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Data Backup and Restoration

Is my data being backed up?

We schedule backups of our central servers (myrtle, raptor, HPC etc.) every night. However, on rare occasions things do go wrong, so sometimes a night is missed. The central file-servers also have on-disk snapshots taken a few times during the day.

We also back up some other servers, such as our GitLab service, but notably not any of the School of Computing Cloud instances. If you're not sure if the system you're using is backed up, please ask us.

We do not backup any desktop machines.

To ensure that your data is backed up please ensure that it is saved on to School of Computing managed filestore (see: Available filestore).

Saving data onto your local hard drive is at your own risk. We cannot restore data from a failed hard drive.

I have deleted some data. How can I get it back?

This happens to all of us at some point, so firstly don't panic.

Assuming that your data was saved to School of Computing filestore (see: Available filestore), please contact us giving us the following information:

  • the path to where the data was stored, e.g. \\\exports\home\myfolder
  • the name of the file(s) that you would like restored
  • the date and time of the last known copy

Note: that backups happen overnight, so any copy restored from backup will be from the previous night of the last known copy, so you will lose any changes made since the last backup. We may be able to restore from an on-disk snapshot instead, but it may still be from much earlier in the day.

How long do you keep backups for?

We can usually go back for around 3 months on backups. If a tape is required from our off-site storage then it may take up to a week for the restore to be completed. We will be able to provide information on your specific request when contact us.

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