5.14 File Services
The proliferation of information technology hardware and software applications
has, in turn, driven the need for additional data storage. Increasingly, opportunities
to create digital files and databases, both traditional and multimedia, call for
expanded and appropriate storage technologies to be planned for and implemented
on a timely basis. The availability and delivery of this storage component is often
referred to as file services.
File services are needed for a variety of purposes on campus.
- The primary file service need for students is in support of academic learning.
- For faculty, file services are required to support research and instruction.
- For staff, file services support administrative and student service functions.
- File services also provide for collaboration and sharing of files within departments
and for cross-functional or work group collaboration.
SCSU currently has a stable and high-speed network on campus, and files are stored
on a centralized file services platform and accessed as needed. The central platform
is managed, secured, upgraded, recovered, and in general, provides a level of file
services not available using other models. We are in the midst of moving away from
departmental file servers toward a more centralized file services model. Experience
has shown that departmental and decentralized servers are sometimes poorly maintained,
and security has not always matched MnSCU standards. Files saved to a local hard
drive of a typical desktop computer are at significant risk if local hard drive
files are not backed up.
Over the next five years, file services at SCSU will continue to meet the instructional,
learning, and service needs of faculty, students, and staff. Specifically, file
- provide reliable and secure access to files and databases
- offer easy, ubiquitous file access — local and remote access, anytime and
- provide storage capacity adequate to support individuals, departments, and work
- continue to evolve the central file services model to meet new and expanding data
storage needs and technologies
- study the needs for e-portfolios (5.4.1, 5.4.4) and determine how they fit in with
file services in general
- develop recommendations for file services in step with the budget planning cycle
Specific Actions and Timeline
A committee will be established to address file service needs on campus. The committee
should include technologists and users of file services across the university.
- The committee will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying out and
reporting on specific actions necessary to accomplish the goals for file services.
- The committee will evaluate the need for file services, recommend or develop appropriate
policies and procedures for allocating storage to individuals, departments, and
- The committee will recommend storage upgrade strategies and project capacity requirements.
- The committee will inform the campus and facilitate training for the campus community
regarding file service opportunities and requirements.
- During the 2007/2008 academic year, the committee will produce a final report on
file services, and a planning document for the next five-year plan. These will
be submitted to TLTR by February 1, 2008, for review.
Resources for file services include costs for purchasing online storage platforms
and for human resources to manage and support these platforms. Files service
needs (both capacity and format) must be continually monitored and planned to
stay current with technological advances and university requirements.
- Is access to centralized file services reliable and secure?
- Are file services available anytime and anywhere?
- Is storage capacity adequate to meet the needs of individuals, departments, and
- Is the centralized file service model evolving to meet the needs of the campus
- Has the committee studied the needs for e-portfolios (5.4.1, 5.4.4) and determined
how they fit in with file services in general?
- Has the committee developed recommendations for file services in step with the
budget planning cycle?
- Has the committee submitted a final report in Spring 2008?
- Has the committee made recommendations for the next cycle of technology planning?
Revised: May 2003