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GWAEA Avamar Informational Site


What is the Avamar?
The Avamar is hardware that backups up GWAEA servers each evening. Additionally, it can also back up individual computers. Each day, at a predetermined time, computers that are hooked to the GWAEA network connect with the Avamar and backup files that have changed since the last backup. Typically this is a small number of files so this process happens quickly and most times the user does not even know it happened.


The Avamar uses a technology called deduplication. Deduplication simply means that if something has already been backed up once, it will not be backed up a second time. So, if employee A has backed up a document that contains the GWAEA Logo and employee B has a different file that also contains the same GWAEA Logo, the logo is not backed up a second time but rather just creates a pointer to the first GWAEA Logo. On average, this deduplication technology reduces backups by 80%.


What does it back up?
If you have a Windows 7 computer, it backs up your entire Users Folder. If you have Windows XP, it backs up your Document and Setting Folder. If you have a Mac, it backs your Users Folder.


What about personal data?
Personal data is not prohibited on your computer, however, if you use the Avamar backup, personal data is not allowed in your User Folder (Windows 7) or Documents and Setting Folder (Windows XP).


iTunes, pictures , home movies must be kept elsewhere and backed up in some other manner! Tech Support will not help you with this. There are plenty of resources available to help. YouTube, Google, etc. all have informational sites that help you with this. If you find one useful, let Tech Support know and they will post it here.


How long are my backups kept?
90 days. This time should be sufficient to get employees through the summer months.


Do I need to be at Grant Wood for the backup to work?
Yes and no. If you are at Grant Wood and connected to the network and it’s your predetermined time to backup, it will happen automatically. If you are not at Grant Wood, you still can backup but you must first connect to the network through VPN and perform a manual backup.

Can I still use my User Folder to store data?
No, the personal user folders will be phased out. Shared User folders will still continue to exist.


Do I have to use the Avamar?
No, you do not have to use it. You will then be responsible for your own backups. Many stores such as Best Buy, Staples, etc. all have backup solutions, most for under $100. Flashdrives and cd's may also be used to archive and store data. Web services also back up data, but do not use them to backup student data.


Can others access my backups?
No one can access your files but you. However, Computer Services will monitor the types and sizes of files you backup. If it appears you have large quantities of photos, movies, or music you and/or your supervisor may be asked to justify their existence. People who abuse the Avamar backup will be prohibited from use.


Why do we need this and how will it be used?
Viruses and malware are becoming much more prevalent and much harder to repair. Tech Support is spending entirely too much time repairing machines. If your computer becomes infected with a virus or you should have an equipment failure, Tech Support is now going to reformat or replace your hard drive. They will then reimage your computer and if you elect to use the Avamar for your backups, they will restore all data from your last valid backup. If you elect not to use Avamar for your backups, you will be responsible for restoring any data you may have backed up elsewhere.


The employee will be responsible for restoring any personal data.  


One other caution. Tech Support only installs approved GW software. If you have installed software that was not purchased by the agency, it is your responsibility to reinstall that on your computer.  


It is your responsibility to make sure your backups are being performed and the files you want to have backed up are being backed up. Tech Support has given you as much instruction as they can and are always willing to help, but the bottom line is you are ultimately responsible. Failure to have a current backup is not the problem of Tech Support! 


Acceptance Sheet
Any employee that wants to use the Grant Wood Avamar for their backup is first responsible for signing an acceptance form in the Tech Support office. The Avamar will not be activated for any employee that does not sign the acceptance form. A sample of the form is below.


square I will take advantage of the Grant Wood Avamar Backup System. I understand that it is my responsibility to make sure my backups are performing as required and on a regular basis. I have been taught how to use the Avamar and realize that if Tech Support needs to restore my files, they will restore from my latest good backup. I also understand that personal files such as iTunes, pictures, home movies, etc are not to be kept in my user folder. Misuse will result in the Avamar backup privileges being revoked.


square I do not want to use the Grant Wood Avamar Backup System. I understand that backups are my responsibility, and that Tech Support will reimage my computer to its original configuration upon any software or hardware failure, virus, etc.  


Employee:                                                                                                             Date:                                                                                          





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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488 or TDD 319-399-6766, Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
TELEPHONE: 319-399-6700 | 800-332-8488
Fax: 319-399-6457
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