Quick Start

Available to: Faculty, Researchers, Staff, Departments

Cost: See cost details, below.

Network File Storage provides a secure, centrally-managed, storage environment for individual or departmental file storage. This service provides a common location to store and share files based on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) permissions that can be managed with the assistance of your local IT professional. The base allocation of Network File Storage can be expanded for a nominal fee. The service is protected via periodic snapshot and replication policies and monitored on a 24/7 basis. Offline backup is an optional component available for an additional fee.


Leveraging a central network file storage service, rather than operating independent file servers, decreases risk; improves security and efficiency, and lowers University operating expenses. Choosing this service relieves departmental administrators of the responsibility, labor and expense to physically administer and maintain shared file server(s).

Key Features

Network File Storage offers a number of features that help ensure a high degree of availability, security, and reliability:

  • The service is hosted in IS&T’s secure, environmentally managed, and highly available data center. It’s monitored on a 24/7 basis via automated tools, and support staff are notified of any equipment or service issues.
  • This service is not designed to support database systems or other workloads with high disk transaction rate requirements.
  • Long term storage of infrequently accessed files is best provided by the Data Archiving Service.
  • In the event of an outage at the primary site, clients can access a remote, read-only replica of their data.
  • This service is approved to store Restricted Use data. This requires additional licensing fees to ensure compliance. See Permissions Management & Data Loss Prevention for licensing information to protect Restricted Use data.
  • Offline backup is not part of the base service offering but is available if required for disaster recovery or compliance requirements. This option carries an additional annual fee depending on the backup and retention requirements.
  • Data is protected by a periodic snapshot and replication policy to enable recovery from inadvertent file deletion and data is asynchronously replicated to a remote copy at a secondary data center.
Snapshot Replication Offline Backup (Optional)
Interval Retention Interval
6 Hours 36 Hours 15 Minutes As required, upon request, at an additional fee
Daily One Week
Weekly One Month
Monthly Three Months

What to Expect

  • IS&T employs a change management policy that governs planned changes that will disrupt, or have the potential to disrupt, services. Network File Storage services normally will be available 24 by 7 except for standard change windows, as described in IS&T’s standard policies, procedures, and schedules for making changes. You will receive at least 3 days’ notice of a planned outage. In the event of an unplanned outage, every effort will be made to provide timely notification
  • Clients who purchase the optional Offline backup can request restores for files not recoverable via snapshots. Restores from tape backup are typically serviced within 2 business days. Restores of large amounts of data may take longer and require coordination with the client.


Client responsibilities:

  • Clients accessing Network File Storage must use endpoints that comply with the Minimum Security Standards for University data including installing and maintaining virus protection (e.g. (free) BU McAfee or other anti-malware software).
  • Work with IS&T and your local IT professional to ensure that space availability and performance meet client needs.
  • If additional file storage is required, client is responsible to secure funding and submit an Internal Service Request (ISR) to IS&T Systems Operations for the desired amount of storage and associated charge (see to calculate the additional fee).
  • Manage permissions in conjunction with your local IT professional for subscribers using Active Directory (AD).
  • For long term storage of infrequently accessed files, please use the Data Archiving Service.
  • Storing Restricted Use data requires additional licensing fees to ensure compliance. See Permissions Management & Data Loss Prevention for licensing information to protect restricted use data. Off-campus access to Restricted Use data requires use of the BU two-factor VPN with Duo Security (no single factor VPN is permitted to access).
  • Contact the IT Help Center at ithelp@bu.edu if you have any questions on these requirements, to report issues or to submit new requests.


Category Fully subsidized base allocation Additional fee for storage beyond base allocation
Administrative Department or Centers 75 Gigabytes $0.60/Gigabyte/Year
School or College 100 Gigabytes

Getting Started

  • After consulting your local IT professional regarding the storage options that are available, submit a request for Network File Storage. If you need additional information or consultation concerning your request, please click on the HELP button on this page.
  • Upon submission of a service request, you will be notified via the service ticket when your file share is ready for use.