Network Backup Service: Introduction

Backup your campus server over the network, unattended. Retrieve files inadvertently erased or recover from hard disk failure. Do this before you lose files.

Spectrum Protect software supports all modern versions of Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, Linux, and many obsolete/older versions and operating systems also.

What does ADSM stand for? Originally it stood for ADSTAR Distributed Storage Manager, which is what IBM called the software it used. The software was then renamed to TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) and is now called Spectrum Protect. 

What is the Network Backup Service?

Network Backup Service is a utility to backup the hard drive on campus servers (Windows, Mac, or Unix) when it is on the UIC campus. Usually, one would have to buy a spare drive or use other backup tools to backup your hard drive. ACCC, however, offers the network backup service for campus servers free of charge. This allows you to backup your drive over the network on servers that we maintain. If you ever accidentally delete a file or experience a hard drive crash, you can restore the missing information from the network backups.

You can easily set up automatic network backups to run every night or request to have the automatic backup run during the day.

Network Backup Service on the ACCC UNIX Servers

The network backup service is also run every night, time permitting on basic email accounts on mailserv. 

An important use of the network backups on tigger and mailserv is recovering lost email. (But only email that stayed on tigger or mailserv overnight is likely to have been backed up on the server. If it's on your personal computer, it's up to you to back it up yourself.) See DSMC on ACCC Unix. You can restore your email from the system backups on tigger by yourself. ACCC staff must do mailserv backups; send full information promptly to systems@uic.edu if you need some email back from your email account on mailserv.

Installation

Tivoli Storage Manager Network Backup for Windows: Installation

Tivoli Storage Manager Network Backup for Mac OS X Installation

How Many Backup Copies Does the Network Backup Service Keep and For How Long?

  • The Network Backup system keeps up to 7 versions of each file.
  • The current version of an existing file is kept as long as the file exists. 
  • The non-current versions of a file are kept at most 30 days; they are deleted either (1) when the backup service has to make a new backup copy and there are already 7 versions of the file in that file, or (2) when 30 days passes.
  • The last version of a file that has been deleted is kept for 60 days after it is deleted.
  • There is more; the Download Your Client page has a full of the network backup policies.

This is of particular importance for files that change daily, the most common of which are email inboxes. This means that Spectrum Protect now has copies of your email inboxes going back a whole week. (Previously we kept only 3 copies, which translated into 3 days.) This change applies to all ACCC email servers -- tigger and mailserv -- as well as to all mailboxes on your desktop computer as long as you back them up daily. It does not apply to email on GoogleApps@UIC.

You can now see these versions on systems where you can get a shell session (tigger or any type of Unix on your desktop) by specifying the -pick -inactive switches on the dsmc restore command. On GUI systems (Windows and Mac), you can see them by clicking View then Display active/inactive files.

DSMC on ACCC Unix has instructions on how to get back email that was backed up on tigger. If your email account is on mailserv, and the email that you need to restore was stored on the server, you still have to ask us to do the restore for you. But now we've got a whole week to respond to your request for a mailserv restore.

Questions or comments about UIC's Network Backup service, or submit mailserv restore requests, should be directed to datasave@uic.edu.

Who Can Use the Network Backup Service on Their Personal Computer, Laptop, or Workstation?

  • The Network Backup Service is only available for use on campus servers. 
  • Given the high volume of data that is transferred when using it, the Network Backup Service can not be used from off-campus or from any type of outside connection. It may be used only with ethernet or UIC-Wireless connections on the Chicago UIC campus. The huge amount of data transferred during network backup makes it unusable over modem connections, or any type of DSL or cable TV connection even if physically located on campus.
  • Back up only your files and documents, not scratch directories and not operating systems or software files that you can get back by re-installing. (The default options files provided with the ACCC client software is already set up to do this.)

Warnings about the restriction to backing up only one machine.

  • Due to a technical limitation in Spectrum Protect, if you use one single Spectrum Protect account to back up multiple machines, you may be unable to restore files to some or all of them when the need arises and this can happen without any warning.
  • This technical limitation considers two separate bootable partitions using "dual boot" to be two separate machines, even if they are physically on the same computer and same disk drive.
  • Multiple partitions or multiple drives used in one single operating system image are OK and are not subject to this limitation, however, you must send email to datasave@uic.edu asking for your account to be set up to allow this.

(To clarify: It is OK for your computer system to have multiple hard drives, as long as they are all used by one operating system image, but it is not OK to install Linux in a separately bootable partition on the same machine and then back it up using the same Spectrum Protect account.)

Note: We do not support the Archive function of the Spectrum Protect system and we have no plans to support it in the future.

Checking on the Status of Your Backups

The ACCC Status Web utility shows you when the last time you successfully backed up using the Network Backup Service and which allows you to sign up for daily automatic email messages to keep you up to date with this information. Type your email address in the box in the Watcher column to request the email message be sent to you.

Last updated: 

October 27, 2016