Crashplan Desktop Backup

Signup for this Service


The Desktop Backup Service provides secure, central back up to two different Partners Data Center.  This solution is for work related data (system files are excluded) for Macintosh, Windows or Linux desktop or laptop computers.  This system does not back up Partners “Standard” PC computers.  For a backup to complete, the computer must be connected to Partners Network either via a wired, wireless (PHSWIFI3) or while connected over VPN.   

There are two Desktop Backup Options:

  1. Individual Desktop Backup Service: This service will backup the user account from which you install the Crashplan backup software.  Login to the backup application utilizes your  Partners username and password.
  2. Shared/Lab Desktop Backup Service: This service backs up multiple user accounts that exist on the same computer.  The shared computer is configured with an additional account with all accounts on that computer having access to all backed up data.  A separate username and password for the application is issued in these circumstances that is NOT and individual's Partners username/password.

Features include:

  • Automatically backs up changed data every 15 minutes, stored locally if offline, synched to the repository once online and connected to Partners.
  • Live data is stored forever. Deleted files retained for 90 days.
  • Lost files can be recovered without having to call anyone
  • Multi-Destination Backup: The Crashplan application will  backup files to 2 geographical locations. If one location is down, the other has your data.
  • Data De-duplication
  • Backup Open Files
  • Compression
  • Encryption: 448-bit Blowfish encryption (in transit and at rest)
  • Continuous data protection (CDP)
  • Backup to a External Drive for added protection
  • 1 TB backup Limit


  • $5 per computer per month
  • Research funds only
  • Non-research sundry funds, Hospital Cost Centers and Physician Org. funds require finance approval (please contact us).

Supported Client Systems:

  • Macintosh:  10.5, 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 (Intel Only); Java 6 installed from Apple
  • Windows:     Windows XP,  Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (32 & 64 versions supported)
  • Linux:           2.6 Kernel (Redhat, Centos, Ubuntu and other variants of linux), Oracle (Sun) Java version 1.6+

How do I signup:

  • Use Research Computing Core Services Website to signup.  Login with your Partners Username and password
  • Once you submit your info, a grant number, and subscribe to desktop service, you will get an email with instructions for downloading and installing the backup software

When do backups occur?

The backups happen every 15 minutes when on the PHS network.  Changes or updates to a document or file are captured at that time.  The system uses Continuous data protection technology (CDP)

Default Folders that are backed up:

Mac \Users\XXX

c:\Documents and Settings

or c:\Users (Window 7 and Vista)

Linux \Users\XXX or \Home\XXX

What folders aren’t backed up:


Mac under \Users:
Windows under c:\Documents and Settings:
*/itunes   *\itunes
*/Downloads *\MyDownloads
*/Library/Caches *\Local\Settings\History
*/Library/Cookies *\Cookies
*/Library/Widgets *\Local\Settings\Temp
*/Library/Classic  *\Temporary\ Internet\ Files

What is also not backed up?

Virtual Machines (VM) running on the computer are not backed up.  If you need to backup a VM then we need to install the backup application inside the VM.  There would be cost of $5 per VM that is backed up.


Q. Are there clients available for multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux?

A. Yes Windows, Mac OS and Linux are supported please see the system requirements section above.

Q. What are the size limitations on the amount of data to be backed up?

A. The average is 50GB.  For Centers and Labs with workstations in the 100's of GB's to TB's, please use our Workstation/Server backup.

Q. What is the cost per computer for the backup service?

  • $5 per computer per month
  • We charge monthly and you will get an invoice around the 6th business day of each month for the previous month's service.
  • We will also send the PI of the grant a statement showing all charges to his/her grant

Q. If there are no limitations, can I do a full system backup?

A. Only data files are backed up and only one user can be backed up per computer.  If you need to backup a computer that has multiple user accounts (i.e. shared computer) then there is a different setup process. contact us.

Q. How often do you backup my data?

A. The backup software will try to back your changes or new data that is created on your computer every 15 minutes.  You need to be connected to the Partners Network to be backed up (wired or wireless (PHSWIFI3) or on VPN).

Q. What if I delete a file how long will the system hold on to it?

A. 90 Days

Q. What if I am working on a file or have it open can the Backup System backup the file?

A. Yes, but MS Outlook PST files can cause issues

Q. If I enable my personal computer's firewall can that affect my computer from being backed up?

A. Yes, the backup client will keep trying to talk to the servers to backup changed or new data. If you are blocking outbound traffic from your computer you will need to allow outbound traffic on port TCP 4282.  The backup destination for the clients is backup01.partners.org:4282, backup02.partners.org:4282,backup03.partners.org:4282, backup04.partners.org:4282

Q. Do you backup email that is stored locally on my computer and for how long?

A. Yes, the same as all other data that is being backed up.

Q. Can I backup from home or while traveling?

A. The system must be connected to Partners Network to be backed-up via wired, wireless (PHSWIFI3) or while connected on VPN.

Q. Where are the Backup Servers located  

A. The primary server is located in the PHS Needham Data Center.  The secondary server is in the Simches Data Center at MGH.  Your computer will first backup to the one location and once fully backed up then backup the same data to the other location.

Q. Is my data secure? 

A. Yes, your data is transferred using 448-bit encryption and stored encrypted. You must use your Partners Username and Partners password to be able to access your data through the application.  Only system administrators have access but by policy we don't access your data unless we are asked by you, HR or Management.

Q. What happens when my Partners Password changes? 

A. The backup system will sync up with Partners Authentication system and you will use the same password you use when you login to your Partner email account.

Q. Can I view/access/restore the files that have been backed by using a web browser (250 MB limit per web restore)?

A. Yes, for go to https://backup01.partners.org:4285 and login using your Partners Username and Partners Password. (you must be connected to the Partners Network to access this server)

Q.  I was using the old Atempo backup solution, how do I remove the software?

  • For Windows,  just use the built-in uninstall program (Add or Remove Programs)
  • For Macintosh,  you will need to download this uninstaller and run it.

Q.  I want to backup another computer I use with Crashplan.  What do I do?

A. Just install the client on the new computer and login using your Partners Username and Password.  You will be automatically billed an additional $5 for the new computer.

Q.  How many versions of my data are kept? 

  • Backup versions are retained indefinitely, however the quantity of versions retained are based upon the age of the backup.  Please see the table below:
Versions to keep from Version frequency retained
Last week Every 30 minutes
Last 90 days Every day
Last Years Every week
Previous years Every month
Remove deleted files after After 90 days


Q. My computer had to be rebuilt and all my data was lost how do I restore my files from Crashplan?

A. Reinstall the Crashplan software, login using your Partners Username and Partners password and restore your files via the Crashplan application.

Q. Can I use Crashplan to backup may data to a local drive (USB)?

A. Yes you can use the same software backup to an external drive.  The data is encrypted and uses the same username and password.

Q. Can I change the name of the computer using the Crashplan, will it affect the backup?

A. No you can change the name of computer, it will not disrupt the backup.


Other Questions?

Send an e-mail to rcc@partners.org  You’ll get an answer within one business day



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