We perform two different types of system backups: a daily backup of small files only, and a weekly backup of all files on selected disks. In both cases, the backups are simply to other disks in the department; we do not have any tape backups, so there is an inherent risk in our backup systems, as any event that were to wipe out files on multiple disks in the department could wipe out both original and backup versions! If possible, all users are advised to backup critical files themselves on some external backup medium.
For the daily backups, we do not have sufficient space/bandwidth to backup large files; note that most image data files, e.g. FITS files, will not fall within the size limits. The partial disk backups currently copy all files that are smaller than some size (I 200 kbytes), some files that fall in the range ( I < size < E 500 kbytes), and no files larger than E 500 kbytes). For the intermediate sizes between I and E, the files are backed up if they have any of the following extensions: .c, .h, .l, .y, .sh, .csh, .rc, .awk, .nawk, .sed, .pl, .cl, .pro, .m, .mgo, .sm, .plt, .f, .for, .F, .FOR, .html, .hdl, .tex, .txt, .man, .me, .ms, or .wp; any of these extensions that are compressed (.gz or .Z) will also be included.
The disk backups are made daily and are saved for 7 days. This provides the possibility of recovering files that you might have accidentally corrupted within the past 7 days. However, this does not provide long-term archival storage.
Backups can be found in appropriately named directories under /home/backup/base/machinename.
Weekly full backups are done on many, but not all, of the disks on the department computers. Machines with very large disks are not backed up, since we do not have sufficient space. In addition, it is possible to restrict some files on the disks from being backed up; typically, we do not backup files from people who have left the department.
The weekly backups can be found in /home/backup/astrobackup/machinename. Check to see if your files are being backed up!