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IT Services, Information Technology Services

University of Colorado Denver

File Backup and Restore


IT Services provides an enterprise level backup service for backup of data on IT Services-owned servers, department-owned servers housed in an IT Services server room, and department-housed servers as requested.

Click here for a Restore Request

The backup system works as follows:


  • Data on the server is backed up the night the file is first created.
  • As the file is modified, each revision of that file is also backed up and is kept for 90 days or 30 revisions, whichever comes first.
  • At day 91 or the 31st revision, whichever comes first, the earliest revision is removed from the tape.
  • The last copy of the file is kept (assuming no additional modifications) until it is deleted from the server.
  • At delete, all revisions of the file, except the last, are deleted from the tape. If a file is renamed or moved from the server to another location (like a desktop hard drive) the backup system behaves as though the file was deleted.
  • The last revision of the file is kept on tape for 6 months from the date of deletion. At 6 months and one day, the last copy of the deleted file is removed from the tape.


  • If data needs to be kept for reporting requirements, but no longer needs to be accessed regularly, it can be archived.
  • Once it has been archived, it can be deleted from the server, but will be kept on tape for the archive-specified period (frequently 5 or 6 years).
  • It is the department's responsibility to notify IT Services of data that needs to be archived and the length of time it is to be kept.

There is initial backup is of the entire file system. After that, only changed files are backed up on a nightly basis. The backup system uses a process called collocation. This basically mirrors the file system on a small number of tapes so the entire data directory is kept intact and up-to-date.

Two copies of each backup are made concurrently. One copy is retained in an IT Services backup library and the other copy is sent to our off-site storage location several times each week. Backup tapes can be retrieved from off-site storage within 4 hours of a request for return.

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