The following information is provided to help users of Information Technology Services (ITS) systems understand the nature of the ITS backup procedures and the availability of information beyond the date on which it is deleted by the users.
ITS backs up user files on its UNIX systems (uhunix, www and related systems) for the purpose of ensuring its ability to recover from computer or network failures and sends duplicate copies of backups off-site for storage in an ANSI compliant data management facility that provides 24x7 security, vaulted storage chambers, environmental controls, and fire suppression systems. Off-site backups are done during normal working days. For disaster planning purposes, data on an off-site backup may be up to two working days old.
Backups of user file systems are run on a daily basis, usually starting around midnight and finishing after several hours. Certain systems/disks may be backed up earlier and/or take longer to finish. Each daily backup saves the contents of files and directories found on disk at the time that the backup was performed. Therefore the backups do not record all activities or contents of users' files throughout the day. It is completely possible for a user to create and delete a file during the course of a day which will never appear on a backup.
Backups of user files are retained for only 30 days. ITS can retrieve daily backups for up to 30 consecutive days before the date of request. Users are urged to consider and plan for their own disaster scenarios and to backup any critical information themselves for archival purposes or long-term storage off-line. This additional planning should complement the ITS Data Backup Policy and help ensure that vital information is not lost.
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