Storage snapshot backups

What is SpaceVault?

SpaceVault offers an extra level of security over your data, especially when shared with others. SpaceVault enables restoration of your data to an earlier point in time. It’s independent of, but a great companion to TimeVault if you also use

Backup Checkpoints

A single full backup is made initially, then incremental backups run automatically at agreed daily, weekly and monthly times based on the data volumes and data changes involved. Daily backups may not be feasible in all cases due to the laws of physics for very large or very volatile collections. We will work with you to determine the backup cycles that work best for you.

SpaceVault backups are retained daily for 7 days, weekly for 4 weeks, monthly for 12 months and annually for the life of your SpacePlan; recognising that the more recently data changes, the more granularity of restoration checkpoints is needed. Intersect regularly monitors all SpaceVault backups to confirm they are completing successfully and within the time allocated for them to run.


SpaceVault works with all kinds of Space, including HyperSpace, SpaceShuttle, NearSpace and DeepSpace. SpaceVault can also backup your SpaceBase metadata files. SpaceVault is a companion to, but distinct from TimeVault, designed to backup OwnTime virtual machine-internal storage.

SpaceVault makes an exact copy of anything in a Space filesystem. But not everything can survive in Space; binary data from active databases and applications typically requires manufacturer recommended/supplied export tools. We recommend you to use them to prepare database dumps and application exports and include these in your data collection for  backup. If in doubt, please get in touch for advice.

Collection and backup size

SpaceVault scales to backup any amount of Space data. There are some pragmatic constraints for individual data collections. Standard backup sources can be up to 20 TB in size,  and contain up to 2 million files. If your collection is larger than these thresholds you may need to split it into logical sub-collections. For data volumes significantly larger than these thresholds, a custom solution will be required; please get in touch and we’ll work through this with you. Backup size depends on a number of factors including data collection size, backup frequency, retention period,  and how much data changes over time. SpaceVault technology helps minimise overall storage consumed by hardware compression, incremental copies, and software optimisation.

Backing up small files

Files can range from zero bytes up to any size, though practical maximum file sizes will apply.  If you have large numbers (order 100,000+) of small files (order 10KB in size) for performance reasons we strongly recommend  these be compressed and aggregated into archive files.

Pre-existing Collections

It’s best to use SpaceVault on newly created Space filesystems so backups can grow as your Space data grows. SpaceVault will also works with pre-existing Collections, attracting one-time setup charges.

How does SpaceVault determine if my data has changed?

SpaceVault uses filesystem metadata to determine if your files have changed, typically file creation date and file modification date. If you require a different mechanism, for example based on data checksums, you will need a custom solution: please contact us for advice.

File permissions

SpaceVault uses administrative privileges to access and copy your data through an NFS file mount. Due to the heterogeneous nature of cloud computing and storage, backed-up file permissions are not guaranteed to be maintained post-restoration. Specific arrangements may be accommodated if possible.

When do backups run?

Space Vault will typically run your backup out of business hours, ie: between 6pm and 8am. Duration is proportional to the volatility of source data; more changes mean longer backups. SpaceVault backup completion times are regularly monitored tuned as necessary. You’ll hear from us if a significant change is required to the backup scheduling.

Will I be able to access my data during a backup?

Yes, you can access and update your data as normal.

How do I restore my data?

Restoration is requested through  You will need to specify your SpacePlan, the name of your data collection, a selection criteria for the files you want to restore, such as filename or path (regular expressions are supported) and file owner, along with a date range; typically this will be the dates you think the file data is intact. SpaceVault will use this information to scan for files that match your criteria; these will be candidate files to restore.

To give you fast access to your restored data, it will be copied to a special Space filesystem for up to 30 days. This transient storage does not count towards your SpacePlan storage quota.

SpaceVault includes one pre-scheduled trial and two standard restorations per collection per year. Standard restores are up to 10K files and  up to 1TB of data using basic selection criteria as described. Trial restores are reduced sample restores to confirm nominal operation. Additional standard restorations, trial restores, restorations involving greater than the standard restore limits, or restorations involving complex selection criteria are at additional cost by agreement. Please get in touch for any special requests.

Who can request restoration?

Only the owner of a SpacePlan or authorised  representative can request backup or restoration of your data, and it requires approval through the ticketing system to ensure auditability.

Security and integrity

SpaceVault makes sure that whatever is backed up can be restored precisely to a given point in time, safely and securely, by offering:

  • Backup privacy (access is restricted to requestor designator personnel).
  • Media redundancy (copies are made across diverse media).
  • Data integrity (failsafe mechanisms ensure integrity when any data is copied or moved).
  • Secure environment (the NSW eResearch Nexus uses secure tier 3 certified data centres).
  • Options for offline, offsite replication (at additional cost).

Service Levels

As with any backup service, SpaceVault service levels apply to standard collections that are within standard size thresholds and for standard restorations, as described.

Recovery Point Objective1 day
That is, the maximum amount of data missing after a restore from the most recent backup is up to one elapsed day’s worth of changes.
Recovery Time Objective1 business day
That is, the maximum amount of time elapsed before restored data is available to you is up to one business day.
ExclusionsSpaceVault does not attempt file or block de-duplication

How do I get started with SpaceVault?

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