Developing a Data Vault

  • Stuart Lewis
  • Lorraine Beard
  • Mary McDerby
  • Robin Taylor
  • Thomas Higgins
  • Claire Knowles


Research data is being generated at an ever-increasing rate. This brings challenges in how to store, analyse, and care for the data. A component of this problem is the stewardship of data and associated files that need a safe and secure home for the medium to long-term.

As part of typical suites of Research Data Management services, researchers are provided with large allocations of ‘active data storage’. This is often stored on expensive and fast disks to enable efficient transfer and working with large amounts of data. However, over time this active data store fills up, and researchers need a facility to move older but still valuable data to cheaper storage for long-term care. In addition, research funders are increasingly requiring data to be stored in forms that allow it to be described and retrieved in the future. For data that can’t be shared publicly in an open repository, a closed solution is required that can make use of offline or near-line storage for cost efficiency.

This paper describes a solution to these requirements, called the Data Vault.


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