ITS offers a service called TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager), which will allow data on your desktop PC or Mac to be backed up to a system located in the data center in ITS. Data files backed up using this service can be easily and quickly restored to your desktop in the event of an accidental loss, such as the inadvertent deletion of the file or corruption due to defective hardware.
TSM and how it works
TSM is software that runs on your PC or Mac and communicates through the network to a central computer (TSM server) in the ITS data center. This computer is connected to a large virtual tape library (VTL) unit where the backed-up data resides. When you want to backup data from your desktop or restore data to the desktop, your PC or Mac communicates with the TSM server to accomplish the task.
TSM backups are incremental which means that the first time that your computer is backed up, all files will be copied. After that, only changes to your files (additions, deletions, or modifications) will be recorded, so the procedure runs very quickly. The files are compressed and copied to the central tape library. Once backed up, files can be restored at any time. If you accidentally delete one file or destroy your entire disk, the files can be restored from the backups.
Files that are backed up
Files located in the Documents folder, special scholarly applications, and any locations where data is stored are backed up. System files that are standard an can be reinstalled easily are not included in the standard desktop backup. Please refer to the Desktop Backup amendment in the ITS Desktop Computer Support Policy regarding back up of personal files.
Backup will contain the currently active copy and the most recent previous (inactive) version of each of your files. The previous version will be retained for 30 days. If you delete any of these files from your hard drive, the TSM server will keep the most recent copy of the file for 30 days, after which it will be deleted from the server also.
ITS staff will install all the necessary software on your computer and schedule an automated backup. Backups can occur during one of several scheduled windows day or night. Computers must be on for backups to occur. Desktop PCs have software installed that will wake the computer for their scheduled backup window. If the computer is not on at the scheduled backup time, the backup will not run.
Running a manual backup
We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you learn to do manual backups and run them from time to time. A variety of problems can cause your TSM software to stop communicating with the TSM server. All Desktop Support Specialists receive a monthly report detailing when each computer in their area was last backed up, but it is still important to check it periodically to make certain it is still working properly.
When you need to restore files please contact your desktop support staff. For those who wish to learn how to restore files themselves, we suggest that you contact your Desktop Support Specialist to learn how to restore before trying to use the software on your own.
Excluding data from backup
You can request that your computer be set up for a partial backup. A specific folder can be designated and only documents you place in that folder will be backed up.
You can check your backup status through your Employee Electronic Portfolio. Under Tools & Links, select Desktop Backup Status.
On this page, you will a section for each computer registered to you. It will show the results of the most recent SCHEDULED backup (Completed, Missed, or Failed). You will also see the date of the last completed backup for each disk backed up regardless of whether it was a manual or scheduled backup.
It is possible that some files may not have been backed up. Files left open are not backed up. This information appears in your backup log, but will still result in a successful backup. For example if you had created a new spreadsheet or document and not closed it prior to the backup, it would not be backed up. It is a good idea to close any files you have been updating prior to your scheduled backup time.
TSM data security
We have taken several precautions to make sure that the TSM server is secure. On your computer, TSM keeps an encrypted password that is changed very often and written to a file on your desktop. The files that are stored on the server are first compressed and encrypted on your PC or Mac prior to being sent to the server. If someone tries to access your files on the server, he/she has to uncompress them before they can read the file. This will involve a deep understanding of the compression algorithm used by IBM. Also, we have instructed the server that files backed up from your machine can ONLY be restored backed to your own machine. Of course, someone else can try to pretend to have your machine. In that case, they will be prompted for a password, which will be hard to guess, because as we mentioned above, this is an automatically generated and hard-to-guess password.
Yes. When the ITS staff member comes to install the TSM client software, please inform him that you do not wish to have the software installed. If you choose that option, you may want to backup your important documents yourself to a floppy disk or a zip disk, if you have one. Without backups, we may be unable to help you recover lost or damaged files.