In order to recover from data loss due to both mechanical failures and user error we run automated tape and disk backups of all critical data on our main file servers. All data in /Home, /Common, /Projects, web, ftp, and mail directories are fully backed up nightly to disk, with regular (approximately monthly) dumps to tape. Data in /Scr is not backed up; you should not place anything in a /Scr directory which you cannot easily regenerate.

These backups are meant to restore data which is lost unexpectedly - they should not be relied on for archival purposes. All backup tapes are retained for at least six months. This should provide ample time to notice data loss or corruption. If you need to have data restored, email sysadmin with a list of files and the last time they were updated, and the person running backups will help you.

The general backup schedule:

  • All files are dumped to external and offsite disk approximately monthly. These are stored for 6 months.
  • On Sundays, all files modified since the last monthly backup are dumped to disk. Two Sundays worth of these dumps are stored.
  • On other nights, all files modified since the last Sunday backup are dumped to disk. Three days worth of these dumps are stored.
  • A full system dump is made with GNU tar (for maximum compatibility) approximately every six months. These are stored for two years.