Appropriate Y-Drive Usage

in Featured, News
January 24th, 2014

What is the Y-drive?   The Y-drive is a general purpose, shared storage resource available to all BUMC faculty and staff to conduct University-related activities. It was created as a shared campus resource over 15 years ago at 50GB. Today it is nearly 25TB.

Are there disk quotas on the Y-driveGenerally, the Y-drive has not had any quotas established. We have relied on the community to be good stewards of this service. By and large, this policy has been successful.

Can I store personal files on the Y-drive?   No. The Y-drive is not intended for personal data storage.

How does BUMC/IT know what I have on the Y-drive?    BUMC IT does not actively police the use of the Y-drive unless automated monitors indicate a resource threshold has been reached. Recently, on several occasions, available storage on the Y-drive has been under pressure. Automated reports of top storage users have revealed examples of potentially inappropriate personal use of the Y-drive including the following examples:

  • personal iTunes libraries
  • (likely) copyrighted material such as software, movies and television programs
  • personal photo libraries
  • computer backups
  • other personal files

While we have contacted these top users for remediation, we have not explored all suspected personal use cases. We ask you to review your current Y-drive usage to ensure you are only storing work-related files.

Does that mean that BUMC IT is snooping around in my files?   No. The aforementioned reports only list general file-system information about the file such as its name, size, creation date, etc. We do not “snoop” into the contents of any files on the Y-drive.

I’ve looked through my files on the Y-drive and found some of a personal nature as listed above. I want to keep these files. What are my alternatives?

Citing the examples above:

  1. iTunes and other music libraries for personal use should be stored on your personal computer.
  2. Copyrighted material should never be illegally maintained. You should immediately delete it.
  3. Photos can be stored on any number of consumer photo sharing sites (e.g., Flickr, Google Photos, OneDrive, etc.)
  4. It is unnecessary to back up your personal computer to the Y-drive. The University has a site license for CrashPlan that will accomplish this goal in a more sustainable fashion.
  5. You should store these files on a consumer file service — e.g., Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, etc.

But I have a lot of data sets that I need to preserve, what are my options?  The University has a high-capacity Data Archiving service for the storage of infrequently used data. This service is available to all faculty, researchers, staff and departments.

If you need assistance with managing your files and directories, contact the BUMC One Help at 638-3000 or