Data Center Backup Service

For clients who request this service, computer data on servers are backed up (copied) to disk and tape on a regular schedule. Tapes are stored securely on-site and off-site.


Features and Benefits

There are two backup systems: Networker and Bacula. The Bacula system is for FreeBSD servers only. The back-up schedules and retentions are the same, but off-site tape storage is available only for the Networker service.

The standard plan for server backups is to take full backups every week, and incremental backups, (which contain only the data changed since the previous incremental or full backup) every night. In general, the full backups are put on tapes that are shipped to an off campus vendor for secure storage. The incremental backups are kept on-site, either on disk or tapes held in a secure locked area, for one month. Other backup plans can be arranged.

Full backups are retained as follows: weekly full backups are kept for one year, monthly full backups are kept are kept for one quarter, and yearly full backups are kept for three years. File Recovery is included as part of the backup service.


Availability

This is a 24x7 service supported by the Data Center Operations UNIX team. Escalation is provided through Data Center Operations and the UNIX on-call rotation.

ITS reserves a maintenance window each Tuesday for changes to the backup applications and infrastructure.

For planned maintenance, the UCSC Data Center follows the ITS Change Management Process, and planned changes are posted on the ITS Maintenance Calendar.


Data Security

The Data Center Backup Service is appropriate for most types of data, including restricted and confidential data. Off-site backups are managed by IronMountain; UCSC has a BAA with Iron Mountain to assure protections for personal health information in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.


Eligibility

The Data Center Backup Service is available to all UCSC faculty and staff. Servers located at UCSC or a departmental server room are eligible for enrollment in this service.


Costs

Backup billing is based on the number of GB that go through the backup service in a given month. The rate for FY2014-15 $1.50 per GB, per year. 


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Note:This service is also offered by Academic Divisional Computing and can be found here.


Information for IT providers

Information about using Networker for backups is available here. This document contains the required firewall rules, and other considerations for installing and managing the Networker client software.

Managing Data Center Backups is the combined efforts of three groups:

Administrator of the backup system

  • Monitor daily backup status.
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot and repair Networker and bacula backup problems.
  • Maintain the Networker and bacula backup servers with patches and configuration changes.
  • Support client system administrators for restores.
  • Upgrade the Networker and bacula backup system software.
  • Do strategic design and implementation of new backup systems for future growth.
  • Write programs for better service monitoring and problem resolution.
  • Work with backup software vendors (EMC and bacula open source community) for issues that require their support.
  • Retrieve tapes needed for restores during day shift.
  • Process ITR tickets for Networker and bacula backup problems.
  • Upgrade Networker and bacula backup software on the client if it can be done from the server.
  • Administer user accounts for the backup software.
  • Perform restores from bacula.

Administrator of the client system (the server being backed up):

  • Install backup client software on the client.
  • Upgrade client backup software if it cannot be done centrally.
  • Assist the administrator of the backup system with troubleshooting for work that needs to be done on the client machine.
  • Perform restores from Networker as needed.
  • Important note: There are a number of conditions under which DNS and networking changes on a client machine will break the backups for that server if the corresponding configurations are not changed in Networker's master backup server. If the administrator of a client system is planning to make any changes to the network or DNS configuration of an existing server, please be sure to notify the backup team so that they can assess the need for configuration edits on the backup server. This includes changes like adding a NIC to an existing server, adding an alias to an existing hostname, or changing the host's IP address.

Data Center Operations:

  • Monitor backup software operations during swing and graveyard shifts.
  • Repair problems that surface during the night, or escalate to the administrator of the backup system.
  • Handle tapes for Networker and bacula backup systems.
  • Rotate tapes from tape library (jukebox) to the tape vault to offsite (Iron Mountain), and back.
  • Track the location of all tapes with the logbook.
  • Order new tapes and labels as needed.
  • Securely dispose of failed tapes.
  • Recall tapes from off-site as needed for restores.
  • Contact off-site storage vendor (Iron Mountain) regularly for delivery, payment, ordering of service.