Data Backup and Archival

Berkeley AV Data Backup 

During the post production phase of a project, Berkeley AV insures against data loss by maintaining a backup of the files on our server.  Once all deliverables for a project have been met, clients are responsible for securing archives of any files they wish to retain. While it may be possible for us to restore files for up to six months after completion of a project, Berkeley AV does not assume liability for lost or corrupt data in our offline archives. Therefore, especially for critical applications, we encourage clients to plan and communicate their archive strategy in advance.

Berkeley AV Data Backup Policy

This policy defines the responsibilities assumed by Berkeley AV and our clients with respect to archiving client data. In order to minimize the financial impact of our services, we must create disk space for current projects by deleting files of completed projects from our server. Many of the events we record are output in their entirety, with little to no editing.  If the singular purpose of a recording is to have a reasonable quality archive of the event, it is usually sufficient to retain only the master delivery file.  This is the version that is processed and encoded to a compressed format.  The result is far smaller than the original footage, yet still high enough quality for a reasonable archive. The goal of this policy is to explain how client data is handled, and to ensure that the responsibilities related to the archival process are clear.

Responsibilities of Berkeley AV

  • In most cases, a backup of the raw media files recorded by Berkeley AV is created within 24 hours after the conclusion of an event. To guard against data loss during this critical period, we use high-quality recording media to ensure that client data is not corrupted. For mission critical applications, redundant recording systems may be recommended.
  • While a project is in post production, client data resides on a RAID-protected storage area network (SAN). Data is incrementally backed up to linear data tape (LDT) on a nightly basis.  There is a two-week cycle for incremental backups, so that any data which has been removed from the SAN may be recovered for at least two weeks.
  • Once the masters for a project are delivered and the project is complete, files may remain on our media server for up to six months while being copied to an offline RAID storage device. This device is monitored by our automated scripts for upload to bDrive. This is intended as an internal archive, and is not meant to replace our clients' own backups.  Keep in mind that while the University's current contracts with Google provide for unlimited storage capacity, there is no way to predict whether the terms of those contracts will change, or how long these bConnected services will continue to exist.
  • Other than this document, Berkeley AV does not notify clients regarding changes to the location or status of data backups, but we make every attempt to ensure the integrity of client data as it moves through the archival process.

Responsibilities of Clients

  • Clients are ultimately responsible for the primary data backup once a project is completed.  It is recommended to use the "two is one, one is none" philosophy.  In other words, if your files were to suddenly vanish, how many copies of your critical data would remain?  Hopefully at least one! 
  • Clients are advised to develop a consistent archive strategy for their media.  Standardizing the methods and locations for your archives will minimize the chance of lost data and help you to easily recover any needed files.  Check with your IT support team if you need help: Berkeley AV does not manage or provide technical support for bDrive or other third-party file storage solutions.
  • Clients are responsible for taking possession and ensuring the integrity of their primary backup data before the original files are moved to offline storage.  It is highly recommended that this is done immediately after receiving or downloading the files.
  • Clients are responsible for any cost associated with data recovery that is outside the scope of the original project. While we can't guarantee the integrity of our internal offline archives for completed projects, we have never failed to recover files during the defined archive term.
  • Clients are responsible for maintaining backups of any files on external devices provided to Berkeley AV for connection to our computer systems. We can not assume liability for lost or corrupted data originated by clients or outside vendors.
  • Clients should read and understand this policy, ask questions if more information is needed, and communicate their data archival requirements.