Backup Options

This recommendation document refers to the backing up of data that resides on individual PCs, laptop computers, and other such devices (to be referred to as “workstations”). Responsibility for data protection on these workstations rests solely with the individual faculty member or lab group and not departmental IT staff.  Department IT Staff will provide recommendations to setup effective data protection strategies and assist with the initial configuration but all ongoing monitoring and responsibility will reside with the individual users.

Each individual and lab group has different methodologies when organizing data and it is impossible for IT Staff to have the same intimate knowledge as each of you required to properly protect your data.  It is for this reason that the official policy regarding data protection resides with each individual.  This also means when computers fail or are replaced upgraded you are responsible for migrating data as needed.

TAMUIT Network Storage

Purchase storage from TAMUIT at a rate of $1.00/GB/year billed annually on Sept 1. This storage can be shared by multiple users.  The core servers are run by TAMUIT but it is configured and managed by Entomology IT.  There are 2 components to this storage: Shared Storage (S: drive), and Roaming Profiles where your desktop, documents, and pictures are available on any Lab or Classroom PC.

Connecting to Network Storage on Macs

Pros Cons
· Your data will be available instantly on any departmental computer

· Allows seamless collaboration with other departmental

· Retains multiple versions and is backed up offsite within TAMU

· TAMU IT is manages backups and data protection

· Expensive if you have large amounts of data

· VPN connection required for outside access

· Mac computers must manually attach to the network drives

· No Web Based Access to files

 Personal USB Drives

Purchase individual USB drives for each of your users and they save files directly to this external drive and not on the computer itself.  Upon completion of their work they return the drive and you make a duplicate copy of their data.

Pros Cons
· Allows you full access your data from any work or personal computer

·  External Drives are very cost effective compared to other options for large amounts of data

· Data is lost if the USB drive fails before backup has been completed

· Backups must be performed manually

· Relies on the honor system for the user to return their hard drive as requested and not leave with their work.

· No way to recover corrupted or accidentally deleted files

· Difficult to manage data and determine who has the most recent versions of the work

 Cloud Storage

Syncplicity is the TAMUS approved file sync & share system.  It operates by synchronizing content across all your devices to the cloud. Google Drive and Office365/OneDrive are available through TAMU.

Pros Cons
· Best option for collaborating with users outside the university

· Can easily share individual files to anybody via the web

· Works equally well inside the dept as outside

· Offsite storage by default and retains multiple versions

·  Apps for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Web

· Does not work well with large amounts of data because you must have local storage to sync files

· On shared computers it will quickly fill up the hard drive as each user must have their own independent copy of the synced data

· Cloud based so relies on the internet connection which is much slower than the internal network

· The syncing process does not work well for files that multiple are constantly editing like logs or databases

· Not as secure as TAMU hosted storage

Individualized Computer Backup

Purchase an external USB drive and install backup software to run regularly scheduled backups.

Pros Cons
· Backs up all data on an individual computer

· Allows you to do a full restore if the hard drive becomes damaged

· You can recover files from any of the previous backups (typically run daily) going back as far as you have external storage for

· Data is only accessible on each individual computer and cannot be used to share or collaborate.

· This option requires larger external hard drives since it will retain multiple versions of your entire computer

· Data recovery is a cumbersome process and you must regularly verify backups are completing successfully.

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