Tivoli Backup

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Standard Backup Retention Policies

These are the standard backup policies for users that have contracted with UF-IT's Tivoli backup group to provide backups of their data on Research Computing systems.


Description Setting
Number of copies held onto 7 copies will be held onto, unless the following restrictions go into effect
How long to keep old versions of a file 60 days from writing new version
How long to keep a deleted file 90 days from last backup of file.

What the Policy Means

  • Number of copies held onto simply refers to the number of copies of any single undeleted file that is held in the backup system. If you modify a file, when the incremental backups run that new version of the file is backed up, and the old version of the file is kept in the system as a revision. Up to seven copies of this file will be kept until the oldest revision is dropped off. Old versions of a file can also be dropped out of backups due to the next option:
  • How long to keep old versions of a file is how long a file will be kept on the backup system once it has been changed. Only the newest version of the file is kept forever.
  • How long to keep a deleted file refers to the last backup of a file that has been deleted. Deleted files are treated a little differently from a changed file on the system as it is no longer visible to the user on the main file system, so extra time is given to the user to recognize that a file is missing and request it from backups.

Requesting a file recovery

If a file needs to be recovered from the Tivoli system, please submit a service request in Research Computing's ticketing system at http://support.rc.ufl.edu

Costs for Backup

The cost for backup to the Tivoli backup system is $78/TB/Year, or $6.50/TB/Month. This is the cost of the data stored on tape, and there are no transfer fees for backing up to tape or recovering data from tape. In addition, the quotas involved on the system are not involved with these backups. The backup space used is based on a combination of the contents of the directories that have been designated by the user, deleted files that are within the retention period, and changed files in the retention period.

Cost Estimation

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to be charged approximately one and a half times the amount of space you are actually taking up on the filesystem due to changed and deleted files being retained for the periods listed above.


  • On a regular basis with backups, we see backup errors of files that were not backed up due to changing while the backup process was running on them. This typically occurs for two different reasons:
    • The file was deliberately modified, either by the user or a job running. If the file is a permanent file, it will be backed up the next time the backup process occurs in one day.
    • The file is a temporary file being utilized by a job. These files are by nature temporary, so it is actually a good thing that the file is not backed up, as the next time the backup process runs it will not be there, and will not be backed up. Some temporary files are backed up from time to time, only to be marked as deleted the next time the backup runs. These files will remain in the backup system for 90 days, the length of time it takes for a file to expire after being deleted.