"Unlimited storage" If you saw that on the subject line of an email, you would likely hit the delete button (and rightfully so).
But the statement holds true for faculty, staff and students who use CyBox, Iowa State's cloud-based storage and sharing system. The university provides CyBox storage to individuals as well as departments and colleges for university business.
"With over 36,000 active users, CyBox is the most widely adopted file storage solution at ISU," said information technology services director Mike Lohrbach.
There's plenty of room on ISU's version of the popular Box.com storage site, and Lohrbach said he hopes more faculty, staff and students will give it a try.
Here's a quick look at CyBox’s features.
Another backup plan
If you can't store files on CyBox and must store them solely on a laptop or other device, try Mozy.
Faculty, staff and students can instantly access their individual CyBox space by going to iastate.box.com and signing in with their ISU Net-IDs and passwords. New files can be created in the CyBox folder. Existing files can be moved there by uploading or dragging and dropping.
Departments also can set up common space for sharing information among department members. To set up a department site, contact the Solution Center at 294-4000.
If you have access to the internet, you can access your CyBox space from any desktop or mobile device. If you are working away from the office, you need not bother with mapping network drives, carrying thumb drives or emailing files to yourself.
Safe harbor for your files
There's always a way to lose that doc you've been working on for weeks -- lost drives, destructive malware, dead computers or accidental overwrites, to name a few. CyBox files live in the cloud and file versioning lets you go back in time to see early drafts of your document.
Encryption is an important CyBox security feature. All files are encrypted while they are in transit on the network and they remain encrypted in your storage space. CyBox security meets student privacy requirements under FERPA and medical privacy requirements under HIPAA. CyBox data also stays within the continental United States, with ISU retaining ownership.
More sharing, fewer attachments
When you send a file by email attachment, you lose control of where it might be forwarded. You also may lose control of edits if proposed revisions (tracked and untracked) start pouring into your inbox.
CyBox's "sharing" feature offers more control. You can invite collaborators to view a folder, then determine what the collaborators are allowed to do with files in that folder. For example, you may only allow them to view a file or folder, or you may allow edits. No matter how many people make edits, they're all working on one document. So no mass reconciling of various versions is required later. If the end result is not quite what you wanted, you can review the revision history of your document to find the best version.
Individuals and departments can use as much space as they need, with a few stipulations.
- Files must be used for university business or classes; no personal files.
- A single file cannot be larger than 15GB
Lohrbach noted that IT professionals are working on the rollout of a new system that meets the needs of researchers who tend to have huge files and large data sets.
CyBox comes with free apps to make work easier on various devices -- desktops, tablets and phones. One popular app, Box Edit, allows users to edit files using the native applications on their devices (such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel), then automatically save them back to CyBox.