Functional Areas


BFTV Backup & Storage Proposal
VEN and FST are in need of a unified storage solution. Most departmental storage currently resides on aged servers, running an operating system that will be without support within the next two years. Furthermore, demand for digital storage has greatly increased since their deployment, and our servers are currently running at capacity or quickly approaching it. As more faculty take advantage of current technology, their need for data storage grows. A suggested allowance for researchers working with genetic datasets is in the neighborhood of 10TB, and a small number of researchers are already requesting solutions of that size. Current backup and storage plans vary from unit to unit and may not be consistent even within the same lab space. Many users are backing up to external hard drives that sit on their desk, vulnerable to theft, damage, and failure. We propose purchasing a high-capacity storage cluster, with redundancies in place for hardware and power failure, with an off-site backup for disaster recovery. The system would be physically located at RMI in a secure location. The off-site location is still in negotiations, but would still be on UC Davis soil, and under BFTV control. To facilitate client system backups to this cluster, a cross-platform (Windows/Mac/Linux) software solution would be hosted by BFTV. Departmental funds would be used to purchase the initial hardware, while research units would purchase the drives used to add more storage capacity and the client licenses for backing up their devices. Currently we are looking at a combination of Dell and third-party hardware, and CrashPlan PROe for backup. We would offer two tiers of storage to faculty and research units.
(This is the short form of our proposal. The longer version can be found here.)

BFTV Basic Plan - $400
200GB of backup space for up to 5 computers for 3 years. Backups are managed using Crashplan, and limited by user and group quotas.

BFTV Advanced Plan - $1000-$1300
2TB of shared storage space (divided between direct access and backup) for up to 5 computers for 3 years. An additional 2TB of space (for a total of 4TB) would cost $600-900. Prices are dependent on current price of two 2TB drives that are compatible with the cluster hardware. (Drive prices fluctuate due to supply, current hardware trends, UC Contract pricing, acts of god, etc.)

Units looking for more storage would need a custom solution.

Backup Software: CrashPlan ProE
•Easy install and clean end-user experience.
•Clients available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris.
•User can self-restore files, even across different file systems.
•Files are encrypted on the client using 448-bit encryption. Local client interface can be password protected.
•Allows backup to local external drive, or other devices running CrashPlan PROe Client.
•Data is kept On-Campus, under BFTV Control at all times. No third party retention of data. Allows compliance with some grants.

Hardware Costs

Option 1: Dell Solution ($34,000)
The Dell solution provides a unified management system with a long-lasting warranty, at an increased cost for expansion.

Upgrade Costs (not included in total)
Expansion would require an additional unit ($6000, for the base hardware) and provide another 20TB of possible total space. Those looking a 10TB storage solution would purchase a separate unit (20TB total) to add to the infrastructure. ($9,500 per unit, $19,000 for redundancy)

Storage Price: $900 for 2TB

Option 2: Dell/Amax ($28,600)
This mixed solution depends on a local vendor for the main storage unit, with a shorter warranty, but provides more possible space at a lower per-terabyte cost.

Upgrade Costs (not included in total)
Those looking a 10TB storage solution could just purchase enough drives to cover their needs. ($3000 for 10TB) Or they could purchase their own unit if desired. Once the storage unit has reached capacity (68TB), we would need to purchase another ($6000).

Storage Price: $600 for 2TB

Software Costs
Crashplan PROe Client License: $400 for 5 devices for three years

•A ‘device’ includes any Windows, Macintosh, or Linux system backing up to the server.
•Cost may be pro-rated to end of three year contract, on a yearly basis.
•Five – device minimum purchase, additional devices $80 for three years.
•This cost, combined with an offering of 200GB of space, makes us cost-competitive to other third party, non-university hosted solutions. (See chart in Full Proposal.)