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Backup Policy

Academic Technology Support enables different backup solutions for different data uses and platforms.


Desktop/Laptop Computer (UTBackup)

UTBackup, a central solution for backing up user systems, provides file archiving services for all UT-owned desktop and laptop computers.

Backup Policy (What's Backed Up)

ATS-supported units with UTBackup installed are configured, by default, to back up the user's home folder only.

Your home folder is located here:

OSPath
Mac/Users/USERNAME/
WindowsC:\Users\USERNAME

 

Some files and directories, as well as certain file extensions/types, are excluded from the backup. In general, this list includes:

  • audio and video files (.mp3, .mp4, Quicktime, etc.)
  • cloud-based storage synced directories:
    • Box.com (UTBox)
    • DropBox
    • OneDrive
    • GoogleDrive
  • external drives
  • anything located outside of your home folder
  • virtual machine images (.vdi, etc.)
  • hidden files and system files

View the complete list of excluded files, directories and file extensions. 

Data Backup Frequency, Versions and Retention

  • A file copy is created for its initial backup and is retained until deselected from a backup set
  • Changed files are backed up every 15 minutes
  • 15 minute file changes are available for 1 week
  • Daily changes are available for 90 days
  • Weekly changes are available for 1 year
  • Monthly changes are available for all previous years
  • Deselected files are automatically and securely removed from UTBackup servers during their next maintenance cycle
  • Files deleted from a client device are automatically and securely deleted from UTBackup servers in 30 days

Restoration Process

Instructions on installation, configuration and restoration of files is available from the ITS website: UTBackup Help & Support.

Additional Support

ATS staff will preconfigure all new computers with UTBackup, and ATS support personnel will walk you through the initial configuration of this service when the system is assigned to you.

Cost

UTBackup is subsidized for faculty (100 GB/device/year) and staff (20 GB/device/year). Additional storage is paid at the departmental level at a cost of $.0.35/GB/year. Additional details are available on the UTBackup website.


Box.com (UTBox)

Many faculty, staff, and departments have chosen to use Box.com for cloud-based file storage. In addition, some users may choose to install the Box Sync application to provide for synced copies of their UTBox files on their local computers. 

Backup Policy (What's Backed Up)

All files, either individual or in a departmental or group share, that are on the Box web service are backed up.

Data Backup Frequency, Versions and Retention

Per the UTBox FAQ:

  • Up to 100 versions of a given file are retained as long as the account has available storage quota
  • Deleted files are kept for 14 days


Note that synced UTBox files on your local computer are not backed up until they are synced to the Box web service.

Restoration Process

Instructions on restoring UTBox files are available on the Box website: Box Help.

Additional Support

If you are unable to restore UTBox files yourself, please contact ATS for assistance.

Cost

UTBox is subsidized for all account holders at 150 GB/year. Additional storage is paid at the departmental level at a cost of $500/TB/year. Departments or units that are interested in longer retention times should reference the Expanded Backup for Customers section below.


Austin Disk

Many faculty, staff, and departments have chosen to use Austin Disk for file storage. 

Backup Policy (What's Backed Up)

Everything in your Austin Disk share is backed up.

Data Backup Frequency, Versions, and Retention

  • Snapshots of all data are taken three times per day (before business hours, noon, after business hours)
  • Snapshots are retained for 14 days

Restoration Process

Instructions for restoring files (for Windows users) is on the ITS Help and Support Site: Recovering Files in Austin Disk

Submit a request to ATS with the following information:

  • Provide the full path to the folder or files you would like restored. For example: \\austin.utexas.edu\disk\unit\folder1\
  • If you have a particular date on which the version you want existed, please include that as well.

Cost

Backup costs as outlined above are included as part of Austin Disk. Departments or units that are interested in additional backups of Austin Disk data should reference the Expanded Backup for Customers section below.


Departmental File Servers

If your organization stores files on departmental file servers supported by ATS, the files will be backed up according the following policies and procedures.

Backup Policy (What's Backed Up)

  • All data folders (including user home folders and group shares)

Data Backup Frequency, Versions, and Retention

  • Systems are backed up once a day (nightly)
  • The most recent version of an existing file is kept indefinitely
  • The last 3 versions of a file are kept for 14 days
  • When a file is deleted, 1 copy of the file is retained for 90 days

Restoration Process

Submit a request to ATS with the following information:

  • Provide the full name of the file server. For example: grg-storage.la.utexas.edu
  • Provide the full path to the folder or files you would like restored. For example: \\austin.utexas.edu\disk\unit\folder1\
  • If you have a particular date on which the version you want existed, please include that as well.

Cost

There is no additional cost for backups for departmental file servers that are in an ATS-supported unit and set for deprecation or migration to a standard campus service such as UTBox or Austin Disk. Units that retain departmental file servers will have costs of backup included in the service SLA for that system. 


Database Servers

Filemaker Pro, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server databases that are on servers managed by ATS are backed up and restored according the following policies and procedures.

Backup Policy (What's Backed Up)

  • All databases

Data Backup Frequency, Versions, and Retention

  • Databases will be dumped on a nightly basis
  • Nightly database dumps are kept for the last 30 days

Restoration Process

Submit a request to ATS with the following information:

  • Provide the full name of the server 
  • Provide the full name of the database you would like restored. For example: HIS-Publications.fp7
  • Provide the particular date on which the version you want existed.

Cost

There is no additional cost for backups for database servers. 


Other Servers

Other servers managed by ATS are backed up and restored according the following policies and procedures.

Backup Policy (What's Backed Up)

  • full system (some exclusions for system and hidden files)

Data Backup Frequency, Versions, and Retention

  • Systems are backed up once a day (nightly)
  • The most recent version of an existing file is kept indefinitely
  • The last 3 versions of a file are kept for 30 days
  • When a file is deleted, 1 copy of the file is retained for 90 days

How Do I Restore My Files?

Submit a request to ATS with the following information:

  • Provide the full name of the file server. For example: grg-storage.la.utexas.edu
  • Provide the full path to the folder or files you would like restored. For example: \\austin.utexas.edu\disk\unit\folder1\
  • If you have a particular date on which the version you want existed, please include that as well.

Cost

There is no additional cost for backups for other departmental servers that are in an ATS transitioned unit, and set for deprecation or migration to a standard campus service such as Box or Austin Disk. Units that retain other departmental servers will have costs of backup included in the service SLA for that system.


Expanded Backups for Customers

ATS may be able to provide more frequent backups, additional versions, and longer retention times, depending on the business need of the customer. If you'd like to learn more, submit a request to ATS explaining your expanded backup needs. Please include the following information:

  • The full name of the server
  • The full path to the folder or files you would like backed up
  • The change in frequency, versions, or retention you desire

Expanded backups will result in an additional cost to the unit. Costs are variable depending on the particular combination of frequency, versions, and retention desired.


Archives

ATS has the ability to provide archives of rarely-accessed files to tape backup. Tapes are duplicated and stored in two geographically diverse locations. It is expected that archived data will be rarely accessed; any retrieval costs will be passed on to the requesting unit. Please submit a request to ATS to discuss your archival needs.

 


Disaster Recovery

  • Departmental File Servers, Database Servers and Other Servers - In most situations, the ATS backup service is located in a separate geographical location from our customer's servers. As such, this service will function for disaster recovery for most units.
  • Austin Disk - ITS provides central disaster recovery for this system.
  • Box.com - Box has its own disaster recovery plan.

 

 

 

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