Account backups

How is my account backed up?

There are six levels of backups at CSE:

Taken nightly
Files modified in the last 24 hours (see Incremental limits)
Kept online for at least two months
Incremental summary
Taken weekly
Latest versions of files from nightly backups
Kept online for at least two years
Full backup
Taken monthly
All files in your home directory
Kept on tape for many years
Server snapshot
Taken weekly
All files on each file server
Kept on tape for four weeks
Session dump
Taken at the end of each semester
All files in your home directory and other directories
Kept on tape indefinitely
Archive dump
Taken after your account expires
All files in your home directory
Kept on tape indefinitely

You can restore files from incremental, incremental summary and full backups by yourself - see Restoring files from backup.

For files that may only be in the snapshots or dumps, contact System Support.

Note that server snapshots are chiefly for disaster recovery, and aren't used for normal file recovery except in emergencies.

Incremental limits

Unfortunately, we have limited space available for incremental backups.

Because of this, there are limits on which files in your account will be backed up every night:

  • Only files modified in the last 24 hours will be backed up.
  • Temporary and easily-replaced files (such as core, *.o and files in the trash) are excluded.
  • Large files (8MB by default) are excluded.
  • No more than 100MB per user will be backed up per night.

Because of the hard 100MB limit, it's possible that less-important files can crowd more-important ones out of the backup.

However, you can control which files are excluded and which files have priority, to ensure your most important files are covered.

Last edited by jbc 26/03/2020

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