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Aim: Inform about the existence and use of SURFdrive

Target Audience: everyone who needs (extra) storage


SURFdrive is a cloud storage service similar to Dropbox: the data are "in the cloud" and can be accessed from and synchronized between various devices. Important differences to Dropbox are the protection and ownership of the user data and the fact that the data are kept on a server at SURF which is not accessible to foreign government services. In particular for sensitive information or research data where potentially patents are involved, SURFdrive is preferred over Dropbox.

All Nikhef employees can use their SSO account to access SURFdrive and can store up to 100 GB of data. The storage is most suitable for document storage, but not suitable for large analysis data like ntuples or ROOT files. The data are automatically synchronized from your device (PC/laptop, tablet or phone). Please take into account that synchronization is slower than storing data on a local hard disk and that synchronization to mobile phones may cause additional usage costs.

SURFdrive is accessible as long as your SSO account remains valid. Make sure to migrate your data in time before your employment ends!

Nikhef has to pay a fee for the use of SURFdrive per user. Only start using this service if you seriously intend to do so for a longer period of time.


You can report problems with the use of SURFdrive at the CT Helpdesk. Our Helpdesk can report problems to SURFnet, but has no access to the SURFdrive systems or the data of Nikhef users.


  • Think carefully where to keep your local copy of the synchronization. Your SURFdrive storage area is much larger than your Nikhef home directory quota! Choose a local data disk (for example a D: drive of /localstore) to prevent quota problems.

  • Avoid synchronization of files that frequently change. For example, do not synchronize directories with source code that is frequently compiled, or apply a filter to prevent synchronization of temporary (object) files.