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18th Large Installation System Administration Conference — Abstract

Pp. 177–186 of the Proceedings

Who Moved My Data? A Backup Tracking System for Dynamic Workstation Environments

Gregory Pluta, Larry Brumbaugh, William Yurcik, and Joseph Tucek, NCSA/University of Illinois


Periodic data backup is a system administration requirement that has changed as wireless machines have altered the fundamental structure of networks. These changes necessitate a complete rethinking of modern network backup strategies. The approaches of the 1980's and 1990's are no longer sufficient and must be updated. In addition to standard backup programs from vendors, specialized system administration tools are often needed. This paper examines one backup system and the major software components used to implement it. NCSA has developed a Backup Tracking System (BTS)[Note 1] to perform backup operations based on knowledge of the network and when each machine was last successfully backed up. BTS can chronologically list all computers: from those currently attached to the network through those that have ever been attached over the life of the BTS program. BTS also provides information about all backup operations including the time of last attempt, success state, amount backed up, etc. The BTS database also contains the date of the last successful backup for each machine and whether it has at least one VIP user (to be given preferred status during backups) or all non-VIP users.

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