Backups

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How many of you keep important or confidential information on your computer? I would guess that many of you have important or confidential information stored on your computer. Regardless of what it is, you do not want to lose the information you worked so hard to create. This is the reason you need to backup your computer files regularly.

A backup is a simply a copy of data from one medium to another which runs independently of the source medium. Backups include burning files to a CD-ROM, transfering files to another computer, or knowing that the files saved on your AFS space receive nightly backups.

If you have ever accidently deleted a file, suffered a computer virus, or ran into some other loss or corruption of data, you have most likely learned the value of a good backup. However, if you still think, "It wont happen to me," you'll be in for a shock when you lose that document you have been working on for the past six months. Trust us. We've seen it happen.

AFS

Yes, that is right, every night around midnight, all the files on the AFS partition are automatically saved to a backup. Here they are stored until the next backup twenty-four hours into the future. Should you need to restore a file off the backup, this NCSU Help Knowledgebase solution should be able to aid you in your task.

If, however, you should need a file that is older than twenty-four hours, you will need to request a restore from a tape backup. This process involves humans other than you, and is time consuming. In light of this, you will only get two shots at recovering a file. If you need to request a restore from a tape backup, please e-mail help@ncsu.edu. Be aware that as of November 2006, tape backups will only extend back 21 days -- this is reduced from the 28 day backup we've had for the past few years.

Restoring Files from AFS

Veritas

Your entire PC can be backed up as well. This is all accomplished via VERITAS Netbackup Professional on the domained Windows 2000/XP workstations. VERITAS is considered by many to be one of the leaders in desktop and laptop recovery; providing nightly backups and easy restoration methods.

Administrative staff have an automatic backup of their files generated nightly. Research groups are welcome to subscribe to this service provided they consult with Wolftech regarding the expense of the required software and server.

External USB Drives

FolderShare

If your users use multiple machines and are looking for a way to keep personal data synchronized between those machines, FolderShare is the answer. There is no 'in the cloud' storage provided, however, it allows you to set up your own private P2P network to maintain replicas of any file folders you wish across any number of machines with no limit to the amount of data within the replica (at least I have not run into one). I have used FolderShare for the last three or so years to keep my laptops and home PC synched. It is especially nice when I need to build a new machine or re-build an old one as I no longer worry about having to figure out how to migrate the data. I simply install the FolderShare agent, log into my account and let my data synchronize from one of my online replicas - all I need is a Internet connection on at least one replica machine and the new machine - the service just finds the replica and starts synching. Since it uses UPNP, it is NAT/FW friendly in most scenarios. All transfers are authenticated using RSA and AES over SSL encryption... There is even a OS X client so yes, it supports synching with replicas on that 'other' OS! Other nice features include the ability to search and download from your data from any Internet connected machines as long as at least one replica is online somewhere. You can also invite friends to share a common set of folders that you can use as a data drop among peers - think of it as a poor man's Groove. FolderShare is still technically a beta and is part of the Window Live Service offerings and is free to use. http://www.foldershare.com/