Back-up Service Replacement Project

Overview

Recognising the global importance of the collegiate University's information assets, the back-up service requires periodic updates and improvements, to ensure acceptable recovery times in the event of a major incident that could result in lost or corrupted data. This project aims to invest in the latest back-up technology, allowing us to deliver a service with improved recovery times, back-up speed and capacity management, and more robust back-up arrangements for University-wide applications. Significant time and effort have been invested over the last few years to feed into planning for the delivery of this project.

Key Benefits

  • A modern and highly functional solution for both server and endpoint back-up
  • Improved long term value for money, compared to the benefits received for the annual cost of the current back-up service
  • An enhanced central back-up service, reducing the need for Divisions, Departments and Colleges to seek their own back-up solutions
  • An improved speed of recovery for business critical applications, in the event of Major Incidents that destroy or corrupt data

Future plans

We have confirmed details of the service moving forward and appointed a new supplier, Code42, alongside IBM, who currently provide both the Server and Endpoint solutions.

Server back-ups will continue to be provided by the IBM Spectrum Protect software.

  • Continues as a dual-site on-premise solution, but with increased back-end performance, security and a deeper versioning of files much beyond the standard two versions currently offered
  • Additionally, the utilisation of native compression and deduplication technologies, together with disk-based storage should, for most cases, render the daily backup capacity limits all but redundant. Instead, the practical limits to a backup may well be duration and/or time-based limits we impose on the service to allow for other backend operations and the limits of local backup windows
  • Licensed on capacity, so there will continue to be both a fair use presumption as well as upper limits on total backup storage; these are yet to be decided, and experience will shape this, but will exceed the current limits. 

Endpoint users, i.e. those backing up data on their individual computers, will move to a new solution called Code42 (Crashplan).

  • SaaS solution - backups are hosted offsite in the cloud (Europe),
  • Unlimited capacity, continual automated back-up in the background and multiple versioning of file backups
  • Simple user interface - supported on recent OS versions of Windows, Mac OS and various Linux.
  • Licensed on a per user basis and allows the user to manage backups of several devices under one account, including the support of restores across platforms. It is likely that fair use policies will apply on the number of devices any one user can backup.

Timescales

We are currently trialling the Code42 endpoint solution with an early adopter group, and are working towards the following high-level milestones:

  • April – November 2020: Procurement Phase and Delivery Planning & Governance Phase (complete)
  • December 2020 - February 2021: User testing and preparing for live deployment of the Code42 endpoint service (complete)
  • March - April 2021: Code42 Early Adopter (Pilot) phase
  • June - August 2021: Deployment of Code42 endpoint service commences
  • Summer 2021: New server back-up architecture, with new hardware and networking, available
  • Summer 2021 - Spring 2022: Migration to the new Server back-up service

This project webpage will be updated with further information, as it becomes available.

 

FAQs

Visit the project FAQs page

Contact

Enquiries:

BUSR@it.ox.ac.uk

Project sponsor:

Keith.Gillow@maths.ox.ac.uk 

Project manager:

Crispin.Muncaster@it.ox.ac.uk