IT Services

Further Information on the HFS Backup Service


1. The HFS and TSM

The HFS (Hierarchical File Server) is an Oxford University centrally funded service providing data backup and long-term archive services to senior members, postgraduates and staff.

The HFS is widely and extensively used throughout Oxford. In the 7 days up to , clients accessed the backup and archive servers in sessions, sending million files and TB of data. In total the backup and archive servers currently hold billion files and TB of data.

We welcome any comments or suggestions about the service using our feedback form.

2. How it works

Your data is sent from your computer, across the university network to the HFS servers and is then ultimately stored on magnetic tape in an automated (robotic) tape library. Our servers and tape library are situated in a climate-controlled, secure location. Three copies of your data are made, each to separate tapes: one copy is held in the automated tape library while two copies are stored in separately located fire-proof safes. Access to the data is private to the owner and is normally available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The HFS 3494 tape library was purchased in 1995. It has grown with demand and now spans ten frames containing 24 TS1120 tape drives and around 3300 slots for 3592-type tape cartridges. The latter comprise half-inch tape with an in-the-field capacity of about 1TB per volume, although this may change with future generations of tape drive. The library permanently holds one copy of all data sent to the HFS and therefore has an effective capacity of 3PB (three petabytes).

HFS 3494 Tape Robot Library