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CIS Backup Service FAQ

If you have questions on this FAQ please send them to Jonathan Murray.

Q. Is my system eligible for backup by the CIS backup system?
Q. Is there a limit on how much data I can have backed up?
Q. Is there any way I can have my laptop backed up?
Q. How often and on what schedule will my system be backed up?
Q. How long will my data be retained?
Q. What will happen to my backup data if I'm away from WHOI for an extended time?
Q. I'd like my data to be kept permanently. Is that possible?
Q. Does my system have to be turned on all the time?
Q. What if I need to take my system to sea for a month?
Q. How do I go about restoring a file?
Q. I keep getting email messages telling me my backup has failed, what to do?
Q. Can I register a system for someone else?




Q. Is my system eligible for backup by the CIS backup system?
A. Any system that is connected to WHOInet (i.e., hostname is in the whoi.edu domain) with the exception of Novell servers and those systems running older versions of MAC OS.

Q. Is there a limit on how much data I can have backed up?
A. There is a 5TB limit per backup host. If your total disk space to backup adds up to more than 5TB of data please contact CIS to discuss backup options.

Q. Is there any way I can have my laptop backed up?
A. Laptop systems can be placed on backup schedules. However, you're probably shutting them down and taking them off the network at the end of each day. We recommend that you request that your laptop be placed in a special schedule that runs at noon time.

Q. How often and on what schedule will my system be backed up?
A. Backups are run nightly, 7 days a week. The very first backup of your system will be a full backup. Afterwards a full backup will be done once a month with incremental backups between. Incremental backups capture any changes to your files between the full backups.

Q. How long will my data be retained?
A. Data is retained for three months.

Q.What will happen to my backup data if I'm away from WHOI for an extended time?
A.If your system is at sea for more than three months our current policy of a three month retention period will not allow you to restore a file from before your sea trip. Currently Data is retained for three months however, talk to CIS and we can probably work something out. This policy is currently under review and changes will be documented shortly.

Q. I'd like my data to be kept permanently. Is that possible?
A. The backup system is not configured to serve as a permanent archive. However, CIS maybe able to offer solutions such as cutting you a tape containing your data which you can then keep for however long you like. In any case, talk to CIS to find out what can possibly be done and costs involved.

Q. Does my system have to be turned on all the time?
A. Most backup schedules are run during the evening. If your system is turned off or disconnected from the network during the evening, it won't be backed up. If you absolutely can't leave your system on overnight, you may elect to have your system placed in a special "Noon" backup schedule. In addition to your system being left on, we would also require you to close any applications not in use. This will limit the failure to backup "open files" and ensure that the backups are more efficient.

Q. What if I need to take my system to sea?
A. Please notify CIS if you are taking your system with you or will be shutting it down for any extended periods of time. CIS will remove your system from the regular backup schedule while you're away. Once your system is plugged back into the network when you return, it will begin getting backed up again. Please keep in mind that data is only retained for three months, whether your system is here or not. If you lose a file while at sea, and you know you won't be back in time to restore it, contact the CIS helpdesk and we'll try to preserve your backup data for you until you return.

Q. How do I go about restoring a file?
A. The backup client includes a restore utility. On Unix/Linux it's called nwrecover, on Windows it's in the Programs group under NetWorker. Simply start the program and select the files you want restored and click "go". Everything is automated and there is no need to call CIS to do a restore (though please do call if you run into problems or need assistance).

Q. I keep getting email messages telling me my backup has failed, what to do?
A. When you register your system for backup services, your e-mail address is entered for contact purposes in the Legato client database. This will automatically ensure that you receive daily backup status reports. There are many reasons why you may be getting failure notices. You will receive failure notices if you go to sea or are away for extended periods of time and shut down or remove your system from the network. You may receive failure notices if the backup daemons were unable to connect to your system or were unable to access an open file. If you are notified by the automated process of a problem with the backups on your system and are unsure why, please contact the CIS helpdesk.

Q. Can I register a system for someone else?
A. Yes, just put a comment in the form saying what you're doing (you can put a comment in the large text box on the form). Also, make sure you have the correct project number listed for that person.