The next several pages will guide you through the following information on the School of H&S's backup solution, CrashPlan Pro:
How is it setup for H&S?
CrashPlan Pro is a connected (from anywhere with a network connection) backup to CrashPlan Servers and storage residing in our Stanford data center.
Who is it for and how much does it cost?
CrashPlan Pro is available, free of charge, to H&S faculty, staff, working graduate students, emeriti and postdocs. (Basically the same set of folks that are covered in our desktop support contract, but the backup solution also includes Math and Economics)
What advantages does the service have?
The main advantage of CrashPlan is that we could set it up in this manner, meeting cost and scalability objectives, to provide a backup solution available for all of our working and teaching community in H&S.
What limitations does the service have?
Storage is an expense in the server and backups are really meant for university business. If you have large volumes of personal music or video files, for example, you should consider talking with our desktop support folks to set up some exclusions in your backups or follow the guide to customizing backup sets which can be found here. Also, this backup solution is limited to workstations and is not intended for server backups, research computing, or multi-user desktops (i.e. kiosks).
I have questions about the service, who can I ask?
Specific questions about individual backups are best answered with your local desktop support and/or through opening a HelpSU ticket.
How is the backup performance?
We have been using the CrashPlan service for some time now and there are usually some questions about performance. For one, it is normal and okay for CrashPlan to take a few days to gather all of the files on a workstation into an initial backup. Thereafter, a user may occasionally notice slowness when CrashPlan is running - that's okay, there are adjustments in settings that can help with that. From a performance standpoint, our experience is that CrashPlan is on a par with other backup solutions.
What is the frequency of the backups?
CrashPlan Pro client, by default, is configured to perform an initial backup to the server which can take anywhere from a few hours to days depending on data size and speed of the connection. Thereafter, any files that have been modified will be backed up every 15 minutes. Backup frequency settings can be modified accordingly and IT Services can assist with configuration changes if you submit a HelpSU request.
Which data is being backed up and how do I include/exclude data from the backup set?
By default, the main drive is selected to be backed up which should include your desktop files, documents, emails and browser favorites/bookmarks. The backup does notinclude the system and application/program folders. Also excluded from backup are virtual machines (e.g., VMware Fusion, Parallels), log files, cloud folders (e.g., Box, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive), offline Outlook files, podcast files and other non-downloadable files. If there is a need for users to backup files that fall under the excluded category, please submit a HelpSU request to get assistance in adding a second backup destination (e.g., portable drive). You can customize your backup sets by following the guide which can be found here.
Will IT Services be monitoring my backups?
No, users are required to monitor their own backups to ensure CrashPlan Pro is backing up properly. A guide to verifying backups has been created which can be found here.
How can I restore data from my backups?
There are two ways you can restore data from backup. The first option is to use the CrashPlan Pro client installed on your computer. By following the guide here, you will be able to restore all your data without size limitation. The second option is to access the web console at https://hs-backup.stanford.edu:4285. This option has a size limitation of 250MB per restore which may require you to perform multiple restores on large data sets. A guide to restoring backups using the web console can be found here.
If I delete a file from my computer, will it be deleted in the backups too?
Yes, but files deleted from the computer will be retained on the CrashPlan Server for 90 days before being deleted.
Is there an offsite backup of the H&S CrashPlan Server in case of a disaster at Stanford?
Currently, there is no redundancy (onsite or offsite backup) for the H&S CrashPlan Backup Server.