Is the following question on-topic for Academia?

I am from Biology field and our lab uses microscopy as a tool extensively. Our lab data is increasing exponentially. I want to ask other academia about storage of this data. Currently we have our own server with some 5 TB space. We take weekly backup as well as one long term backup every two years or so. But looking at growth of data, I can say in next year we will be out of space.

How other people/institutes/labs store their data for long term?

Is there any strategy followed on top on increasing storage capacity?

P.S: Whatever data we store on server is backed up on the magnetic tapes. Regular hard disks are not recommended by our IT section (which makes sense).

  • You realize 5 TB is tiny nowadays. Just buy another couple of disks and don't worry about it for a couple of more years.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 6, 2016 at 11:05
  • Your question may already be answered (to the extent that it can be answered here), see the backup-archiving tag and especially answers to this question.
    – ff524
    Jul 6, 2016 at 21:34
  • Didn't know about this tag. Thanks !
    – Dexter
    Jul 7, 2016 at 5:10

1 Answer 1


I would not consider this question on-topic for academia as there is nothing that makes it specific to academia – it’s what SE calls a boat question. I do not see any reason why the answer would differ if this were about the storage of non-scientific data for a company. Your problem is probably a good fit for a technological site such as Programmers, Software or Hardware Recommendations, or Database Administrators (though I know too little about the scope of these sites to tell you where it would actually be on-topic – you have to check for this your self).

Moreover, a question like “How other people/institutes/labs store their data for long term?” is likely be taken as a poll (which is neither a good fit for any Stack Exchange site nor helpful to you). Finally, wherever you post it, you are likely to get better answers when you describe your problem in more detail, i.e., address the following questions:

  • What risk of data loss is acceptable?
  • How long does the data need to be stored?
  • How often and how easily do you need to access your data?
  • Is privacy or confidentiality a concern?
  • I think there are some academia-specific questions that might come under the general area, but the one posted up above is not such.
    – jakebeal
    Jul 6, 2016 at 15:12

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