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Data Storage Services

The facility uses two servers to permanently store investigators' flow cytometry standard (FCS) data files going back to 1999. FCS files younger than three years old are stored on a primary server and are directly accessible to principal investigators and their lab personnel through the university's network. An archive server stores data older than three years old and is only accessible to Flow Cytometry Facility staff. Data stored on the archive server are easily transferred to the primary server for further analysis. Requests to retrieve archived data can be made to Flow Cytometry Facility staff. 

Data generated by Becton Dickinson instruments that are controlled by DiVa software (LSRs, FACS Fusion) are stored in a database local to the instrument PC. Once an investigator has completed data acquistion, files can be exported from the database in two formats, either as flow cytometry standard files (FCS) or as entire experiments. It is recommended that FCS files from these instruments are exported to the primary server immediately after the completion of each run for off-line analysis and that each experiment be left in the local database for weekly backup.

Each instrument database is backed up by the facility to the archive server once a week to prevent data loss due to hard drive failure. Database backups are saved on a rolling basis so that two weeks worth of data are saved at any one time. Each month, experiments from the previous month are copied to the archive server and purged from the local database of each instrument by facility staff. Exported FCS files as well as monthly archived experiments are permanently saved. 

Cytek Aurora, Cytek Aurora CS and BioRad BioPlex data are stored directly to the primary server as they are generated.

Primary Server

  • Flow cytometry standard files (FCS) younger than three years old are saved on the primary server and then transferred to the archive server once they are three years old.

Archive Server

  • FCS files older than three years old are permanently saved on the archive server.
  • Weekly database backups for each DiVa software-controlled instrument are saved on a two-week rolling basis on the archive server.
  • Monthly database backups for each SpectroFlo sofware-controlled instrument are saved on the archive server.
  • BD DiVa software and Cytek SpectroFlo software "experiments" are permanently saved to the archive server and then purged from instrument databases once per month.