Is my data backed up?

Yes, all data stored on the RDSF is backed up to our tape libraries.

Can I back up my PC to the RDSF?

For research data, this is fine and we would encourage you to do so.

However, system backups such as those carried out by utilities such as Apple Time Machine and PC backup software are rejected by our backup software. 

If you need to back up non-research data you should contact general IT services for guidance. 

How can I keep the data on the RDSF up to date with my PC?

Linux/Unix and Mac


The most widely used program for backups is called rsync. This is a Unix/Linux utility which is also available for Mac and Windows. It is normally run from the command line eg.

rsync -av mydata /mnt/rdsf_project/mydata/

This command will copy of all of the data in the 'mydata' directory including sub directories to /mnt/rdsf_project/mydata/

The next time rsync is run this will keep the copy up to date, only coping new and changed files.

grsync is a graphical version of rsync.


For Windows only, there is Microsoft's SyncToy or Allway Sync.  These are graphical programs that may be more suitable for those unfamiliar with Linux.

There are also other File Synchronization tools available, including grsync.

How long do you keep backups?

Forever, however, we recycle every 30 days, throwing away all but the latest copies. So if you lose a file we can get it back as long as you realize, and let us know, within four weeks. This does not mean that if a file is older than 30 days we don't have it. As long as a file is still on the system, i.e. it has not been deleted, we will always have the 'latest' copy, even if it's several years old. We aim to retain all data for at least 20 years.

RDSF Back-ups

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