+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
How do you do....it? Thread, Back up tapes - how far back? in Technical; Morning my lovelies. One of my techies found an old email that had been printed out from last May - ...
  1. #1

    sonofsanta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    4,467
    Thank Post
    750
    Thanked 1,210 Times in 852 Posts
    Blog Entries
    45
    Rep Power
    533

    Back up tapes - how far back?

    Morning my lovelies.

    One of my techies found an old email that had been printed out from last May - before I started, when the previous NM was migrating from CC3 to a vanilla 2k3 setup - where a parent has (justifiably) complained about his daughters coursework being lost. Now this was an unusual occurence because of the migration, and won't happen again, and I do sympathise with him. In said e-mail, though, he posited the idea of keeping weekly backups for 2 years in order to cover any eventuality where coursework might be lost.

    2 years?!

    Seems to me that that is a little bit of overkill. We currently have 4 weeks of backup - Monday to Thursday are overwritten weekly and Friday has a rotation of 4 sets of tapes, hence 4 weeks - and this to me seems entirely adequate and reasonable. Having 104 weeks x 6 servers = 624 tapes, and the room to store them safely (i.e. fireproof), seems entirely unreasonable.

    Which got me wondering - how long do you keep your backups stored for? Am I asking for trouble with only 4 weeks? Just how far does our responsibility to mollycoddle the kids extend, and at what point do they have to take responsibility for checking and reporting losses to us within a reasonable timeframe?

    And if any of you say you do 2 years to make me look bad I may well go and sulk. So there.

  2. #2
    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ruskington
    Posts
    1,104
    Thank Post
    77
    Thanked 242 Times in 216 Posts
    Rep Power
    74
    If there was a migration i would expect to have a full set of pre migration backups kept for a good while (couple of years) but normal backups you sound spot on.

    Thanks


    james

  3. #3
    danrhodes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wath Upon Dearne
    Posts
    1,513
    Thank Post
    157
    Thanked 181 Times in 150 Posts
    Rep Power
    67
    We run the same as you but with the addition of a 6 monthly full backup tape and a year full backup tape both on rotation. We also backup to a NAS offsite weekly.

  4. #4
    AIT
    AIT is offline
    AIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    369
    Thank Post
    46
    Thanked 32 Times in 30 Posts
    Rep Power
    18
    full backups daily monday to friday (on all storage) - overwritten each week
    incremental backup of all other servers - overwritten each week

    full backup weekly (all server) - overwritten every month week1 week2 etc
    full monthly (all servers) - over written every year january, feb etc
    full yearly (all servers) - kept for a minimum of 5 years.

  5. #5
    danrhodes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wath Upon Dearne
    Posts
    1,513
    Thank Post
    157
    Thanked 181 Times in 150 Posts
    Rep Power
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    full backups daily monday to friday (on all storage) - overwritten each week
    incremental backup of all other servers - overwritten each week

    full backup weekly (all server) - overwritten every month week1 week2 etc
    full monthly (all servers) - over written every year january, feb etc
    full yearly (all servers) - kept for a minimum of 5 years.
    Good planning, do you have a disaster recovery plan, we have had to put our into action a few times when some of our sites have got burned to ashes, it's surprising how thankfull schools are when you can have their email server up and running the day after the school burns down, and their data available after 2 days!

    D

  6. #6
    Abaddon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    566
    Thank Post
    66
    Thanked 68 Times in 63 Posts
    Rep Power
    59
    Same here - minimum 5 years.. I can currently go back nearly 8 years. We are now disk-disk-tape, with tape being monthly, and the backup/mirrored disks being in a dedicated DR room with full snapshots of the core servers (we are all vitualised here).

  7. #7
    AIT
    AIT is offline
    AIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    369
    Thank Post
    46
    Thanked 32 Times in 30 Posts
    Rep Power
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    Good planning, do you have a disaster recovery plan, we have had to put our into action a few times when some of our sites have got burned to ashes, it's surprising how thankfull schools are when you can have their email server up and running the day after the school burns down, and their data available after 2 days!

    D
    We do indeed have a disaster recovery plan.
    Thankfully we have never had to use it. But I would say including ordering new hardware up within 2 days.
    Or several hours if all servers haven't been burnt to a crisp.

  8. #8

    sonofsanta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    4,467
    Thank Post
    750
    Thanked 1,210 Times in 852 Posts
    Blog Entries
    45
    Rep Power
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by AIT View Post
    full backups daily monday to friday (on all storage) - overwritten each week
    incremental backup of all other servers - overwritten each week

    full backup weekly (all server) - overwritten every month week1 week2 etc
    full monthly (all servers) - over written every year january, feb etc
    full yearly (all servers) - kept for a minimum of 5 years.
    That sounds like an appropriate mix of overkill and economy that is much more suitable. Possibly 7 years to cover the entire career of a student in school would work.

    Works out at 4 daily + 4 week + 11 month + 5 year = 24 x 6 servers = 144, where the 30 yearly tapes could be kept off-site and probably the 66 monthly tapes as well - not going to need urgent access to them on a regular basis, I would imagine.

    How often have you had to go back to those older backups though? Do people honestly remember a file they last had 4 years ago and ask for it back?

  9. #9

    maniac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    3,037
    Thank Post
    209
    Thanked 425 Times in 306 Posts
    Rep Power
    143
    Monday - Thursday tapes are over written every week
    4 Friday tapes on Rotation, over written every month
    12 end of Month tapes, over written every year.

    I've never seen any justification for keeping a backup any longer than this.

    Works for us, although I've never had to recover work from them as we run shadow copies which goes back 60 days at the click of a mouse - most students should hopefully realise their work is missing within this time!

    Mike.

  10. #10
    AIT
    AIT is offline
    AIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nottingham
    Posts
    369
    Thank Post
    46
    Thanked 32 Times in 30 Posts
    Rep Power
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    That sounds like an appropriate mix of overkill and economy that is much more suitable. Possibly 7 years to cover the entire career of a student in school would work.

    Works out at 4 daily + 4 week + 11 month + 5 year = 24 x 6 servers = 144, where the 30 yearly tapes could be kept off-site and probably the 66 monthly tapes as well - not going to need urgent access to them on a regular basis, I would imagine.

    How often have you had to go back to those older backups though? Do people honestly remember a file they last had 4 years ago and ask for it back?
    and oh yes staff definitely remember files they had 5 years ago... including powering up an old vm of cmis.

    p.s. we are a little over kill on the old backups but better to be safe than sorry.

  11. #11
    Abaddon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    566
    Thank Post
    66
    Thanked 68 Times in 63 Posts
    Rep Power
    59
    I was told that SIMS (and therefore, any MIS) data had a regulatory 3 year retention period...

  12. #12

    sonofsanta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    4,467
    Thank Post
    750
    Thanked 1,210 Times in 852 Posts
    Blog Entries
    45
    Rep Power
    533
    Quote Originally Posted by Abaddon View Post
    I was told that SIMS (and therefore, any MIS) data had a regulatory 3 year retention period...
    Wouldn't that be covered by simply having the old datasets available for that length of time? I know that our intention (going forward) is to have 7 years of datasets available, and as that database is backed up by our normal policy we would always have that to hand.

  13. #13
    Abaddon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Middlesex
    Posts
    566
    Thank Post
    66
    Thanked 68 Times in 63 Posts
    Rep Power
    59
    During a recent inspection, they actually wanted to SEE the tapes, and the backup policy.

  14. #14


    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the server room, with the lead pipe.
    Posts
    4,534
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 752 Times in 590 Posts
    Rep Power
    218
    We backup to disk...

    Incrementals Mon-Thurs
    Full on Friday, kept for minimum of 4 weeks. Encrypted and dumped to tape for offsite storage.
    We also keep the first backup from the beginning and the end of every term for a year because it's a cheap fix for random daftness.
    Student work (after they've left) gets deduped, compressed and dumped to DVD and kept for a couple of years.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. 24 is back :)
    By Simcfc73 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 25th January 2010, 12:00 AM
  2. Going back to XP
    By richard_s in forum General Chat
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 15th June 2009, 04:48 PM
  3. And we are back....
    By ZeroHour in forum General EduGeek News/Announcements
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 11th July 2008, 03:04 PM
  4. veritas back up - Back up Tapes
    By sharkster in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 7th June 2008, 11:30 AM
  5. Were Back...
    By russdev in forum General EduGeek News/Announcements
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 21st September 2006, 12:46 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •