Losing important data can be more than just a nuisance. Unrecoverable data loss is most often heart-breaking, expensive and potentially catastrophic if the information cannot be recreated or restored.

Canadian regulations require public sector data to be protected in a number of ways. Protecting the privacy of individual identifiers and personal information is one requirement. Another is the requirement to protect public sector data against catastrophic loss and unauthorized disclosure. This includes public sector organizations, publicly funded research projects, non-government agencies that receive financial support from the public sector and any initiative or project that involves federal funding.

Public sector organizations typically have an IT department that takes care of backing up information to mitigate the risk of losing your data provided you are an authenticated user and you’re making use of the institution’s workstation and network. For smaller organizations and individuals engaged in publicly funded initiatives, memory sticks (USB drive) and DVD’s have been a low-cost option for storing copies of important data away from your computer workstation and out of harm’s way.

Another research service that is emerging in southern jurisdictions as a viable alternative for low-cost secondary data storage for organizations of any size is to copy important data over a network onto a remote server for safe keeping.

CANARIE’s Network Regional Partner in British Columbia, BcNet offers higher education institutions an online secondary data backup, storage and retrieval service to securely safeguard public-sector data inside British Columbia.

DATA-SAFE is a shared service that is available to the research and education community in B.C. It is an online, fully managed, fast, safe and secure secondary backup service that stores data at a campus data centre inside B.C., but outside of the earthquake zone. The service reduces risk of catastrophic data loss and effectively decreases operating costs for secondary data backup services by 30-50 per cent. This was made possible by member organizations pooling their existing campus equipment, infrastructure and expertise together to create this successful integrated service that is shared by all.

The Yukon Research Centre supports the development of an on-line secondary backup service for Yukon’s research and education community as well as individuals and organizations supported by public sector funding.

If you have an interest or need for on-line secondary backup services as part of your research or innovative endeavours, please take a moment to fill out the Survey Questionnaire. We need to know what your priorities are for additional research services. Your answers will guide us into the future.

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