Backup Manager guide

Gewijzigd op: Di, 22 Aug, 2017 at 2:27 PM

The Backup Manager is your primary tool for backup and recovery. It specializes in enterprise-level data that cannot be handled with the help of mass-market solutions: databases, virtual machines and content management systems.

Supported features

Operating systems for backup and recovery

You can back up and restore data located on Windows OS, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. Please see the table below for the full list of supported versions.

Windows versions Mac versions GNU/Linux versions**
Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10;
Windows Server 2003 SP2, 2008, 2008 R2, SBS 2011, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016 (limited*)
10.6 Snow Leopard (64-bit)
10.7 Lion
10.8 Mountain Lion
10.9 Mavericks
10.10 Yosemite
10.11 El Capitan
CentOS 5, 6, 7
Debian 5, 6, 7, 8
OpenSUSE 11, 12

*For Windows Server 2016, only the features compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2 are supported.

** In addition to the major Linux distributions that are regularly tested in-house, it is possible to back up and restore data located on any GNU/Linux x86 and x86_64/amd64 distribution with glibc 2.4 or higher (with NPTL enabled). For the backup and restore of MySQL, glibc 2.5 or higher is required.

Data sources for backup and recovery

The Backup Manager handles individual files and directories as well as complex systems such as these:

  • MS SQL

  • VMware

  • Hyper-V

  • MS Exchange

  • MS SharePoint

  • Oracle

  • MySQL

In addition, you can back up and recover the configuration of your operating system (the "System State" data source).

Please view the Data sources page for system compatibility details.

Backup-related features

"Yes" next to the name of an operating system means that the feature is available on all of the supported versions of that operating system.

Feature Windows Mac OS X GNU/Linux
One-time backups (initiated manually) Yes Yes Yes
Scheduled backups Yes Yes Yes
Flexible backup selection (manual file selection, exclusion filters, priority files) Yes Yes Yes
Automatic file selection (adding certain types of files to the backup selection automatically) Yes No No
Seed loading backups (for large data sets) Yes Yes Yes
Pre- and post-backup scripts (for example, shut down the system after backup) Yes Yes Yes
LocalSpeedVault (a backup copy on a local drive or a network share for faster backups and restores) Yes Yes Yes
Archiving (archived backup sessions will never be deleted from the Cloud) Yes Yes Yes
Detailed reports on the statuses of backup sessions (displayed on the Overview tab) Yes Yes Yes
Backup of open files (especially files belonging to MS SQL, MS Exchange, MS Hyper-V and MS SharePoint) Windows Vista and greater No No
Backup of encrypted files Yes Yes Yes
Backup of archived files (all common types of archives are supported) Yes Yes Yes
Backup of data located on local disks, removable storage drives mounted as fixed drives (Windows and Linux) and local network resources Yes Yes Yes
Backup Accelerator (speedy subsequent backups of large files) Windows 7 and 8;
Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016
No No

Recovery-related features

"Yes" next to the name of an operating system means that the feature is available on all of the supported versions of that operating system.

Feature Windows Mac OS X GNU/Linux
Standby Image backup (the creation of the virtual image of the operating system) Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows SBS 2011
Windows Server 2012/2012 R2
No No
One-time restores (initiated manually) Yes Yes Yes
Continuous restores (synchronious with backups) Yes Yes Yes
Flexible data selection Yes Yes Yes
Choice of target location (the ability to recover data to the original location or a new one) Yes Yes Yes
Detailed reports on the statuses of restore sessions (displayed on the Overview tab) Yes Yes Yes
Bare metal recovery (recovering a failed system directly to bare hardware without a prior OS installation) Windows Vista and greater No No
Virtual disaster recovery (recovering a failed system to a virtual machine) Windows Vista and greater No No

All of the recovery-related features except for the bare metal recovery and the Standby Image backup are available in the Recovery Console (a multi-instance recovery tool for system administrators).

Common features

The rest of the features are available on all of the supported operating systems.

  • Multi-lingual support. The Backup Manager can be used in any of these 7 languages: English, Dutch, Russian, German, Spanish, French, or Portuguese.

  • Interface selection. You can operate the Backup Manager through the command line or use the graphic user interface.

  • Custom branding. You can brand the Backup Manager for your end users removing references to the developer (this is done through the Cloud Management Console). Use a custom name, logo, color scheme, and icons.

  • Remote management. You can install the Backup Manager remotely through the Cloud Management Console and send remote commands to the Backup Manager devices of your end users.

  • Proxy connection. The Backup Manager can work from behind a proxy server.

  • Email reports. Enable the delivery of email notifications on the statuses or recent backup and recovery sessions. This can be done by an end user in the Backup Manager or remotely by a service provider or a system administrator.

  • Bandwidth usage control. Be sure your bandwidth usage will never exceed a specified limit.

  • Updates.There are 2 ways to update the Backup Manager to the latest version: by downloading the latest version and installing it on top of the current one or by letting the app update itselt automatically.

Data processing technologies

Backup data is processed locally on the client side and then sent to remote storage. Data processing isn't platform-dependent so all users can benefit from advanced data processing technologies such as deep deduplication, delta slicing, directory hashing, compression, secure encryption, caching and so on.

Data sources

Practically any file located on a workstation or server can be protected against loss using the Backup Manager. Some files are not subject to backup – for example files from the Backup Manager installation folder and temporary files on Windows.

Complex systems such as databases, virtual machines and content management systems require specific approaches to keep backup data consistent (this guarantees that the system will continue working after recovery). That is why you will find different data sources in the Backup Manager (a separate data source for each type of data).

Data source Description Available on Windows Available on Mac Available on Linux
Files and folders Individual files and directories located on the computer that the Backup Manager is installed on Yes Yes Yes
System state The operating system with its configuration Yes No Yes (beta version)
MS SQL Databases powered by Microsoft SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016 Yes No No
VMware Virtual machines running on VMware ESXi version 4.1, 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0 Windows Vista and later (64-bit versions for ESX 5.5 and 6.0) No No
Hyper-V Virtual machines running on MS Hyper-V 2.0 and 3.0 Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016 No No
MS Exchange Messaging systems powered by Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 Yes No No
MS SharePoint Content management systems powered by Microsoft SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 (single-server installations) Windows Server.

At the moment MS SharePoint 2016 can be backed up only on Windows Server 2012 R2.
No No
Oracle Databases powered by Oracle Database Standard Edition 11g Yes No No
MySQL Databases powered by MySQL Server) 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 5.6 Yes Yes Yes (glibc 2.5 or higher required)
Network shares Individual files and directories located on a local network resource Yes No* No*

*To back up network shares on Mac OS X and Linux, you need to permanently connect the network resource to your desktop (it will be recognized as the Files and Folders data source after that).

Backup technology

Data backup in the Backup Manager is session-based. A session is a process during which a data selection on a client device is backed up to a remote server. Backup sessions result in the creation of virtual copies that can be retrieved at any time.

Because data tends to change, backup sessions usually run on a repeated basis (for instance, every day). You can start a new backup session manually or you can create a schedule for it.

1 data source = 1 backup session

There is a separate session for each data source. For example, if a backup selection has two data sources (Files and folders and System state), there will be two backup sessions.

Backup session structure

All backup sessions go through two stages: scanning and processing. The procedure varies slightly for initial sessions (performed on a device for the first time) and subsequent sessions (all other sessions after the initial one).

Structure of initial backup sessions

Stage 1: Scanning

At this stage, the Backup Manager makes a list of data to back up. In short, here is what it does:

  • Performs a system scan to locate the data selected for backup.

  • Puts the files in a queue.

Stage 2: Processing

The Backup Manager takes the queued files one by one in the order of priority (user-defined) and recentness (defined by change dates) and handles them in the following way:

  • Cuts them into smaller fragments known as slices.

  • Calculates a hash (a unique data fingerprint) for each slice. During subsequent backups, the hash will be used to detect changes.

  • Compresses the slices to reduce their size (saves bandwidth and storage space).

  • Encrypts the slices using the private security key set during Backup Manager installation (the data will be inaccessible without the key). One of the following encryption methods is used: AES-128 (default), AES-256, or Blowfish-448.

  • Combines multiple slices into cabinets to utilize network and storage resources more efficiently.

  • Transfers the cabinets to the Cloud. By default, two simultaneous connections are established. Their number can be customized within the range of 1 to 10 (view instructions). The higher the number of connections, the faster your data will reach the storage. However, a high number of connections consumes more bandwidth and memory resources.

  • Registers all files and slices in a local database called the Backup Register and uploads the database to the Cloud.

When the backup session is complete, the data becomes available for recovery. You can see a new entry in the Session time list.

Session Time list in Backup Manager

Structure of subsequent backup sessions (delta backup)

Stage 1: Scanning

The Backup Manager scans the system to find the data to back up and compares the results with those from the previous session. The comparison is drawn based on file attributes (names, change dates, size, access permissions and so on) stored in the Backup Register. If at least one attribute in a file has changed, the file is added to the queue for further processing.

Stage 2: Processing

The Backup Manager slices the files in the order of priority and recentness and calculates hashes for the slices. Then the hashes are compared to the hashes from the previous backup session. New slices whose hashes don't have matches in the storage undergo the standard procedure. They are compressed, encrypted, combined into cabinets and delivered to the storage. The Backup Register is updated with new records after that.

Sequence of backup sessions

Generally, backup sessions run successively. You can start the next backup session after the current one is complete (the Run backup button is unavailable while there is an active backup process). However, they can sometimes overlap. This can happen if they were scheduled shortly one after another or if one session had been started manually just before a scheduled session was due. In this case, the Backup Manager completes the scanning stages for all of the sessions (one after one) and then merges the queues created during scanning. Priority files and files with recent change dates are processed in the first place no matter which backup session they belong to.

Note that backup sessions involving data archiving are never interrupted. Other sessions can start only after they are completed.

The scheme applies to the following data sources: Files and Folders, Network shares, Oracle, and System State (on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003).

Overlapping backup sessions of the same data source

There cannot be two simultaneous backup sessions of the same data source if the data source is based on the Volume Shadow Copy technology or if the data source requires resource-consuming processing (MS SharePoint, MS Exchange, VMware, System State on Windows Vista and greater). However, these data sources can be backed up simultaneously with other data sources.

The session that has started first is completed normally. Subsequent sessions that started while it was in progress are skipped. If a user opens the Overview tab and chooses statistics for that day, there will be an error message similar to the one below.

Sample error report (simultaneous backup impossible)

Backup sessions vs. restore sessions

In addition to backup sessions, there are restore sessions that take place whenever a user starts a restore process. Restore sessions have a higher priority than backup sessions. So they are always processed in the first place.

Practical implications

  1. Backup Manager users needn't make any preparations for backup: move the files to a separate folder, compress them or check for duplicates.

  2. Data that is sent to storage is always unique in the sense that only changed blocks are transferred and only one copy of each change is submitted. This guarantees that bandwidth and storage space is used economically.

  3. When the Backup Manager searches for changes, it compares file properties first. Only if a property has changed, a content analysis is made. This drastically reduces the amount of time and processing required for change detection, especially when it comes to large data sets.

  4. Users who want to speed up their backup sessions can increase the number of simultaneous connections. It is best to do it gradually. This way the user can make sure the increased transfer activity isn't affecting computer performance and isn't clogging the Internet connection.

  5. If it is necessary to restore something while a backup is in progress, the user can start a restore right away. All active backup sessions will be put on hold until the restore is completed.

Backup steps

1. Configure backup selection

Firstly, you should specify what you want to back up. This is done on the Backup tab in the Backup Manager.

To add a data source to your backup selection, click the Add button next to its name.

Then select the files, folders or components (such as databases, virtual disks and so on) that should be backed up. Here is an example for the "Files and Folders" data source.

You can let the Backup Manager help you choose data for backup. The feature is called Automatic File Selection.

To make sure all necessary data has been included into your backup selection, click on the name of the data source.

If you clear your backup selection afterwards, you'll be offered to remove all backup copies of these files from the Cloud. The action is irreversible.

2. Start backup

Option A: Start a one-time backup

A backup can be initiated manually at any time. Open the Backup tab and click Run backup.

Note that the Run backup button is unavailable until at least one data source is configured for backup.

The duration of the backup process depends on the size of your backup selection, the data transfer speed and the performance of your computer.

Option B (recommended): Enable regular backups

It is most convenient to set up a backup schedule and let backups run automatically without your interference. Note that your computer should be turned on during backups and shouldn't enter the sleep mode.

To create a backup schedule or edit existing schedules, go to Preferences > Schedule.


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