Backups For Self Managed Machine

I’m pleased to be able to announce the availability of a much
requested backup service for self-managed machines running most
varieties of Linux/Unix, Windows (XP, Vista and 7) and Mac-OS. Full
details of how to start using the service can be found at This
service uses the same software, hardware and backup intervals as the
main commodity backup service namely nightly incremental backups
to tape, full backups to tape every 28 days and retention of full
backups for 13 months

The client installation article hopefully does a good job of covering
the nuts and bolts of how to get backups going on your machine (and if
it doesn’t, let us know!) but there are a couple of things to note
when making use of this service. Firstly, this service is only
designed to let you make backups of the data which is crucial for your
Informatics related work. It is not designed to offer a ‘bare metal’
restore after a hard disk failure or similar, nor is it a facility for
backing up your photo albums and MP3 collections (backup tapes are way
too expensive to allow us to offer this sort of facility). For this
reason, we’ve imposed a nominal backup limit of 5GB per machine though
we’re happy to discuss extensions to this limit in exceptional cases.

Secondly, please note the difference between fixed and roaming
clients. A fixed client is not one which never leaves your desk. It is
simply a machine which always has the same network address, allocated
to it by support. A roaming client on the other hand has a network
address allocated to it each time it connects to the school network
and this address may be different each time. Both types of client may be
backed up via the new service, the difference being that roaming
client backups must be initiated manually, usually from a cron job or
by the machine’s user typing in a command, whereas fixed clients can
have their backups initiated automatically by the backup server
(assuming that the client is connected to the School’s network of

This leads to another point, which networks can your machine be backed
up from? The simple answer is any of the School’s subnets. You will
not be able to connect to the backup server from your home network or
the University wireless network unless you connect to the School VPN
first (see
for details of how to do this).

I hope you will find this new backup service useful, If you have any
questions or suggestions for improvements to the service, please do
not hesitate to ask.


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