Technical Staff Blog

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Starting Thursday, December 22, 2016, filesystem backups will be retained for only six months.  Currently they are kept for forever.  At the same time, files will be backed up more frequently (as often as hourly) rather than just once a day.

This change is part of our migration to CIS file services.  Our daily backup of the "main" and "data" filesystems will switch over from using the CCV TSM tape backup system to CIS' filesystem backups.  Our GPFS fileservers will be mirrored to an EMC Isilon file server which is replicated to an offsite Isilon server located in Andover, MA.

The CIS filesystem backups is done through the Isilon snapshot feature.  The snapshots on the Isilon server is totally different and independent of the GPFS filesytem snapshots.  The Isilon snapshot setting is more granular than on the GPFS filesystem snapshots.  The current snapshot schedule on the Isilon server are as follows:

Hourly Snapshot retained for 2 days
Daily Snapshot retained for 25 days
Weekly Snapshot retained for 43 days
Monthly Snapshot retained for 6 month

In addition to the snapshots, the Isilon filesystem replicates its data to a Disaster Recovery site located in Andover, MA.  The replication schedule varies depending on the data.  The most critical data is replicated every 10 minutes while not critical data are replicated every 4 hours or once daily at 4am or 8pm. 

The daily incremental backup of the GPFS filesystems to the Isilon servers varies depending on the size of the directories.  Here is the current backup speed of the various incremental backup:

/gpfs/main/admin - 1 hour
/gpfs/main/authen - 1 hour
/gpfs/main/course - 10 hours
/gpfs/main/home - 5 days
/gpfs/main/research - 2.5 days
/gpfs/main/sys - 1 day
/gpfs/data - 4 days
/gpfs/data/compbio - 4 days
/gpfs/nbu - 2.5 days