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ITS Workstation Backup Policy

Per a directive from the President’s Office and PAC, Information Technology Services has a workstation backup program designed to provide disaster recovery for select institutionally owned desktop and laptop computers.

ITS and the MCAD Help Desk will install software that will perform regular cloud-based backups of:

  • All Windows desktops assigned to administrative staff
  • All staff members who are Director-level or higher
  • Other administrative staff by request from Director-level supervisor or higher
  • All Academic Chairs
    • NOTE: Full-time faculty are excluded unless specifically requested by their Academic Chair

ITS will back up data stored within a user's "home directory," but not the entire contents of the computer’s hard drive. MCAD's chosen backup solution automatically copies the selected workstation data at least once a day if turned on with access to an unrestricted network connection. The system will retain data for at least a 30 day sliding window for the purpose of disaster recovery. Certain users machines may be configured with an older backup solutuion that requires that a workstation to be plugged into a wired, on-campus Ethernet port for backups to operate successfully. This older setup is actively being phased out, and we ask for your patience while we make this transition.

Backups are designed to allow the restoration of work data from a computer that has been lost, stolen, destroyed, or has experienced a disk drive failure. ITS respects user privacy and is committed to taking appropriate steps to protect user data from unauthorized access. Daily backups will not be retrieved by ITS staff unless requested by the user or department VP. Staff or faculty that have security or backup concerns should address the matter directly with their supervisor.

Finally, ITS encourages all users to leverage Google Shared Drives for their inter-Departmental collaboration and archival needs. Google Shared Drives have many benefits over our locally hosted servers including always-on backups through google, file version history and restoration, more flexible and granular access control, and greater off-site availability of resources. Departments may also have locally hosted Departmental shares stored on MCAD managed servers. While the not as flexible as Google Shared drives, these servers are ideal for bulk storage of archival information, especially large video content. These servers are backed up daily and sent off-site bi-weekly for long-term storage.

macOS-based computer users, regardless of whether they are covered by our managed backup solutions, are highly encouraged to back up important personal and work data with Time Machine and Google Drive.

For more information on backing up, please see this KnowledgeBase article, or for direct assistance with how to utilize Google Drive, file servers, or Apple's Time Machine, please contact