Data Den service now supports storage of sensitive data


The university’s Data Den Research Archive, a service for preserving electronic data generated from research activities, now supports the storage of sensitive data, including medical and educational information covered by federal laws known as HIPAA and FERPA.

Part of the U-M Research Computing Package that provides storage allocations to researchers, the service is a low-cost, highly durable storage system and is the largest storage system managed by Information and Technology Services’ Advanced Research Computing division.

Most researchers will not have to pay for Data Den.

“This service provides resources to support expanding data needs of our outstanding researchers,” said Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “We are not only safeguarding important information, but also maximizing the potential of our research endeavors.

“With the added support of sensitive data storage and inclusion in the Research Computing Package, the Data Den is an effective asset for researchers at our institution.”

Details about the types of sensitive data that is supported by Data Den can be found in the Sensative Data Guide.

A disk-caching, tape-backed archive, this storage service is best for data that researchers don’t need regularly, but still need to keep because of grant requirements.

“Data Den is a good place to keep research data past the life of the grant,” said Jeremy Hallum, ARC research computing manager. “ARC can store data that researchers need to keep for weeks, or even years.

“Volumes of data are duplicated between servers or clusters for disaster recovery so research data is very safe.”

Data Den can be part of a well-organized data-management plan providing international data sharing, encryption and data durability.

The U-M Research Computing Package provides 100 terabytes — the equivalent of 1,000 gigabytes — of Data Den storage to qualified researchers. This 100 TB can be divided between restricted and non-restricted variants of Data Den for use as needed.

The ITS Data Storage Finder can help researchers find the right storage solutions to meet their needs. Researchers are encouraged to check with their own units for additional allocations.

“I am pleased that Data Den now offers options for sensitive data, and that researchers can take advantage of the UMRCP allocations to store their data on Data Den,” said ARC Director Brock Palen. “We want to lighten the load so that researchers can do what they do best, and our services are now more cost effective than ever.”


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