Cloud software to be available for faculty, staff

News Reporter

Texas State has made an agreement with a data backup software company for faculty and staff computers to prevent loss of saved data.

The university’s Technology Resources Department is working with Code42, a company that provides online data backup services, to allow faculty and staff the opportunity to save data on a cloud system.

Mark Hughes, associate vice president of Technology Resources, said the university negotiated for an undisclosed amount of money to have about 2,000 faculty and staff computers backed up on Code42’s system.

“The university is willing to make this investment to save and protect their (staff and faculty’s) intellectual content,” Hughes said.

Faculty and staff will be able to request use of the system to back up their files and will use their NetID and password for access, Hughes said. All files backed up will be saved and encrypted.

“Privacy is one of the biggest features of CrashPlan because that’s our business model,” said Adam Best, communications manager at Code42.

Catherine Stevens, senior user services consultant with ITAC, said that Technology Resources began testing computers using CrashPlan, Code42’s data-backup software in December 2013. An estimated 100 computers have been tested with no problems, she said.

Hughes said Technology Resources has not set a completion date for the testing period but plans to add additional computers in the future to ensure the online system will function at a larger scale.

Stevens said Technology Resources is monitoring any errors that may occur during testing before expanding the system to staff and faculty computers on campus.

“As soon as the testing phase is over we, of course, will pursue releasing it around campus,” Stevens said.
Hughes said the university has not had any major instances of data being lost.

Faculty and staff using the backup system will be able to easily restore and recover deleted or lost files from their computer, Hughes said.

“It’s totally self-service so you don’t have to open a help desk ticket with the IT department,” Best said.

Users can open the system’s app, click the restore tab, find the document to be restored and bring it back to its original location, Best said.

The system uses a cloud service through its website and computers can access it on and off campus, Hughes said.
“We have a CrashPlan server here on campus, but it is a cloud service,” Stevens said. “The actual data is being stored in the cloud.”

Faculty and staff at the university are responsible for saving files on their computers, Hughes said. The system is an easy resource that automatically saves files in the background of a computer, he said.

“What CrashPlan does is we specialize in endpoint backup so every computer on a network can be backed up automatically behind the scenes, invisible to the user so we don’t get in the way of the use of the computer,” Best said.

The system is not a replacement for the current U-Drive that faculty and staff use but is an additional option, Hughes said.

“The U-Drive is limited, there is only so much quota the user can have. We do expand quota in the case that somebody really, really needs it,” Stevens said.

With the new system there is no limit to how much data can be saved, Stevens said.