The College of Engineering provides backups of your network data (including your home drive, admin shares, or research shares) through two basic mechanisms: 

  • Snapshots provide quick access to recent versions of files and directories
  • Tape backups provide long-term archival storage of your files

Tape backups are provided primarily to ensure that your data is protected even in the event of catastrophic failure of our data resources; depending on the current activity of the tape library, restoring files from tape may take several days. To immediately restore files, it is usually much easier to use the snapshots explained below. We perform tape backups on two different schedules: 

  • Weekly backups are held for 9-16 weeks
  • Semester backups are taken at the end of each semester and are held indefinitely - but they effectively expire when we no longer have hardware to access stale technology. That's usually after about 5 years

Snapshots are provided to simplify the process of restoring your files in the event of accidental deletion or modification. We cover how to use them in the FAQ 'How can I recover a backup of a file that was accidentally deleted?' The schedule for taking snapshots of your files is as follows: 

  • Hourly snapshots are taken between 8am-5pm, and are held 'as long as possible.' This means, basically, they are retained as long as there is space on our servers to hold them. That's usually about a week or two.