What file storage to use when?

Aalto University offers a range of different file storage services to suit the various needs of the community. Here is a collection of recommendations for the most common use cases of different user groups.
Cloud storage

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Recommendations at a glance


Teamwork for internal work, Microsoft Teams for external collaboration.


MyCourses for sharing files with students, Microsoft Teams among colleagues.

Service staff

Use network storage work or Microsoft Teams and share access with correct people.


Microsoft Teams for groups, OneDrive or Google Workspace for individual work and occasional sharing.

Recommended storage services for typical use cases

Documents and data related to Individual work (e.g. drafts, HR notes, etc.):

Instructions for home network directoryCloud storage - OneDrive & Google Drive

Meeting notes and presentations:

Microsoft TeamsCloud storage - OneDrive & Google Drive

Any project or teamwork requiring shared access to common files:

  • Microsoft Teams area for the project, for efficient collaboration with office documents and communication features such as chat. 
  • With Google Workspace, use Shared Drive to connect ownership with the group instead of individual people.
  • For datasets over 100 GB, a teamwork folder for sharing data within Aalto University.

Microsoft TeamsGoogle's instructions to setup Shared DriveFile storage space for research and groups (teamwork)

Collaboration projects with people outside from Aalto University:

Microsoft TeamsCloud storage - OneDrive & Google DriveAalto Dropbox Quick guide

Sending / receiving files, occasional file transfers: 

  • Small files <20 MB, e-mail attachments or cloud services (OneDrive, Google Workspace, Dropbox)
  • Large files and batches (< 300 GB): Funet FileSender, each transfer may have 1-30 files with total size of maximum 300 GB.
  • Huge files and data transfers: contact [email protected] for custom solution that suits your exact need. Options include custom SFTP servers, CSC Allas, cloud platforms (Azure/GCP/AWS), etc.

Cloud storage - OneDrive & Google DriveAalto Dropbox Quick guideFunet FileSender

Remote access to data (outside the campus):

  • Network drives can be accessed using VPN, cloud services work with internet access.

Remote connection to Aalto's network with VPN

Personal files and notes:

  • Store files in OneDrive, for wide access with different devices (mobile and computers). Try OneNote for taking notes.
  • Alternatively, Google Workspace if preferred.

Cloud Storage - OneDrive & Google Drive

Special recommendations for different user groups


To keep research data for later internal use at Aalto University, clean up the data, document it, and use teamwork network drive. Alternatively, there’s a tape archival option for large datasets that are to be accessed rarely.

File storage space for research and groups (Teamwork)

To publish research data, we recommend a discipline-specific repository for best impact. Zenodo, or Fairdata IDA for datasets over 50 GB, are recommended general-purpose repositories. More details at:

Practical steps to publish the research data

Large temporary storage (several terabytes or more) without backups is not offered centrally but is available in certain workflows. Triton cluster has scratch for temporary data, and CSC Allas or cloud platforms can be considered for this purpose.

Triton tutorial on using scratch

CSC Allas documentation

For research projects we recommend teamwork as internal storage and Microsoft Teams as platform for external collaboration.

File storage space for research and groups (Teamwork)

Microsoft Teams

For very large storage needs (tens of terabytes) please contact [email protected] to discuss data management and lifecycle issues of your case in detail. We are very likely to provide you with storage that’s suitable to your case and cost-efficient to Aalto University. 


For sharing files with students, MyCourses is the primary choice. For files and datasets that are too big to attach to MyCourses, put them downloadable to OneDrive or Google Workspace and share the link in MyCourses.

MyCourses digital learning environment

Cloud storage - OneDrive & Google Drive

For sharing files among colleagues, we recommend Microsoft Teams area with suitable access settings.

Microsoft Teams

Service staff

Files and documents related to certain working role / position are recommended to keep on a network storage work, either with shared team access or individual access, depending on confidentiality.

File storage space for work and studies

To share files with a team, use Microsoft Teams limited to your team only. You can also have a network folder work for seldomly accessed and archived files. 

Microsoft TeamsFile storage space for work and studiesFor general guidance, instructions, process descriptions, etc. that may be shared within Aalto (classification level public or internal), a Microsoft Teams area accessible to large audience (unit or Aalto) is a suitable option (e.g. Finance Teams,, Personal data and research, …).

Microsoft TeamsFor occasional handling of data outside the original master data system (on any service process like HR, Studies, Finance, IT services, etc.), use personal home directory and delete temporary files when not needed anymore. E.g. creating a temporary excel for data analysis.

File storage space for work and studies


Students can use Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and Google Workspace. These are good for both individual and teamwork. 
Alternatively, network drive home is available. It can be used remotely with VPN.

Microsoft TeamsCloud storage - OneDrive & Google DriveFile storage space for work and studies


Aalto visitor account can be used to access network drives. This can be useful e.g. working with large confidential data (100 GB and more) or accessing data from measurement devices.
Cloud services can be used by registration to the cloud provider (Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, CSC).


Storage for confidential data

No problem, all recommended services are approved to use with confidential data when handled properly. 

Classification of information: basic instructions and services

Long-term storage / archiving

  • Consider the lifespan of your data already when planning the storage. Use records management plan to find out how long and where your data should be stored.
  • Think who should have access and who will manage data during the storage period? Assign management responsibility to a role / position and use shared access where possible. Aalto University does not archive data for individual use only.
  • Documents that require preservation and controlled guidance and retention from records management plan (TOS) are archived in records management system SAHA. Research data may be published using a data repository. Upcoming Aalto Repository provides digital preservation for any content created at Aalto University that could be considered valuable for storing and/or sharing in a long-term perspective. 

Records Management Plan TOS

Aalto University Records Management Plan (tiedonohjaussuunnitelma) TOS is a set of guidelines for registration, handling, and retention of Aalto University's documents and comparable data. The Records Management Plan contains detailed information on handling, registration, publicity and retention of University's documents and data.

Otaniemi kampus ilmakuva

Electronic document and records management system SAHA

Aalto University's electronic document and records management system processes official matters of the University as well as measures and documents generated in the handling process. At the same time, the matters are also entered into the University's records.

SAHA image

Practical steps to publish the research data

Publishing the underlying research data increases citations to your journal articles and other publications.

Aalto University library inside

Aalto Repository

Aalto University is implementing a repository system for digital preservation, asset management and showcasing of all digital content of long-term value. The aim is to ensure authenticity and usability of the divers digital ​outcomes of our university, across time and technical environments​

Aalto Repository Stakeholders

Storage for secret data

Use only approved IT systems to store and handle the data classified as secret. These recommendations are based on the encryption guidelines and basic instructions for classification of information. Check the applicability of any other system from the service list of the basic instructions, or contact [email protected] for advice.

For individual work with secret data

Use strong encryption and network storage with restricted access (home or work). Recommended encryption tools include:

  • built-in encryption for MS Office documents
  • encrypted ZIP (e.g. 7zip)
  • VeraCrypt container to work with several files or a folder

Encrypting e-mail and files

For internal collaboration

To work with the dedicated team from Aalto University, use secwork network storage share.

Secure data storage secwork

For external collaboration

If you have data from different classification levels to share, you can setup Microsoft Teams or OneDrive restricted to your group. You mustseparately encrypt the secret data before uploading to your collaboration folder in the cloud. You can share data with other classification levels at the same location without encryption.

For research collaborations involving mostly secret data, there’s an option to setup a common secure working environment for the project. Aalto University has SECDATA service that is audited compliant with Findata requirements and the legislation on the secondary use of health and social data. CSC has SD Desktop service that is useful to collaborate with secret data.

Encrypting e-mail and files

Secure operating environment for sensitive data

CSC Sensitive data services for research

To send/receive secret data

  • Small files <20 MB, use encrypted e-mail or encrypt files and send as e-mail attachments. Alternatively, encrypt files and share with OneDrive.
  • Large files and batches (< 300 GB): Encrypt files and then share them with Funet FileSender, each transfer may have 1-30 files with total size of maximum 300 GB.
  • Huge files and data transfers: contact [email protected] for custom solution that suits your exact need.

Encrypting e-mail and files

Funet FileSender service

More information about storage services

Please have a look at these related pages to learn more about file storage services at Aalto University.

Data Storage, File Services

Comparison of different file services (home & work, file services, cloud, teamwork, teams, onedrive, googledrive, fairdata ida) .

The image is from Aalto University material bank.

Storage services for research data

Store your data in a service that enables backups, confidentiality or collaboration as needed.

People talking

File backup

File backup means the storage and restoration of information in case of any unexpected error or damage. Files are backed up with both quick backup copies and more stable backup copies that are stored on a separate medium.

This service is provided by:

IT Services

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