Data Center Backup Service

Backup refers to the process of storing data on a separate medium for added reliability. This helps recover data in case of primary hardware failures, accidental deletion, cyberattacks and natural disasters. Servers are backed-up daily and archived offsite for long term retention. Backup services are available by request to all UCSC employees.

Service includes:

  • Simplified, centralized management of archiving and retrieving data
  • Short recovery times to ensure reduced downtime

Request this Service


This service is supported by a cross section of technical staff from the ITS Systems Engineering team with expertise in Windows, Unix and Virtual Server Administration.

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

Data Security

This service is appropriate for P1 - P4 data, excluding EAR/ITAR and PCI. Off-site backups are archived on AWS Cloud Services.

Backup Policy 

The backup and recovery service includes both local short-term and offsite long-term retention.  

Backup and Retention Policy:

  • Data is backed up daily.
  • Retention
    • Standard retention: Onsite daily backups will be kept for 14 days for immediate recovery, and archived to AWS cloud storage for 6 months.
    • Exceptions to standard: 
      • Onsite (only) short-term retention: Primarily for non-production workloads
      • Long-term retention:  For production workloads that require longer retention for legal or regulatory requirements.  We will keep annual snapshots for 3 years, in addition to the standard retention.
  • File Recovery is included as part of the backup service:
    • Within 14 days: Available immediately
    • Files older than 14 days: Within 48 hours.

Cloud (AWS) Hosted Workloads

Data Center Hosted Workloads (via Cohesity to AWS)


(non-production only)
Frequency: daily Retention: 7 days On-Prem retention only Frequency: daily Retention: 14 days


RPO: daily: Both on-prem and cloud


Within 14 days: immediate

After 14 days: 48hrs

  • Daily, kept for 7 days
  • Weekly, kept for 14 weeks
  • Monthly, kept for 6 months

On Prem:

Daily kept for 30  days (minimum) 

Cloud Archive:

Backups are sent daily and kept for 6 months


Based on regulatory requirements

  • Daily, kept for 7 days
  • Weekly, kept for 14 weeks
  • Monthly, kept for 6 months
  • Yearly, kept for 3 years

On Prem:

Same as standard

Cloud Archive:

Yearly, kept for 3 years

Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Backup Administrator:

  • Monitor daily backup status
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair backup software and hardware problems
  • Maintain the backup server with patches and configuration changes
  • Work with backup software vendor for issues that require their support
  • Process ITR tickets for backups
  • Administer user accounts for the backup software
  • Support sysadmins  when requesting a restore

Responsibilities of the administrator of the client system (the server being backed up):

  • Install backup client software on the client (as needed)
  • 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 as needed
  • 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.


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.

The Data Center Backup Service is compatible with the following operating systems as an agent installation: Windows and Linux. Non Windows/Linux systems may be backed up if they are VMware virtual machines without a backup agent.


Tiered pricing dependent on the GB used: 

  • < 100GB: $14 per month or $168 per yr
  • 101GB - 500GB: $30 per month or $360 per yr
  • 501GB - 1TB: $65 per month or $780 per yr
  • > 1TB:  $85 per month or $1,020 per Tb/Yr 

If the host is a dev server, tied to a production server, there is no cost. 

For more information on all data center shared service costs, visit the pricing information page.

Get Help

Contact the ITS Support Center for assistance with Backup services. 

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.