The Helix systems are backed up regularly by the Operations staff. Full backups of home directories are done weekly, and incremental backups are done daily. These tapes are kept onsite for four weeks. Every four weeks a special full backup of home directories is done and sent offsite; these tapes are kept for eight weeks.
E-mail backups are done at night; e-mail messages that are lost the same day that they were created would not have been backed up yet and therefore can not be restored. /home directory snapshots (software backups) are done every hour for the first six hours, and then nightly for two nights; therefore even files that were lost on the same day that they were created can most often be restored.
Snapshots are taken nightly on /data directories. Generally two nights are available, but very large /data directories may contain only one nightly snapshot.
If you need to have files restored, you can either try to follow the easy instructions below or send e-mail to our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recover files in home directory
Log into your helix account, go to your home directory:% cd
Assume that you are going to restore the files in your home directory, type:% cd .snapshot
Select the time frame when your files still existed. There are 3 time categories: hourly, nightly, and weekly. Each category has several backup times. For example, _nightly.0 contains files from last night, _nightly.1 contains files from the night before, _weekly.0 contains the most recent week, _weekly.1 contains the week before, etc.
Go to selected directory:% cd _weekly.0/
Then find the file(s) you are interested in and copy them to your current home directory:% cp lostfile /home/HelixUserID/lostfile
If you have your directory mounted on your desktop machine (see http://helix.nih.gov/Documentation/transfer.html), you can also recover files:
Recover files in data directory
Snapshots for data directories are done less frequently than for home directories. At a minimum there will be at least one daily and one weekly snapshot available for all data directories.
Because the Helix Systems group manages different storage systems, the names of the data directory snapshots vary depending on the storage system on which a data directory is located and will have one of two formats: either 1) _nightly.0 and _weekly.0 or 2) daily.timestamp and weekly.timestamp where timestamp is the date/time when the snapshot was created.
To recover data directory files from snapshots, go to the snapshot area of your data directory:% cd /data/HelixUserID/.snapshot
Select the time frame when your files still existed based on the snapshot filename formats descibed above. Go to selected directory:% cd _weekly.0/
Find the file(s) you wish to recover and copy them to your data directory:% cp lostfile /data/HelixUserID/lostfile
Note that data directory snapshots are updated daily between 1 and 5 AM Eastern Time and may be temporarily unavailable during that time period.