How does the Backup & Restore service work?
The operational experience, since 1998, shows that simple copying of data of one or several computers seems to be possible with little effort. But in cases when it is necessary to restore data (be it the "version from three days ago" of a file or the whole 5TB data system of a server) the limits at the time of saving become apparent.
By considering those restrictions the IT Center is able to save your data to a large extent. To achieve this an effective server infrastructure with the Tivoli Storage Manager software of IBM is used.
A suitable backup concept which ideally is maintained in close coordination between the institutes of RWTH Aachen University and the IT Center allows for a quick restoration.
Data backup should only be done for crucial data. On the one hand this optimises the restoration in case of data loss (necessary data is avaibale again in short time) and on the other hand valuable resources (storage capacity) can be used to store a higher amount of crucial data. Further information on which data should be stored and possibilities of influencing the data set that is to be stored can be found on the page "backup data".
The current configuration ensures that the failure of one component should usually not lead to a system breakdown. All network connections and SAN connections as well as the robot gripper have a redundant design. The use of several server machines additionally facilitates the continued operation due to established takeover methods. This reduces interruptions to a minimum.
The steering committee of the IT Center decided that the restore and achive service will be considered a central basic service. It is financed by central funds.
There will be no pricing/individual billing for this service. Please consult the IT Center if you want to store large amounts of data. In this context it can also be discussed if the costs for the required magnetic tapes must be shared by the respective institute.
How we work
Since 2008 we comply with the ITIL 'Best Practices' for the design of our internal processes especially for the restore service. It describes optimised and well-tried methods of organising the IT Service. The standard changes (changes on the productive infrastructure) of the backup nodes are implemented via the Backup-Portal; the underlying database for the backup nodes is called 'CMDB'. The recently implemented client-specific backup information would not have been possible without the information stored in this database and the links to the TSM server information.
We are able to guarantee a high availability as well as an extension of our performance and capacities that meets the requirements by monitoring (i.e. pemanently and systematically monitoring the processes with technical means) the operating conditions of all system components, the development, the occupancy as well as the development of the system utilisation in all operating conditions.
We also use high quality professional system components to guarantee a high availability. Experience shows that due to the long holding time the here installed solution is also the most economic one.
Furthermore, we of course do not just consider ourselves service providers for the institutes of RWTH Aachen University but also feel responsible to continue refining our concept to develop the best backup and restore strategy possible in line with the requirements of the institutes and the available budget.