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  Home > Long-Term Research Categories > Information Management > Information Management Summary

System Administration

14 March 2014

System administration and hardware at Oregon State: The COF Forestry Computing Resources (FCR) provides system administration support for LTER campus computer servers through agreements with LTER and PNW. Production and development web servers (IIS, UNIX, and LINUX), production and development database servers (MS SQLServer), shared file server directories, and two tape backup servers are directly used by the LTER and supported through FCR. Refer to the FCR description of network systems for more information.

System administration and hardware at the Andrews site: The on-site Andrews LTER system administrator maintains the site Local Area Network (LAN), local web server, wireless LAN, spread spectrum and radio telemetry communication network, telephone communications, and local personal computers. A wireless LAN is installed with access points linking the conference room and classroom, dormitories, cafeteria, shop, and director's residence to the wired LAN with a wireless bridge.

Backup policies: General backup procedures are maintained and implemented through agreements with OSU College of Forestry. In general, campus web servers (including IIS, UNIX, and Linux used by LTER) and file servers (Windows) are backed up nightly. For these systems a full backup is done once each month, and a "level" backup is done once a week. A level backup catches what changed since the last full backup. Then, on all remaining days, an incremental backup is performed. Backups are kept for 6 months. See the COF backup policy for more information. A T1 line to OSU campus allows nightly backup of Andrews on-site web and file servers to COF. On-site servers are also mirrored to provide an immediate local backup.

Legato NetWorker's backup module for SQL Server is used to backup MS SQL Server databases. A full backup is performed on a regular schedule every night. Additionally, space is provided for DB managers to perform SQL backups as needed throughout the day. For example, if a database was undergoing a major change, the DB manager could use the SQL Backup Tools within MS SQL Server to backup the database by hand, before making the change. We also have the ability to perform a backup using NetWorker's tools at any time. Backups are kept for 2 months.

The backup server is a Dell 2900 system with a RAID to store backup indexes. Backups are routed to a Qualstar XLS tape library that holds 245 tapes, and each tape holds 1.5 Terabytes native. Inside the library are 6 LTO-5 tape drives. Backups are grouped according to our network design (home directories, group directories, web servers, database servers, email, UNIX servers, and special backup needs. COF is currently in the process of reviewing backup strategies to address changes in storage architectures, such as Storage Area Networks.

Non-electronic storage: Paper record storage is greatly reduced from historic levels, but raw data collection records including field and lab data forms, check sheets, and recording charts are stored in the FSL fire-proof vault. Legacy documents, charts, computer printouts, and individual scientist storage boxes are also stored here. While all chart recorded data has been digitized, scanning of these long-term paper documents into digital formats is ongoing. Similarly, a publication reprint library is being reduced in scope and all LTER publications have been scanned. Original photographic slides and aerial photos are inventoried and stored in six fire-proof cabinets, and scanning will proceed when resources are available.