This policy refers to backups of user data that are copied onto tape (or any backup media, including disk-to-disk storage). User data is stored on disks on our computer systems.

Periodically, backup copies of this data are saved onto tapes (or other media). This is useful in case of a system failure (and files have to be restored from the backup media) or in the case of a user accidentally erasing one of their files (and again, that file can be restored from the backup media).

Retention Period

This policy refers to how long these backup tapes/media are kept (their retention). Daily backups for user data are kept for one week using online disk storage. Weekly backups are kept for eight weeks on disk storage (both local and remote). No backups are saved beyond eight weeks.

All backup tapes are recycled back into use. This only affects the backup copies of user data, not users’ actual data that is currently on the system. This policy only affects the backup copies.

Backup copies are not kept beyond eight weeks. Thus if a user deletes a file in their account on purpose or by accident, that file most likely can be recovered from the backup media for the first week and maybe for a period of up to eight weeks on the weekly backups. Beyond eight weeks from the time the file was deleted, that file cannot be recovered from backups.

File and Log Retention

Files which are not deleted from a user’s account are kept for as long as their account is kept active. System files and log files may be retained for up to one year for proper administration of systems and statistical analysis of log data.

The above policy holds for all OIT-Camden servers, including Unix, Novell, Windows and all other servers/systems.

Additional Information

Backups of data occur every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. These backups are performed once a night. While some of the backups are performed to a tape, most backups are actually copied to online disk storage locally in Camden or remotely to the New Brunswick campus.

No matter what the backup storage media is, the above policy holds. Exception: The campus exchange server only retains online backups of data for up to one week (and users can retrieve this data themselves). System-wide backups are kept for two weeks, but this is only meant for full system restores in case of system failures.

Questions on the above policy can be sent to the Camden Help Desk, help@camden.rutgers.edu.


Adopted: May 2002
Updated: October 2005, October 2006, October 2008