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EZ Backup FAQ

Here are some things about EZ-Backup you should be aware of:

  1. Check Your EZ Backup Configuration - Windows
  2. Check Your EZ Backup Configuration - Mac
  3. EZ-Backup is the only officially supported backup method in CALS. You are welcome to use other services or tools for your backup but if you do you should ensure they comply with Cornell Policies, listed here: https://it.cornell.edu/policy and understand that we will be able to provide only a very limited amount of assistance if your backup method fails.
  4. The EZ-Backup service is run by CIT (not CALS-OIT) for the entire Cornell community.
  5. Synchronization systems
    Synchronization systems, like Box or OneDrive, are not replacements for an automated backup solution. These systems are great for having access to your files wherever you go, but do not protect your files from being overwritten. Case in point was the latest crypto virus that encrypted files across campus making them inaccessible. These synchronization systems ensured that every copy of the file was overwritten by the bad copy and were only recoverable through EZ-Backup. The same would hold true for changes or deletions you make. There is no versioning, so there is no recovery. EZ-Backup solves this with daily backups and versioning.
  6. Local automated backups 
    Local automated backups like Time Machine can provide versioning and automation, but leave your data vulnerable by storing the backup in the same location as your data. If your device is stolen, destroyed or suffers catastrophic failure, your data will be inaccessible. EZ- Backup solves this by offering two off-site backups. The first is backed up daily to redundant servers in Rhodes Hall, those servers are also backed up to redundant servers on the NYC campus. Short of catastrophe that eliminates the East Coast, your data is safe once it is backed up.
  7. Manual backups
    Manual backups to external drives leave your data vulnerable. First, you need to remember to make the backups regularly. Failing to do so could leave you recreating a lot of work. EZ-Backup automates the process, allowing you to back up exactly what you want, on a scheduled basis, with no intervention required. Your backups are also only as good as the media on which they are stored. If your external storage device we lost or damaged, you are likely to only know when you try to restore from the media and then it is too late. EZ-Backup solves this with redundancy, and a dedicated Cornell EZ-Backup team at CIT that manages and maintains the hardware. Worse, if you media is stolen your data is accessible and vulnerable. EZ-Backup resolves this with physical security, and encrypted password protection, defending your data on the servers.
  8. We strongly recommend all EZ-Backup accounts be coordinated through your CALS-OIT support team. If we provide support for your account you will get a discount. Also, given the non-intuitive nature of configuring EZ-Backup, if you set it up yourself there is a very good chance it will not be backing up what you think it should.
  9. We only configure your computer to backup the profile(s) on the computer. This means that anything on your desktop, in your documents folder, bookmarks, etc. are backed up but folders outside of the profile folder are not backuped up by default. If you need other folders backed up you must tell us when we set up EZ-backup and anytime we work on your EZ-Backup software. Even if you were setup correctly in the past, please make sure you remind us about this if we reload your computer or you get a new computer.
  10. All data is duplicated to Weill Medical School in NYC, so you have truly off-site backups.
  11. You will get a failure notification, generally after 7 days without a successful backup and then every day until you have a good backup.
  12. When your account is first established you will receive a failure notification EVERY day until we install and configure the software and a full backup is completed. There is no need to panic about these initial notifications and it isn’t unusual to have it installed and configured and still get the failure notifications for a few days. If you have a lot of data it might take a few days for everything to get backed up. The Technician who installs/configures for you will discuss this at that time so you know what to expect.
  13. If you are out of town EZ-Backup can still work but sometimes there is not adequate bandwidth back to campus to complete the backup, in which case you might get failure notifications.
  14. If you use EZ-Backup you should check your billing at least annually (if you don’t get the bills contact your Department Finance Rep or DBA)  to ensure the amount approximately matches what you think should be backed up. If you have questions about the amount of data being backed up or would like to have us help you confirm that the correct folders are included in your backup you can submit a request for us to help you: http://help.cals.cornell.edu
  15.  Rates are posted here: https://it.cornell.edu/ez-backup/ez-backup-fees-and-billing-overview