CrashPlan is a backup service that ITS is evaluating that provides the things you’ve told us are important when it comes to the backup of your desktop or notebook computer:
Currently, you have a variety of different options for saving your data to backed up media. Even so we still will often run into issues when a computer crashes, or is lost and critical end-user data is lost in the process. This is most often due to people saving data to their machines locally, or applications which you are running which save important files to areas which aren’t backed up. CrashPlan addresses this by running a background agent which scans the file system for changes to directories that it monitors and then sending those small changes to a designated backup destination. This process allows the machine to continue working at a high level while constantly backing up the machine. This process also reduces the likelihood of losing any critical data, as the backup window is small (15 minutes) unlike other methods of backup.
It is important to note that CrashPlan is a computer backup solution and not a file synchronization utility. While there may be an intersection between the functionality of both applications, there is a distinct difference. File synchronization utilities such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive and Sugar Sync make copies of your files and store them in a Cloud repository. As changes are made to those files, new copies of the files are sent to the repository and pushed down to wherever you have the clients installed. If you delete a file on your file synchronization app, it will be deleted from all clients. There is no backup of it provided by the application. There is also no compression of your files. File sync just provides a 1-to-1 copy across multiple clients and in the cloud.
CrashPlan is a true backup solution, in that it provides a defense for your computer against hardware failure and accidental file deletion. Your files are compressed and deduplicated to minimize the network traffic that they consume. This compression and deduplication also minimizes the amount of data that we need as an organization to store and send across our network.
CrashPlan should not be viewed as an alternative to other storage platforms, such as ESS, SSS or Academics, or a data archival solution but as a method of protecting data which lives on the desktop, from hardware failure or user error.
To get started with CrashPlan you’ll need to perform the following:
To get started with CrashPlan, you’ll need to download and install the client on the main computer that you’re using and need to have backed up. You’ll need to
navigate to here: http://crashplan.hamilton.edu:4280.
Please note, if you have a dual-boot system, you’ll need to install the client on both OSes
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be presented with the above. Select the appropriate file for your OS (Windows 64, if you’re a Windows user, Mac OSX if you’re a Mac user). After selecting the file, it will save a file to your Downloads folder, unless you specify otherwise. After this file downloads, Run it and it will install the CrashPlan client.
After the client has installed, you’ll see the above box.
Make sure that you select Existing Account at this section.
Enter in the following information to complete your setup:
Once you have the application installed, you’ll have the opportunity to set the initial backup.
To view your backup you’ll need to open the CrashPlan client. You can do this by clicking on the icon in your system tray (Windows), or in the status bar (Mac). Click on the Restore tab on the left and you’ll see your backup destinations
Select the correct machine and backup destination. Once you’ve selected these, you should see a directory tree.
Here you can search for files if you’re looking for a specific file, or you can browse through the tree. Select the files you need by checking the boxes next to them and then hit the Restore button. When restoring files, you’ll want to limit the activity you’re doing on the machine if you’re restoring a lot of data as this should make the restore faster.