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Backups

There's an old IT proverb when it comes to backing up data:

There are two types of people: those who backup their files regularly and those who will learn to backup their files following a data loss.

CTS takes steps to ensure the data our users entrust us to maintain is backed up in a consistent and reliable manner, and we strongly encourage all Engineers to take the appropriate steps to make sure the data they're responsible for it also protected adequately. Your data is only as good as your last backup!

Faculty and Staff Backups

The College of Engineering provides Crashplan Enterprise backup services for all full-time faculty and professional staff through a campus-wide agreement managed by Drexel IT. We're happy to answer any specific questions about the service, but please refer to DUIT's CrashPlan FAQ first to see if your question is already answered.

Testing Backups

We recommend that all users verify that their backups are running on at least a quarterly basis, and while doing so, attempt to recover a file or folder to make sure that they're familiar with the process and can do so if needed. Your backups are only as good as the last time you've tested them.

Recovering and Testing CrashPlan Backups

Code42 maintains instructions for restoring files from your CrashPlan backups. Although OneDrive is a better method for accessing files across multiple devices, you can also use CrashPlan to access files stored on backed up devices from other computers using just a web browser.

Server Backups

CTS uses Microsoft Data Protection Manager to backup virtual machines (VMs) and data hosted on Windows servers. For Linux servers, we use Restic or Borg.

VMs are backed up on a nightly basis, with 30 days of recovery points maintained.

files.coe.drexel.edu and researchfiles.coe.drexel.edu are backed up using Veeam Backup & Replication CE according to the following schedule:

Recovery Point Creation Time (Daily) Retention Period (Days)
Files 8PM 60
Research Files 9PM 60

Equipment Workstation Backups

For PCs controlling equipment in classrooms or research labs, we recommend using CloneZilla from a USB drive or disc. Because Clonezilla operates outside of the regular OS on the computer, it's able to capture a fully recoverable disk image of the device.

We have a dedicated NAS for storing backups taken by Clonezilla. When backing up, Clonezilla can store the backup files directly to the NAS over the network, or for disconnected PCs, it can transfer to a USB hard drive which can then be transferred to the NAS afterwards.

CloneZilla instructions

The following instructions can be used by research groups to back up network connected equipment PCs directly to our dedicated equipment backup NAS, data1.coe.drexel.edu. If you need a CloneZilla boot disk, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide one on a CD/DVD or install it onto a USB stick for you.

  1. If the computer being backed up is running Windows, before shutting down prior to the backup, run the Drive Cleanup Wizard to remove temporary files.
  2. Boot into Clonezilla by choosing an alternate boot device (on Dells, press F12 at the Dell logo; other manufacturers may use Esc, F12, F10, or another keypress to get to the boot device selection screen). The default mode of Clonezilla live should work in most cases.
  3. After booting into Clonezilla, please use the following information to complete the steps:
    1. Language: English
    2. Keymap policy: Don’t touch keymap
    3. Select mode: Start Clonezilla
    4. Select mode: device-image
    5. Mount Clonezilla Image Directory: samba_server
    6. Clonezilla will then search for active network connections — select the link that shows Link detected: yes if prompted
    7. Network Config: dhcp
    8. Mount Samba Server: data1.coe.drexel.edu
    9. Domain: (leave blank)
    10. Account: backups
    11. Directory: /backups
    12. Security Mode: auto
    13. Password: press Ok, enter the password at the prompt, and press enter.
      • The password is provided by CTS staff — if you don’t have it, please contact us.
    14. If that worked, you’ll see //data1.coe.drexel.edu/backups 8.2T at the bottom of the list, mounted on /home/partimag
    15. Choose mode: Beginner
    16. Select mode: savedisk
    17. Input a name: Remove the last word and number from the default, leaving the date (e.g. 2016-10-06) followed by a dash and then the name of the computer you’re backing up (e.g. 2016-10-06-instronpc)
    18. Choose local disk as source: typically, you’ll only need to back up the main hard drive, sda. In cases where a workstation has more than 1 hard drive, you may wish to confirm that you're backing up the system drive (based on drive size or other distinguishing characteristics).
    19. Check and repair: skip checking/repairing source file system
    20. Check the saved image: Yes
    21. Encrypt the image: No
    22. You will then be asked to confirm that you wish to proceed with the backup – please answer Y.
    23. After the backup is complete, please contact us to let us know, and we will move the file into the archived backup directory. If this backup is meant to supersede an older backup, please let us know that as well.

If you run into issues, we’re happy to assist with any custom steps that your PC requires. This backup system is NOT meant for research group workstations or data — it is solely for backing up PCs that control research equipment or perform other lab tasks.