Backup Services

Published: March 12th, 2012

Category: Computer Help, File Storage

Overview

The College of Public Health and Health Professions uses Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) to backup data on its servers. All files on the College of PHHP servers are protected by backups run in the evening, 7 days a week. These backups protect the entire College in the event of a server failure and protect each users of the College’s systems should they damage or delete their own files.

What’s Not Backed Up

Though all College of PHHP servers are backed up nightly, the workstations do not receive any backup services. Instead, each workstation and each user is provided easy to access to the College file server for storing important files. College faculty, staff, and students are strongly encouraged to use the file server (i.e. drive letters H:, I:, J:, P:, and S:), to store all files important to your work. Any file stored only on a local or removable disk (e.g., C:, a Zip disk, floppy, or a CD-R) is at risk of data loss.

Restoring Files

College of PHHP users who need a file restored should contact the College IT staff as soon as the problem is noticed to increase the chance of the reliable restoration. An email to support@phhp.ufl.edu is always recommended. Please include as much of the path to the file as possible.

If the latest version of a file is bad, please indicate that in your email. Any guess as to the most recent date a good copy was present on the server is very helpful in finding the right version to restore.

Retention of Backups

Tivoli Storage Manager or TSM stores multiple versions of each file it backs up. It keeps multiple versions as long as the file is changing regularly, but will eventually store only one version if a file becomes dormant. After a file has been deleted from the server TSM keeps copies of the deleted file for a while before they expire and become unavailable for restoration.

The number of files retained and how long they are retained is configurable. The College IT staff have defined different retention policies for different kinds of data on the server to accommodate the varying restoration needs of users and programs. These policies are based on the IT staff’s experience at the College restoring files for users.

User Data

The Home and Share space on the College file servers, W: and S:, respectively, is given the “userdata” retention policy. This policy allows up to 3 versions of a file to exist for up to 90 days since modification. After 90 days only the latest version of a file will be available for restoration.

When a file is deleted one version of that file will be kept for 180 days. 180 days after deletion the file will be unavailable for restoration service.

Note that this restoration of deleted files service is in addition to the Windows system that generally provides instant self-service undeletion of deleted files as much as 3 months after deletion. See Restore a Previous Version of a File

Extended Retention

Some of the College users have higher data retention needs than those provided by the userdata policy. For them the IT staff has created a policy called “longlife” that provides for up to 10 versions of a file to be kept as long as 365 days. As with the userdata policy, the latest version of a file will be kept indefinitely and a single copy of deleted files will be kept up to 180 days.

College users who feel they need this extra protection for their data should email the IT staff at support@phhp.ufl.edu with the name of the directory that needs the extra protection.

Database Server Files

Some College services such as GroupWise use database servers to store their data. These data sources receive the “database” policy which stores up to 14 versions for up to 30 days and 2 versions of deleted files for up to 30 days.

System Files

All other files receive the default policy “standard” which keeps 2 versions for up to 30 days and 1 deleted version for up to 60 days.