Friday, January 8, 2016

BigDEAL Backup and Archiving Process

One surprise I got over this winter holiday is the sudden death of my hard drive. The even bigger surprise is that I didn't have the backup. More precisely, I backed up the data every semester, but I accidentally deleted the backup during my last backup over the summer. That said, I have lost almost all the files created since I joined UNC Charlotte in August 2013.

This hard lesson reminded me to establish the BigDEAL backup and archival process below.

Storage options

Each BigDEAL member should have at least one external hard drive and one cloud drive for backup purpose. BigDEAL uses two external hard drives for backup purpose. One (M-drive) is managed by the lab manager (typically a senior PhD student on campus) for monthly backup. The other one (S-drive) managed by the BigDEAL director (Dr. Hong) for semester backup. BigDEAL has been using OneDrive as the cloud drive for archival purpose.

Backup process

BigDEAL backup process is executed on three levels:
  • Weekly backup. Each BigDEAL member is expected to perform weekly backup on the personal hard drive and through the cloud storage service.
  • Monthly backup. At the end of each month, each BigDEAL member should back up all the data on M-drive. 
  • Semester backup. At the end of each semester, each BigDEAL member should back up all the data on S-drive. 

Archiving process

BigDEAL archives the following items on the cloud:
  • Data
  • Code
  • Papers
  • Thesis and dissertations
  • Technical reports
  • Presentations
  • Administrative reports (weekly reports, semester summary, and semester plan, etc.)
In principle, once an item is acquired, updated or completed, the BigDEAL member in charge of the project or corresponding research subject should archive the item on the cloud and report the archival status to the BigDEAL director.

When archiving the revised version of the data, all changes and justifications should be documented and archived along with the new version. When archiving a paper, all the data, code, submitted versions, decision letters, response letters, and published version should be archived. 

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