Backups & Restores

CCS provides back-up services to departments, colleges and directorates for their file servers located on campus. For business continuity planning, copies of some critical applications are stored remotely from the main computer centre; CCS also maintains backups of their own core servers.

The backup service involves the installation of a backup client agent on participating servers. The client machines are included in specific backup policies to meet the needs or restrictions of their environment. The policies usually contain full and incremental scheduled backups. Backups are initiated from the backup server and files selected are transmitted to the server across the network for storage on tape media in a robotic library.

CCS currently charges $225 per year for the OS agent software and an additional $75 per year for off-campus backup copies.  Database agents for  MS SQL Server and Oracle are also available from CCS .

  • Full Backup Frequency: weekly or bi-weekly
  • Full Backup Retention: normally 8 weeks
  • Incremental Backup Frequency: nightly
  • Incremental Backup Retention: normally 2 weeks
  • Opt-in Status Notification via email: available
  • Off-Site capability for servers in Animal Science Computer Room
  • User initiated restores via a Graphical User Interface or linemode commands

CCS will also attempt to contact local support personnel in the event of three consecutive nights of backup failures on a file server.

Limitations

  • Only servers, not personal workstations, are eligible for the service.
  • The maximum amount of data per server is negotiable, but full backups in excess of 250-300 GB require special arrangements
  • Not all operating systems may be supported (but most Windows and Unix OSes are)
  • Special provision needs to be made for files that are always “open” such as certain database files
  • In the event of a disaster recovery, the client is responsible to reinstall the operating system and backup client software
  • Client-initiated restores may not be possible at all times
  • Exact start and finish times within backup windows cannot be guaranteed
  • Systems which are highly unreliable due to old hardware or software will be reviewed for continued participation in this service

Participation Procedure

Additional information about the service or requests to participate in this service can be sent to the CCS Storage and Backup Cluster (please use your U of G email account; other domains may be blocked from sending to this address because of spam abuse).

A CCS analyst would be pleased to discuss your backup requirements. Please address the following items in any request to join the service:

  • How many systems need to be backed up?
  • What are the hardware and operating system specifics for each server?
  • What backup types are required? - full, incremental, database, etc.?
  • On what schedule should each required type of backup run? - Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc.?
  • Any day or time restrictions?
  • How much data (gigabytes) will be transferred for each type of backup?
  • How long should the backup data be retained? (we currently offer 8 weeks retention for full weekly backups and 2 weeks retention for daily incremental backups)
  • Sometimes applications require different retention for legal or other reasons.
  • It is also sometimes helpful to discuss the type of data for applications running on the systems so that we don't waste bandwidth on unnecessary files or have repeated error conditions due to open files.
    • Can active data bases be excluded?
    • Is data exported from the data base for backup purposes or is a data base hot backup agent required/requested?
    • How is the client expecting Exchange and SQL data bases to be protected by backups?
  • Will CCS central backups be the only backup protection for these systems?