Backups are not optional. Some day your disk will crash or your RAID array will fail to start up. ┬áIf you have an up-to-date backup, you will simply have a bad day or two. If you don’t have a backup, however, the pain and damage will last much longer.

Backup Safety

  • Do not put the only copy of your data on a flash drive. They are easily lost, crushed, or eaten by pets.
  • Do not keep your only backup in the same location as your computer. If your computer is stolen or damaged in a fire or flood, the likelihood that the same thing will happen to other items within its vicinity is high.

Backup Options

  • MIT offers institutional users free access to the online backup service CrashPlan <https://ist.mit. edu/backup>. These backups occur over the network, whether you’re at MIT or elsewhere, and the encryption keys are held by MIT (not the vendor). Installation of the software, as well as requisite storage are provided without charge.
  • Mac users have the option of using Time Machine for local backups. Many MKI users back up to both CrashPlan and Time Machine. The latter can be restored more quickly over USB or other physical interface, but the former protects against theft of both laptop and backup, or physical damage to the backup disk.

For backing up larger volumes of data please contact mki-it@mit.edu, and we can discuss backup strategies and ways to implement plans (e.g. MIT’s TSM).