Penn launches cloud sharing storage service

Box offers 20 gigabytes of free storage and automatic file saving, group editing and thread discussions

· November 13, 2012, 10:31 pm

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Penn Information Systems and Computing recently launched a service that allows users to share files and folders from multiple devices.

The service offers 20 gigabytes of storage for all active students, faculty and staff. Users can authenticate their account with their PennKeys at upenn.box.com.

Box offers features such as automatic file saving, group editing options and thread discussions on collaborative documents.

It includes Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protection, which gives students the right to control how their personal information is disclosed. In addition, the service asserts no right over intellectual property, which ISC Information Technology Technical Director Adam Preset considers a major difference between Box and other commercial services.

Another reason Penn chose to adopt Box was its integration with Internet2, described by Preset as “a consortium of higher education institutions that … provides a very fast, high-bandwidth network for research and education purposes.”

Box is not run by Penn. The company itself is responsible for engineering and enhancements of the software, while the University is responsible for account creation, PennKey authentication and local training.

“Local help desks in the schools and centers and the [information technology advisor] learning and sharing what they learn with other students will have the greatest impact on how successful people can be with Penn Box,” Preset said.

He added that many peer schools such as Stanford and Cornell universities are also implementing a similar service.

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