3 Backup Rules to Follow

3 Backup Rules to Follow

Most people realize that backing up your critical data is important. Technology can betray you at any moment, so it’s prudent to have copies of your files safely stored at a different location than the original. But, is that enough? Just store your data on the Google cloud service and your data is secure? Experts disagree. This is why they have come with some cardinal data backup rules that every individual and business should pay heed to when backing up their data. For your convenience, we have listed them below.

Rule # 1

So, you have made a copy of your data and stored on an external device or on a cloud storage service and now you have peace of mind? You should be worry free, if the data is not important that is. Experts say that any important data should have more than two copies or more than just one backup. The first rule of backing up your data- make at least 3 copies of all your vital files. Making multiple backups may get a bit complicated; to simplify the process and protect the integrity of the data, use our backup solution CloudBacko.

Rule # 2

The second backup rule: never keep all your backup copies in the same location or even in the similar type of location. Always use different platforms or storage devices to keep your data backups. For example, if you have backed-up your data on Amazon’s cloud service, then the second backup should be stored locally. Our backup tool, CloudBacko, will allow you to backup your data on any location you want.

Rule # 3

The third rule is all about keeping the copies of your backup secure. Even multiple copies of your backup will be for naught if you don’t keep them safe. Cloud storage, local backup, and anywhere else you have placed your backup should offer ample security for your critical files. Apply strong and secure passwords and ask for the best encryption in the case of cloud storage. CloudBacko can help you keep your backup secure by providing that much needed extra level of security with its 256-bit encryption.

If you follow the rules above, you will never have to worry about parting with your crucial data ever again. Please share your thoughts on the topic with us by leaving your comments below.

CloudBacko Pro now supports Linux Backup

CloudBacko Pro now supports Linux

We have just released version 1.7.2.0 of CloudBacko Pro backup software. This latest version added supports to Linux, which enables system administrators to perform  enterprise-grade backup for computers on all major platforms to local or cloud storage.

Truly support heterogeneous systems

Linux has a high usage rate in servers and gaining momentum in desktop computers and notebooks. CloudBacko recognizes the needs of backing up these Linux based servers and desktops. The latest CloudBacko Pro natively supports backup on Linux platform, which allows system administrators to use the same solution to backup heterogeneous systems, including Linux, Windows and OS X-based systems onto private or public cloud storage.

“We aim to provide diverse choices and interoperability for our backup solution. With the release of CloudBacko Pro v1.7.2.0, users can enjoy a cost-effective backup solution in Linux, Windows and Mac OS. We will continue the support and look forward to providing further feature enhancement, optimization and support for other distros.” said Samuel Chan, the Development Director of CloudBacko.

Click here to download 30 days free trial.

Integrate Nagios Log Server to monitor CloudBacko

Integrate Nagios Log Server to monitor CloudBacko

As CloudBacko is designed as a standalone cloud backup tool, IT infrastructure management software can be used together with CloudBacko for monitoring purpose. Nagios Log Server, the enterprise-class log monitoring tool is a perfect fit. Nagios has a wide variety of plug-ins. It is well-received and used among the system administrator community.

It is possible to use Nagios Log Server to monitor multiple installations of CloudBacko in a network. The following tutorial shows how to integrate Nagios Log Server with CloudBacko.

The following instructions are taken from the user manual of Nagios Log Server. For details, always refer to the Nagios Log Server user manual.

Overview of log files and integration steps

As described in previous blog post, How to integrate Zabbix with CloudBacko for MSPs, CloudBacko log files are stored at the following path:

For CloudbBacko Pro
(Windows XP/2003) -> C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\.cbp\log\%backupset_id%\Backup\YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS.log
(Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/2008/2008 R2/2012) -> C:\users\{username}\.cbp\log\%backupset_id%\Backup\YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS.log

For CloudbBacko Lite
(Windows XP) -> C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\.cbl\log\%backupset_id%\Backup\YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS.log
(Windows Vista/7/8/8.1) -> C:\users\{username}\.cbl\log\%backupset_id%\Backup\YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS.log

For each backup set, it is necessary to create a new alert in Nagios for every backup set.

In general integration has three steps:

1) Configure input source: set up the log file path for Nagios Log Server to monitor files

2) Create input query: set up which key word to monitor

3) Create alert: set up notifications

Step-by-step tutorial

The following provides a step-to-step tutorial.

(1) Install Nagios Log Server

Check the system requirements. Download and install the log server. For details, please refer to Nagios Log Server the official documentation.

(2) Configure input source

In the main screen, select Administration. A panel of options will appear and select Global Configuration. There are two log input defaults included: Syslog and Windows Event Log.

To add a custom input, click on the + Add input button on top right. The format follows Logstash. Example will be given in paragraphs below.

Assuming we have a CloudBacko Pro in Windows 7 with backup set ID 1409103670275 and Windows username login benjamin.yip, the log file will be generated at the following path:

C:\users\benjamin.yip\.cbp\log\1409103670275\Backup\2014-08-25-10-59-00.log

The log file name is formed by date and time of the backup process.

To configure the new input source in Nagios, add the following in input:

  file {
    path => "C:\users\benjamin.yip\.cbp\log\1409103670275\Backup\*.log"
    start_position => beginning
  }

Click save to keep the setting.

(3) Configure query

Nagios Log Server has a powerful query filter for log file analysis. You should add at least an Error query so that you will be notified of any error in backup actions. You can also view the query result on dashboard. Refer to How to integrate Zabbix with CloudBacko for MSPs for the complete list of backup job status.

To add filter, simply click the ‘FILTERING’ button and click the plus ‘+’ symbol next to the current view filters. Type in the query term “error” and save the query.

Add query

(4) Configure notification

Nagios allows notification to be sent by email or executing a script. To enable email notification, click on the Alert section on the web user interface.

Create AlertSelect the “New Alert” button. Enter the Alert Name, Query, Check Interval and Lookback Period. In Query, choose the query you have saved in step 3. Then select ‘Email Users’ under the Alert Method field. Finish with selecting the Thresholds and users to email the alert to.

New email alert

It’s also possible to execute scripting file. Select the “New Alert” button. As in the previous instruction, enter the Alert Name, Query, Check Interval and Lookback Period. Select “Execute Script” under the Alert Method field. Then add the absolute path in the script field.

Execute scriptThe last field allows you to enter the arguments for further configurations.

(5) Testing

Test your installation. Check if log files are received in server web console.

You should be able to manage multiple CloudBacko installations in servers or desktops, and receive email notifications when error occurs.

Advantages of Online Backup Services for Your Business

Advantages-of-Online-Backup-Services-for-Your-Business

Most business owners realize the benefits of online backup services and are utilizing them effectively. For those businessmen, who have not yet moved their data to the cloud, here are a few advantages of cloud service that you are missing out on:

Worry Free

Backing up your data on Google or Amazon cloud backup provides you with peace of mind. You can rest assured that a copy of your backup is safe somewhere offsite and you can download it whenever you feel the need.

Auto Backup

You no longer have to worry about scheduling a backup and the integrity of your backup. With CloudBacko, you can use any service, like Google backup service, and schedule your backups and benefit from its built-in data integrity checking feature.

Price

The cost of using cloud backup services is much lower than the costs that local backup systems incur. You have to purchase the hardware and hire IT professionals to handle the equipment and the backup files. When you use online backup, a minimal monthly fee will eliminate all those costs.

Accessibility

The restoration process can take place even if you change your office location. Cloud backup gives you access to your critical data no matter where in the world you are. You can retrieve your data with the access that the online service has provided you with.

Security

Most cloud service providers will offer their own security for your data, to keep it secure from nefarious and physical elements. You can also use CloudBacko to encrypt your data to provide an extra layer of security to your data.

Retrieval

Fast retrieval of your data is also one of the perks of cloud backup services; although the speed does depend largely on the internet connection you have. If you have a quality broadband connection, your backup will be retrieved in a matter of minutes.

To be fair, there are also some cons of using cloud backups, but the advantages are so overwhelming that you can’t help but make use of online backup services.

Tips To Secure Your Data on the Cloud

Tips To Secure Your Data on the Cloud

Cloud storage services are becoming popular with every passing year; the number of individual and business users of cloud storage has increased exponentially over the years. The clouds have replaced flash drives, DVDs, CDs and external drives, as the secondary storage device.

This popularity of cloud storage services has brought many privacy and security concerns to light. Concerns that are being addressed by the industry, this also means that you have to be responsible for your data’s security. Following are some tips that will help you to better secure your data online:

1. Sensitive Data

If it is at all possible, avoid storing extremely sensitive data on the cloud. And if it can’t be helped, take appropriate steps to make sure that your information is secure on the cloud. You can use our backup solution CloudBacko to apply an extra layer of security to your data.

2. Privacy

To learn all about the workings of the cloud storage service, read the user agreement in detail. This will tell you about how the company operates and how they will treat your data. The most important part of this agreement would be the privacy section, this will enlighten you about if and why the company will allow a third party access to your data.

3. Strong Passwords

Your business’s cloud storage account is not like your personal email, so don’t use obvious passwords. Choose a strong, possibly randomly generated password, for your cloud storage account. And make sure you don’t use the same password anywhere else online.

4. Cloud Service with Encryption

When you are searching for cloud storage service, look at the security encryption as the determining factor. Your data is most vulnerable when it is being transferred and stored on the cloud storage. A service that provides with secure endpoints and high-grade encryption should be at the top of your list.

5. Data Encryption

Leaving all the security up to your cloud storage service is not sensible; instead, try using CloudBacko to apply your own 256-bit military grade encryption to your data before it is backed up on the cloud. This will provide an extra security wall for your data and assure the safety of your data in the virtual world.

Taking all these precautions may seem tiresome, but they will keep your data secure on the cloud. Have anything to add to the topic? Please do so by leaving your comments.

Tip on using Windows network drive as destination

CloudBacko supports backing up to FTP / SFTP sites, external USB drive, and local or mapped network drives.

Unlike cloud storage destinations, CloudBacko does not save the login credentials for your Windows network shares. If you need to re-map the network drive, configurations should be completed in Windows instead of CloudBacko.

Assuming the network drive login is different from Windows login, when you re-mapped the drive make sure you select:

i. “Reconnect at logon”; and
ii. ” Connect using different credential”.

Remap network driveAnd when you enter the login network share login credentials, you should select “Remember my credentials”.

Enter network passwordThis helps CloudBacko to access network drive successfully for each backup schedule.

Update CloudBacko to v1.7

CloudBacko has officially released version 1.7. The latest version adds cloud back up destination support OpenStack and Rackspace.

CloudBacko Free is automatically updated to the latest version. CloudBacko Pro and Lite users will receive notifications when you start CloudBacko as shown below.

Update v1.7 NotificationIf you do not see the notification, it’s probably you have not switched on update notification setting. Go directly to Settings and click on Software Update, you can see the latest version details. Click the Update button to start the update process.

Software UpdateAfter software update, there are two more destination choices in backup set destinations, as shown below.

Back up to RackspaceBack up to OpenStack

You only need to fill in the required fields to start backup to Rackspace or cloud repository supported by OpenStack.

CloudBacko backup software v1.7 now supports Rackspace and OpenStack

CloudBacko backup software v1.7 now supports Rackspace and OpenStack

We just released CloudBacko version 1.7. This latest version added 2 more highly popular cloud storage, Rackspace Cloud Files and OpenStack, into the list of backup destinations that comprises Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, FTP/SFTP, local and mapped network drive. The expanded storage support not only benefits businesses but also service providers.

More storage flexibility for businesses

With the added two cloud storage destinations support, CloudBacko enables small and medium businesses to enjoy higher flexibility in choosing their preferred cloud storage service providers. Moreover, it also offers large enterprises that wish to build (or already built) a private or hybrid cloud with OpenStack the option to back up data from their servers and workstations in geographical distributed offices onto their own private or hybrid cloud storage. The support of these services eliminates the need for user to learn complicated APIs of cloud providers, making cloud backup easy to set up, configure and use.

Lucrative Cloud Backup as a Service for service providers

The adoption momentum of OpenStack is growing strong in the service provider circle because of its open and extensible nature. When using it in conjunction with CloudBacko, existing OpenStack’s service providers will be ready to open new recurring income stream by offering cloud backup service to business end users who need to backup VMware, Hyper-V, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, MySQL Database, etc. to the cloud.

Other managed backup service providers can also be benefited by adopting CloudBacko as it offers a wide range of free and paid cloud storage support for their customers to choose. Low budget customers can even choose to combine multiple free cloud storage as a pool with zero cost.

Available to all three editions

The new release is applicable to all three versions, CloudBacko Pro, CloudBacko Lite and CloudBacko Free. The latest version is immediately available worldwide. Download 30-day free trial now.

VMware ESXi bug in Changed Block Tracking (CBT)

VMware ESXi bug in Changed Block Tracking

Recently VMware has published a bug on virtual disk (vmdk) file with Changed Block Tracking (CBT) enabled. The bug will render the virtual disk backup images invalid.

According to the VMware Knowledge Base Article #2090639, if the vmdk file has been extended by a size greater than 128GB, for example, 200GB to 350GB, the vmdk file will be affected by this bug. If the extension is completed 10 times, each time 20GB, the file is still affected by this CBT bug.

This issue affects all users of ESXi 4.x and ESXi 5.x. The root cause is the Changed Block Tracking information is getting corrupted when crossing these boundaries.

Recommended action

There is no official solution offered by VMware. A workaround is recommended for all users to disable and then enable CBT for all affected virtual images. All incremental backups after growing the disk should be considered invalid. Users should perform a full backup on all affected disks after re-enabling CBT.

Is Cloud Storage a Good Choice for Disaster Recovery?

Is Cloud Storage a Good Choice for Disaster Recovery

Cloud storage may seem like the best solution for your data storage needs, but you have to realize that it does have some shortcomings. If you are relying on your cloud storage service to be your disaster recovery, then we have some questions that you should consider asking your cloud storage service before you backup all your critical data on it.

How secure is the data when it is being transferred to the cloud?

Your data is at its most vulnerable when it is being transferred to and from the cloud, anyone can ‘sneak a peek at your data with minimal effort. Some cloud storage services will offer a secure tunnel for the transfer of the data, for others you can employ CloudBacko. It will encrypt the data and prevent anyone from eavesdropping when the data is being transferred.

What is the authentication process employed by the service?

Usually, the cloud service will offer a two step user authentication process that is considered to be very secure.

Does the company comply with the industry standards and regulations?

There are certain regulations and standards of security and privacy that cloud storage services have to adhere to. These regulations are determined by government organizations, the existence of the compliance certification should assure you that the company operates under the highest of standards.

What is the transfer rate that the service can provide?

The transfer speed that the service allows will help you determine the down time you have to face in the event of a disaster, although, the rate of transfer largely depends on the bandwidth of your internet connection.

What solutions are in place to maintain the integrity of your data?

A quality cloud storage service will have some safeguards in place to keep your data secure from digital errors and deletion. CloudBacko also comes with a built in data integrity checking feature, to give you peace of mind about the reliability of your backed up data.

Once you have gotten satisfactory answers to your questions, you can comfortably rely on the cloud storage service in your disaster recovery plan. Think we left something off that relates to the topic? Please share it with us in the comments section.