE.

Class Accounts

CSE Class administrators soon become aware that files necessary for teaching can be kept in class accounts and served from CSE webservers.

Last edited by robertd 09/09/2021