Data protection

Protecting DFCI research data is one of Research Computing's key services. This includes backing up data, device encryption, and restoring files.

Desktop/laptop backups

Crashplan and Retrospect are backup software solutions provided by Research Computing for the protection of desktop and laptop computers. They allow you to protect your local machine's files on network storage for safekeeping. Please note that while we continue to support Retrospect, we are moving toward mainly using Crashplan, as it can support Macs as well as PCs.

Please note that we don't consider local external storage media solutions like TimeMachine to be sufficient as a backup solution for research data. While local external storage solutions can be useful, they can and do fail.

To have a machine backed up using Crashplan, contact Partners IS Service Desk by:

  • Calling the Partners IS Service Desk: 617-632-3399 or
  • Submitting a Partners IS Service Desk ticket online: http://www.partners.org/servicenow. Include the following note in the ticket request: "DFCI Research – backup software request."

Encryption

DFCI requires that all devices used for any DFCI business be encrypted. If you have purchased a computer through DFCI purchasing, encryption is part of the acquisition process, and you don't need to do anything further. However, if you are using a device for business that has not gone through DFCI's purchasing process, please contact the Partners IS Service Desk by:

  • Calling the Partners IS Service Desk: 617-632-3399 or
  • Submitting a Partners IS Service Desk ticket online: http://www.partners.org/servicenow. Include the following note in the ticket request: "DFCI Research – Encryption Request."

A Research Computing technician will contact you to assist with the process.

For details on the encryption, please check: MAC Encryption, PC Encryption.

Restoring files from network storage

Ensuring the short- and long-term safety, security, and retention of DFCI research files is one of Research Computing's most fundamental goals. To this end, we maintain file servers for DFCI labs, cores, and centers.

While the hardware we purchase and configure are designed to be robust and reliable, accidental file deletion or file corruption do occur, along with files being mistakenly overwritten. The design of Research Computing file servers enables us to recover lost, corrupted, or mistakenly deleted files on your behalf.

To request a folder, file, or entire share to be reconstituted, please fill out this request form.