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UMIACS recommends that any and all important data be stored on a redundant, backed-up file server. However, there are a number of cases where this is not feasible.

Windows Local Storage

Windows hosts at UMIACS store user directories on their local drives. Supported, UMIACS-managed hosts are automatically backed up using the Institute's backup system. Laptops and non-standard hosts are not automatically backed up and be manually backed up by their users.

UNIX Local Storage

UNIX machines use redundant, backed-up network file shares for user directories. Research data storage is also stored on redundant, backed-up network file shares and is generally available under /fs/

All UNIX machines also have local storage available for transitory use. These directories may be used to store temporary, local COPIES of data that is permanently stored elsewhere or as a staging point for output.

These directories may not, under any circumstances, be used as permanent storage for unique, important data. UMIACS staff cannot recover damaged or deleted data from these directories and will not be responsible for data loss if they are misused.

Please note that /tmp in particular is at risk for data loss or corruption as that directory is regularly used by system processes and services for temporary storage.

These directories include:

 - /tmp
 - /scratch0, /scratch1, /scratch*
 - any directory named in whole or in part "tmp", "temp", or "scratch".

Locally Attached Storage

Locally attached storage like USB flash drives and USB hard drives are very popular. However, these devices are significantly more vulnerable to data loss or theft than internal or networked data storage. In general, UMIACS discourages the use of locally attached network storage when any other option is available. Please note that these devices are prone to high rates of failure and additional steps should be taken to ensure that the data is backed up and that critical or confidential data is not lost or stolen.