LTS has contracted with Code42, a leading backup software provider to provide their CrashPlan backup service for users needing to store work files locally on their desktop computers. There's a charge associated with the service, but it's one of the most powerful and flexible backup solutions available.
What does CrashPlan do?
The CrashPlan client software runs as a background service on your computer, and keeps track of any changes to files you save there. Any time you save a change to a file or folder that is within the set of files that you select for backup, CrashPlan sends an encrypted copy of that file or folder to your specified backup destination. For most Lehigh users, that will be the CrashPlan cloud server.
How do I sign up?
Follow these steps.
Does my computer need to be connected to the Lehigh LAN to back up?
No. To back up to the CrashPlan Cloud service, you computer simply has to be connected to the internet somehow -- wi-fi, LAN, wherever. No VPN is required. This makes backing up much more convenient for laptops on the road.
Can I restore files myself?
Yes. Both CrashPlan's client program and the web console (https://go.lehigh.edu/crashplan) allow an authorized user to easily restore any version of their files from backup.
How often are deleted files purged from backups?
By default, never. With Lehigh's current unlimited cloud storage contract, and default settings, your files, once they're backed up, are kept indefinitely.
Does CrashPlan protect against cryptolocker-style malware (ransomware) attacks?
Yes. Like any true backup solution, (and unlike simple syncing programs, such as DropBox, Google Drive or OneDrive) each version of a file backed up is set aside and not modified after it's stored, so that even if a file is backed up again after being encrypted, prior versions of the un-encrypted file file are still available to be restored, either to the original system or another one. See Code42's recommended procedure. Note that they include a step for removing the malware _before_ restoration.
Who is eligible for CrashPlan at Lehigh?
Current faculty, staff, and departments with an active banner account, and approval from the authorized signer on the account.
How frequently does CrashPlan backup my files?
By default, every 15 minutes. While CrashPlan doesn't back up on a schedule per se, it does have a frequency at which it checks to see if files have changed. By default this is set to 15 minutes, but that setting can be adjusted by the user on each device. Check with your Computing Consultant to see if you need to change this setting.
What kinds of Lehigh data can be stored in the CrashPlan cloud?
As shown in the Services Guide, data classes II-IV can be stored on CrashPlan. (Class I data isn't allowed to be stored on local hard drives at all)
Can I use CrashPlan to backup my home computer?
Yes, but be careful. The CrashPlan for Lehigh service is intended to safeguard computer files generated by users doing work for Lehigh, in order that Lehigh staff can recover them if necessary. If you do work for Lehigh on your home computer, make sure to keep it in a separate area from your personal files, and set CrashPlan to only back up the Lehigh files. Any files you send up to Lehigh's CrashPlan cloud storage become Lehigh's property. As well, if you leave Lehigh, you lose your Lehigh account, and therefore lose access to the CrashPlan server, and those files.
Who can help me if I need help with CrashPlan?
As a standard LTS service, the HelpDesk should be your first stop for most questions about CrashPlan. Additionally, Computing Consultants can dig deeper into documentation, and contact the vendor directly, if necessary.
Can I install CrashPlan myself?
Once your CrashPlan account is provisioned, yes. After you sign up for the service, you'll receive an email confirming your account. At that point, you'll be able to install the client software using these instructions. Of course, if you're at all unsure, especially with regard to selecting which files to back up, your Computing Consultant can assist you as well.
Which files should I back up?
In general, back up only the files that you or other users of the computer create -- these will be stored in your user profile folder on the machine, usually in a folder titled with your username such as 'C:\Users\dab406', for example. If there are others who use the same machine, go ahead and select the whole users folder, such as 'C:\Users'. If you have additional drives that aren't otherwise backed up, you can select them also. Operating system files and application programs generally do not need to be backed up, since they're available elsewhere. Again, check with the Help Desk or your Computing Consultant on any questions.
How will my account be charged?
The accounts will be renewed and charged $90 on July 1 each year. The first year will be prorated based on when the account was provisioned. For example, an account provisioned on January 1, 2017 will be charged $45 immediately (for January 1 - July 1) and will be renewed and charged $90 on July 1, 2017 (for July 1 2017 - June 30, 2018)
How do I access CrashPlan from the web?
You can access Lehigh's CrashPlan web console from anywhere on the internet by using the 'go link' (Lehigh shortcut): http://go.lehigh.edu/crashplan. You may notice that this actually takes you to https://crashplan.cc.lehigh.edu:4285. Log in there (if you have an account) with your Lehigh username and password. The web console allows you to see the backup status and settings of all of your devices, and to restore files as well, if needed.
Can I change what files CrashPlan backs up?
Yes, but be careful. In the program, on the 'Backup' tab, click 'Change' under the 'File Selection' box. You will be presented with a file selection tree with a checkbox next to each file and folder on your local machine. Placing a 'check' in the box instructs CrashPlan to back up that file or folder. A minus or a filled square appears next to a directory when only _some_ of the files or folders inside it are selected. Anything with an empty box will not be backed up. Important: When you remove files from your backup selection, all versions of the backups of those files are removed from the backup destination immediately. It's the only way for a user to cause data loss from the backup, so the software shows a warning any time you change your backup selection.