CSL: Unix Backups

The CSL performs a combination of full and incremental data backups to help ensure the availability and integrity of programs, documents, and other data of importance to the C.S. community.

Backups defined:

Backups are the copying of data from primary (disk) storage media to secondary (disk and tape) storage media for the purposes of data preservation, data restoration, and disaster recovery. Both the process and the recorded tape media are referred to as backups.

Additionally, newer hardware allows some filesystems to provide multiple, daily backups called snapshots. Please see the Snapshots page for more information on this option.


What gets backed up:

Most data partitions (home, project, mail, etc.) on departmental Unix servers are backed up. Exceptions, such as /usr/project/xtmp/, are clearly noted. In most cases, partitions such as root, /var/, and /tmp/ are not backed up.

Departmental Unix desktop machines are not backed up, except for these directories: /var/spool/calendar, /var/spool/cron.

Departmental PC's and Macintosh computers are backed up separately, and by request only. Please see the PC Backup page for more information.

Some projects, such as ARI, have their own equipment, personnel, and backups.



The CSL performs backups on a nightly basis. Copies are kept offsite.

Some project disks or unusual systems are backed up less frequently. If you have any questions about the backup policy concerning a particular partition, disk, or computer, please contact the Lab Staff.



Full backups are performed nightly and stored off site. Files are kept for 2 years or 60 copies which ever comes first. For example, system logs change nightly and would only go back 2 months.



Departmental backups are performed using Tivoli storage manager and Retrospect.



If you have data that you would like to permanently archive, it is possible, with Lab Staff assistance, to make tape, CD, or DVD archives. CD and DVD are probably the longer-lasting and more convenient (for later access) of these options. The Lab Staff are available to discuss various media and their capacities.



If you need one or more files restored from tape backups, please fill out the Restore Request Form. You might want to check for online Snapshots first.

Alternately, you can contact the Lab Staff.