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Research Data Management Toolkit: Storage/Backup

Best practices in Research Data Management promote research integrity and collaborative opportunities. A Data Management Plan ensures data security, accessibility and validation of results.

Storage and Backup

It is your responsibility to ensure that your research data is regularly backed-up and stored securely for the life of the project, and throughout the minimum retention period. Research funding bodies and/or collaborative groups often dictate where research data must be stored including institutional, national and international repositories.

Storage options

Whilst there are numerous free or commercial storage facilities available via the internet, UWA strongly recommends the use of  data storage facilities that are provided by the University and national research organisations to ensure that your data is appropriately secured and your intellectual property is protected. Please contact the Librarian Support Team for further advice. 

Recommended facilities

The UWA Institutional Research Data Store (IRDS)


UWA Institutional Research Data Store (IRDS) provides researchers with a centralised, secure and UWA-supported data storage facility in which to store electronic research data, enabling ongoing access to these valuable assets at no cost to researchers and in a broad range of file types.

The IRDS is supported by a dedicated high speed fibre optic connection that ensures reliable high-performance bandwidth, has secure access and includes backup and recovery capability.

Access to data stores is available to national and international collaborators via authentication methods, such as the Australian Access Federation (AAF). Store owners can assign access permissions to their UWA collaborators via the Access Permission Changes form on the IRDS website.


Data management obligations

The IRDS helps researchers comply with data management obligations outlined in:

How to make your research discoverable

To make your research data discoverable and/or accessible by the wider research community, refer to the UWA Profiles and Research Repository FAQs (navigate to Research Datasets).



Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (formerly known as iVEC)

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre facilitates the uptake of supercomputing, large scale data storage and visualisation in Western Australia. It is an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia and is supported by the Western Australian Government.

Supercomputing  is provided through the following systems:

  • Magnus -  a petascale supercomputer, latest-generation Cray XC40 system, hosting high-end supercomputing projects across the entire range of scientific fields.
  • Galaxy -  a Cray XC30 system that supports radio-astronomy activities within the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre community. It fulfils the real-time processing requirements of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope, as well as providing for the reprocessing and research needs of the wider Australian radio-astronomy community, including those of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope. 
  • Zythos -  a latest-generation SGI UV2000 system, large shared-memory machine targeted towards memory-intensive jobs. Z
  • Zeus -  an SGI Linux cluster that supports pre- and post-processing of data, large shared memory computations and remote visualisation work. As part of the Pawsey Project portfolio, Zeus, together with other infrastructure in the Pawsey Centre, allows a diverse range of workflows to be undertaken. 
  • Cloud - The Pawsey Cloud node is housed within the state of the art Pawsey Centre.

Data storage - The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre currently houses in excess of 40 Petabytes of data storage resources. The Centre also has a research cloud available to Australian researchers called Nimbus, which provide facilities for data intensive science, data analytics, machine learning and scientific workflow.

Visualisation - The Pawsey Visualisation team provides a package of hardware, software and expertise, to tackle the whole range of visualisation activities.  Visualisation equipment can be booked and in some cases borrowed via the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre. Please email here to be put in contact with the necessary staff. Visualisation resources can be accessed from UWACSIROECU and Murdoch.

For details of services see

Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet)

AARNet  is Australia's National Research and Education Network (NREN).  AARNet interconnects Australian universities and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and other organisations with a research and education mission, or with whom the education and research sector interacts. These include hospitals, vocational training providers, schools and museums.

Physically, this is achieved by owning and having access to fibre optic links across the country and through major metropolitan cities. As a National Broadband Network (NBN) retail service provider, AARNet also uses NBN services to connect schools in remote locations. 

Internationally AARNet interconnects the Australian Research and Education (R & E) community to the world – any university in Australia communicates directly with another university anywhere in the world without touching the commercial Internet. 

Their network and collaboration services such as CloudStor and Zoom enable seamless data access and movement between researchers, specialist instruments, tools and resources.

AARNet CloudStor

UWA researchers are able to access AARNet's CloudStor file sync, share and storage service. You can login to CloudStor here using your Pheme credentials. More information about CloudStor is available on the AARNet website. and on the CloudStor Knowledge Base.

AARNet Mirror

The AARNet Mirror provides AARNet-connected institutions with on-net access to a large range of international open source and academic archives and popular websites, including UNIX sources and applications, Linux, Windows and OS X software, TED talks and Internet documents such as RFCs and FAQs. The AARNet Mirror provides a fast, reliable and on-net way for AARNet users to download these files and websites. You can access the mirror at

AARNet Advanced Network Services

AARNet customers can have access to value-added solutions that make the best use of the capabilities of AARNet for managing large data transfers, interconnecting campuses to data centres and/or cloud services, and other internal network needs. AARNet offers customers a range of point-to-point and multipoint services for connecting between geographically diverse sites, such as campuses, data centres and service providers.


Other facilities

National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)

Australia’s leading high-performance data, storage and computing organisation, providing expert services to benefit all domains of science, government and industry. NCI is an initiative of the Australian Government and is hosted by The Australian National University.  It is jointly funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and ResearchCSIRO and ANU.  For more information on NCI visit


The Australian Synchrotron

The Australian Synchrotron is a source of highly intense light ranging from infrared to hard x-rays used for a wide variety of research purposes.  It is one of fewer than 40 similar facilities around the world and is the largest stand-alone piece of scientific infrastructure in the southern hemisphere.  


Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN)

IMOS was established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).  It has successfully deployed a range of observing equipment in the oceans around Australia and is making all its data freely available through the AODN Portal for the benefit of Australian marine and climate science as a whole. 

Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC)

The ARDC is an initiative that enables the Australian research community and industry access to nationally significant, leading edge data intensive Infrastructure, platforms, skills and collections of high-quality data. In partnerships with organisations, they aim to facilitate a coherent research environment where researchers can find, access, contribute to and effectively use services to maximise research quality and impact.

Contact them here 

Research Data Services (RDS)

The Research Data Services (RDS) project is a continuation of foundations project the Research Data Storage Infrastructure.  The foundations project established a number of components including:

  • a number of high-capacity storage nodes;

  • a dedicated high-bandwidth, low-latency inter-connection network to support data transfer and replication, together with the implementation of

  • common access infrastructure that provides a uniform user access experience, and

  • appropriate specialised access infrastructure, including the hosting of specialist access tools related to national collections.

Through partnering Node Operators, the RDS project supports two fundamental concepts:

  1. Service development for prioritised research domains/disciplines

  2. Continued operational support for existing infrastructure

The RDS project is also strategically aligning priorities with other federally funded e-infrastructure investments in:


Australian Data Archive (ADA)

UWA is also contributing datasets to the Australian Data Archive (ADA) for further analysis by researchers.


 Unless otherwise stated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence