WSST will begin rolling out Crashplan starting January 2015.

Crashplan is computer backup software for the desktops and laptops supported by WSST. The default client software runs a full backup of the staff members home directory (/Users/$username) upon installation. The first backup will always take the longest. After the initial first backup, the staff members system will check in with the master server every 4 hours and incrementally update any changed files. A user can expect to restore a constantly changing file every 4 hours for up to a week. Meaning you can go back in time in 4 hour increments for a week to get many versions of the file. After 1 week, a user can expect to get the last backed up changed version of the file each day up to 90 days. No file versions older than 90 will be kept, but the final copy of the file itself will remain in backups. In addition, if a staff member deletes a file, it will be recoverable for 90 days.

General Information:

  • Crashplan runs in the background and does not need to be open to back up your files.
  • Staff members will need to authenticate with their UCAS token (yubikey or cryptocard) to open the interface to do file restores or view statistics.
  • In addition, staff can log in through the web interface using UCAR token authentication to do file restores and view statistics.
  • If a computer has multiple staff members using it, WSST will need to do file restores due to the permissions within Crashplan.
  • File versions are kept in 4 hour increments for up to a week. After a week, the last version of the day is kept for 90 days. The final version will always remain in backups, unless the staff member deletes their file.
  • Deleted files can be recovered up to 90 days.
  • All backups are encrypted with a 448bit encryption key.
  • All backups are compressed and deduplicated to save space at the backup location.

Files that will not be backed up:

  • Dropbox folder and contents
  • Google Drive folder and contents
  • iTunes and other Music folders and files
  • Virtual machines

Initiating a backup:

Backups are initiated in 3 ways.

  1. Automatically every 4 hours
  2. By clicking the Crashplan icon in the Apple menu and then clicking on the arrow that looks like the 'play' button on a remote as seen below
    Crashplan Apple menu
  3. By opening the Application and clicking on the arrow that looks like the 'play' button on a remote next to the backup destination as seen below:
    Crashplan App

Restoring files:

Staff members can do restores either through the Crashplan App (preferred) or via the web interface.

As you can see from the opened Crashplan App picture below, you can easily browse which files to restore and select them as indicated by the top arrow. The bottom arrow shows what versions and which permissions to restore as well as where to place the restored files. Each option can be changed by clicking on the underlined option. Once files are selected, all you do is click the "Restore" button.

Crashplan App Restore


To restore via the web interface, log in at using your UCAR username as well as UCAS token password (cryptocard or yubikey). Once logged in, select 'Devices' in the left hand pane and then choose your system in the right hand pane. Once you click on your system another pane will display. To initiate a restore, click on the circular arrow on the right that the red arrow is pointing to in the the following picture:

Crashplan web restore

Once you click on that button, a window will pop up as shown below. The top red arrow in the picture below indicated the field to change to change the restore date. If no date is selected, it will restore the most recent version. The bottom red arrow indicates the selected file to restore. Expanding it's menu shows the date it was last modified. Once files are selected, just click "Restore'

Crashplan web file restore

Note that there was no way to indicate where to restore the file. The web restore option stages the files in a common holding location and then will ask you to download the file. At that point you can choose where to download and save the file. The following picture shows the popup download option as indicated by the red arrow:

Crashplan web download