Skip to main content

Research backup service

University Systems runs a data backup service called Spectrum Protect used all over campus. Our team oversees all research related data backups. Data that is held in shared storage services like UVic research file shares and cluster storage is automatically backed up for you. If you have research equipment or lab computers storing important data on their local hard drives, we strongly recommend using the research backup service.

This service allows UVic researchers to create durable, versioned copies of important data. Data held in the backup service is written to magnetic tape for long-term storage and is regularly checked for consistency. Data can be restored at client request, which provides disaster recovery and operational data integrity protection.

Plan a consultation with us to talk about backup plans for your data and storage environment.

How does it work?

The Research backup service uses Spectrum Protect software, which includes both server and client components. Researchers can download and install the Spectrum Protect client software on their computers and configure it to perform regular (typically nightly) backups of the data they wish to preserve.

All configurations are done in a self-service Backup Tools web portal using your Netlink ID and passphrase. The portal also provides a view of the type, amount, and recency of data backed up into your nodes. When getting started:

  • Make sure you create a “node” to hold your data.
  • If you have multiple research projects, we suggest different nodes.
  • Be sure to select “Research” when prompted to choose a Backup Service while creating a node.

Shared responsibility

Our team operates the Research backup service and takes responsibility for:

  • Ensuring the availability and integrity of data stored within it.
  • Maintaining related infrastructure and safe storage for physical backups.
  • Availability of self-service tools and providing up-to-date software clients.

Researchers who use the service take responsibility for:

  • Correctly configuring the backup client software on your devices.
  • Setting up the data nodes to back up the right data.
  • Confirming your data backups are successful.

Archiving research data

The Research backup service can be used to archive data for long term storage. Your archived research data is kept safe for seven years. UVic’s Data Curation Librarian can support you with the archival process for your research data. They can also help you develop a data management plan.

What's different between backups and archives?

Backups are useful for recovery, like a deleted file or a restoring a previous version of a document. They’re also great for restoring data after an equipment failure so you don’t lose any valuable work.

Archives are repositories of data you want to keep for historical record but don’t need to access regularly. You can set up archive files yourself in the Backup Tools web portal.


UVic Research file storage is supported by RCS system administrators. They can provide technical support and answer any questions you may have about your research shared drive.

Research backup service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There may be service interruptions due to maintenance. You can be informed of service interruptions by subscribing to Informed.