What VM disaster recovery options you have if VMware Site Recovery Manager is over your budget

What-VM-disaster-recovery-option-you-have-if-VMware-Site-Recovery-Manager-is-too-expensive-to-you-1

VMware Site Recovery Manager is a great disaster recovery solution for protection of an organization’s VMware virtualization infrastructure, if you have the budget and the expertise to deploy it. But its mid four digits starting price is not small business friendly at all. And it’s neither easy to use. Without a certain level of VMware literacy, a general IT technician just won’t be capable of getting it properly configured. Most small businesses who are currently using VMware’s virtualization solution (paid and free ESXi hosts) on one site just don’t have either the budget or virtualization expert to get the solution deployed within their infrastructure. If your company is one of them, what other VM disaster recovery options do you have? Continue reading

Newly Released CloudBacko v2 Supports Running a VM Directly from Backup

CloudBacko v2 Released with VM Run Direct feature

[Press Release – February 19, 2016] CloudBacko, a fast growing cloud backup software vendor target small businesses, today announces the release of version 2. The latest version of their server grade backup software, CloudBacko Pro, added a new VM Run Direct feature that can boot an instance of a VM quickly from its backup copy. Thus, an administrator can run an application directly from its backup when the primary VM is being restored. Live VM migration can also be done while the backed up VM instance is running.

“Today, many businesses’ IT infrastructures have been fully virtualized. Virtual machines are used for virtual desktops, mail servers, and other mission critical business servers. They need to get their VMs properly backed up, as well as to get those backed up VMs up and running as fast as possible when a VM fails. Therefore, we now give them this VM Run Direct feature, at the lowest price they can get from the market.” said Samuel Chan, the Development Director at CloudBacko Corporation.

Besides the VM Run Direct feature, the new CloudBacko Pro also comes with the capability to back up guest VMs in Microsoft Hyper-V cluster, as well as information store and individual mails in Microsoft Exchange DAG.

For those who find these new features useful, you can fully test the software at no cost for 30 days by download their trial version from their offical website.

About CloudBacko

CloudBacko is a cloud backup software vendor specialized in developing cloud backup solution for businesses of any sizes. It currently has 3 different solutions for different types of users. CloudBacko Home is primarily designed for home users, while CloudBacko Pro and CloudBacko Lite are for businesses. Visit CloudBacko website at http://www.cloudbacko.com to download their CloudBacko Home free software. No personal or creditcard info is required.

PR Contact

Adeline Wong
CloudBacko Corporation
Address: 28/F, Ford Glory Plaza, No.37 Wing Hong Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Web: www.cloudbacko.com
Email: adeline.wong@cloudbacko.com
Support: http://www.cloudbacko.com/forum/

CloudBacko released v1.11, supporting Windows 10, VMware ESXi 6 and vCenter 6

CloudBacko, a fast growing cloud backup software vendor, today announced the release of version 1.11. This version comes with the support of the latest Windows 10, VMware ESXi 6 and vCenter 6, allowing businesses and home users to backup Windows System, virtual machine, database, server, PC and Mac to public cloud storage as well as local and USB hard drive. Besides, the version also supports Microsoft OneDrive for Business as the backup destination in addition to personal OneDrive.

Windows 10 already comes with the System Image Backup utility that allows users to effortlessly backup the whole system image. So, why CloudBacko is still necessary? Cloud and encryption are the two key differentiators.

“CloudBacko is able to backup the entire Windows image, not only to user’s local hard drive, but also to the public cloud storage, for disaster recovery. A wide range of cloud storage choices is available. Home users can choose to free storage such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox. Businesses can use Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, FTP, etc.” said Samuel Chan, CloudBacko’s Development Director.

“Since data are backed up to cloud, people would worry about the security and privacy issues. CloudBacko comes with the strongest encryption feature, that will use a 256-bit truly randomized key to encrypt the data on the local computer before sending to the cloud, leaving hackers zero chance to hack the data. It thus gives people peace of mind for backing up data to the cloud.” Samuel explained the advantage of the product’s encryption feature.

For businesses, the added VMware ESXi 6 and vCenter 6 support allows them to backup the guest virtual machines in these latest VMware hosts. Most importantly, VMware ESXi free version users can still enjoy the use of CloudBacko Pro’s free ESXi backup module to backup unlimited VMs with an ESXi host.

Similar to personal OneDrive, OneDrive for Business is a place for business users to store, sync, and share work files. CloudBacko now lets businesses to utilize their available space in OneDrive for Business for storing 256-bit encrypted backup data.

About CloudBacko

CloudBacko is a cloud backup software vendor specialized in developing cloud backup solution for businesses of any sizes. It currently has 3 different solutions for different types of users. CloudBacko Home is primarily designed for home users, while CloudBacko Pro and CloudBacko Lite are for businesses. Visit CloudBacko website at http://www.cloudbacko.com for more product and pricing information.

PR Contact

Adeline Wong
CloudBacko Corporation
Address: Geneva Place, Waterfront Drive, P.O. Box 3469, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Web: http://free.cloudbacko.com
Email: adeline.wong@cloudbacko.com
Support: http://forum.cloudbacko.com

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.

Why CloudBacko is better than Veeam

How CloudBacko is better than Veeam

While Veeam’s flagship product Backup & Replication (Veeam B&R) has been popular in forums, CloudBacko Pro can achieve more at a fraction of Veeam’s cost. This post compares CloudBacko Pro to Veeam B&R and explores the less well-known goodies in CloudBacko Pro.

1. Faster installation

Veeam requires two-step installation. User needs to first download and install Veeam Backup & Replication, then download and install Veeam Cloud Edition. CloudBacko Pro, designed with cloud backup feature in mind, only needs to be installed once. We always enjoy faster results.

2. Easier backup

In CloudBacko Pro, a few clicks on the main screen can set up and start a backup job. In Veeam, one needs to first create backup set in B&R, then create a backup job in the Cloud Edition interface. CloudBacko has a more unified interface for cloud backup jobs. Automation helps you save time to do more.

3. Unlimited storage

CloudBacko Pro allows users to combine multiple accounts as one pool of cloud storage. When cloud storage is running out, you can add more storage to the pool. CloudBacko Pro can keep multiple copies of backup concurrently or sequentially at various local and offi-site locations to prevent data loss disaster. It can help you set up unlimited storage for one backup set.

Supported cloud services are Amazon S3, AWS compatible storages, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, FTP / SFTP sites, external USB drive, and local / mapped network drives.

Veeam has no such feature.

4. Cleaner interface

Newer software has the advantage of adopting modern approach in user interface design. In CloudBacko Pro, all major operations are grouped under eight colorful panes on main screen. Help tips are available on every sub-page. Instructions are easy to follow that no user manual is needed. Clean interface does not mean features are limited. Advanced options will be shown when options are expanded.

5. Wider platforms supported

Veeam B&R supports Windows 7 or later versions. CloudBacko Pro respects users with older versions of Windows and it supports from Windows XP onwards.

6. Buy once, get update for life

The purchase price of Veeam only includes first year maintenance. CloudBacko Pro’s package includes unlimited updates once you have signed up. We always have your backup covered.

7. More cost-effective

Last but not the least, the great news is that CloudBacko Pro only costs less than 10% of Veeam. The attractive price tag gives you more features for cloud backup. Your limited budget would not stop you from enjoying high quality backup software.

After you know about this bargain, how would you choose? Download CloudBacko Pro here now to try it yourself.

Infograhic: How to make Google Drive 10X better for backup

How to make Google Drive 10X better for backup (with CloudBacko)

Google Drive now offers 15GB free cloud storage space for each user account. It also offers free app for syncing files across devices. But it is not designed for backup purpose. It would be 10x better if you can:

1x. Combine multiple Google Drive accounts as one big pool of cloud storage.
2x. Add more to the pool when you’re running out of space.
3x. Encrypt the filenames of your data on your computer before uploading to the combined.Google Drive cloud storage, so that no one will know what you have backed up.
4x. Encrypt the contents of your data too.
5x. Use an unbreakable encrypting key that contains a bunch of upper case and lower case characters, numbers as well as special characters to encrypt your data.
6x. Backup only the changes within a file so as to minimize the time required.
7x. Keep multiple versions of your backup data so that you can always choose what version to restore.
8x. Configure the bandwidth for backup so that it won’t consume all your available bandwidth.
9x. Frequently check the data integrity of your backup to ensure restorability.
10x. Besides files, also backup VMware, Hyper-V, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL Database, and other databases that you have.

Can’t do these on your own? Get a CloudBacko. One-off price for desktop is $9 only. Server backup license starts from $39.

Download free trial at:
http://goo.gl/KjFbbT

Essential tips to back up VMware virtual machines using CloudBacko

Essential tips to back up VMware virtual machines using CloudBacko

Amassing accumulation of data represents a company’s most valuable asset. These data must be backed up, protected, stored, secured and made available to the organization whenever it is needed. Getting the backup plan right takes good planning and execution. CloudBacko makes it easy for the backup and restore process. Here are 5 tips for you to better design your data protection strategy.

Tip 1: RTO and RPO agreement expectations

Backup requirements should be a business decision. Business leadership needs to be involved in setting recovery time objective (RTO is the amount of downtime tolerable to get back up and running) and recovery point objective (RPO is the tolerable amount of data loss during an availability incident). It is important to invite all stakeholders to agree on RTO and RPO requirements. The trade-offs between RTO and RPO are best handled openly between business and IT leadership.

Tip 2: Target location should be different from host

As cloud storage service charges fall sharply in recently years, it’s highly cost-effective for organizations to implement off-site backup with limited time and resources. Off-site backup keeps companies afloat from local disaster as backup is kept in a different host or location.

Tip 3: Consistent VM names in source and target

Proper documentation prevents errors and confusion. When the number of virtual machines grow, clear naming of VM can help organize managing the VMs. VM names should be meaningful and self-documentary. Same names or patterns can be used from production source to backup sets and backup target.

Effort in maintaining clear naming reduces risks in choosing the wrong version of VM to restore when disaster strikes,  wasting precious time to restore the wrong backup set, restoring the whole VM only to find that the deleted files are not there.

Good management skills can save the day when system crashes and restore is mission critical. It keeps you from chaos.

Tip 4: Back up the CloudBacko settings file

There are times when you need to retire your server, and CloudBacko needs to be re-installed to a new machine. It is also possible that the machine that have CloudBacko installed has failed, and you need to restore windows systems and files from a remote backup. You need to first install a new copy of CloudBacko in the new machine. However, without the settings file from the original CloudBacko instance, remote cloud backup cannot be accessed.

The setting file store all the backup set information. If the Backup Server is down or user wishes to move CloudBacko to another machine, the setting file should imported into a freshly installed CloudBacko. You can then access the backup sets as before. As a result, our Tip 1 is that the settings file should be backed up and kept in a safe place after new backup sets are added or any changes are made in backup sets. This advice is important because if this file is lost you not be able to gain access to your data.

Refer to the previous post “Back up settings file for disaster recovery” on how to backup the settings file.

Tip 5: Regularly Test Restore

The purpose of data backup is to enable restore, and the purpose of restore is to keep your company running. As hardware fails regularly, IT should lead regularly scheduled restore tests and share the results with business leadership. If backup plan is implemented correctly, the results should comply with the preset recovery time objective and recovery point objective.

7 reasons to choose CloudBacko for VM cloud backup

7 reasons to choose CloudBacko for VM cloud backup

CloudBacko focuses on supporting businesses and backing up critical data in case of disaster.

In this digital world, data is the blood of most businesses. This article expounds on the benefits of using CloudBacko, as compared to other major brands in the backup software market.

1. Designed with cloud backup in mind

CloudBacko has a unified approach to cloud backup. The only prerequisite is to have Java installed. CloudBacko is connected to most major cloud storage service providers, providing easy interface for you to back up to cloud storage, including Amazon S3, AWS compatible storages, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, FTP / SFTP sites, external USB drive, and local / mapped network drives. More brands will be included in later update versions.

2. Less money for more. Tailored for Small Business

We have listened to users. CloudBacko lets you spend few and receive  comparable functionality. With less than $40, you can back up unlimited virtual machines in one host. We are committed in supporting small business and help you sharply reduce IT budget and do more.

CloudBacko can backup and restore all kinds of applications and VMs, Microsoft Exchange Server (EDB and mail level backups), Microsoft SQL Server, VMware vSphere ESXi (both Paid and Free versions), Hyper-V, Lotus Domino, Lotus Notes, Oracle Database, MySQL, Windows System, Windows System State, as well as Files.

3. Great Ease of Use

We believe backup tasks can be very simple. The CloudBacko interface consists of tiles, like touch panel. The intuitive user interface enables users to learn and set up backup jobs quickly and effortlessly. No more long-hours staff training is required. The help button on each page provides helpful instructions on how to use CloudBacko.

Creating a backup task only requires a few clicks and you are good to go.

4. Configurable backup options

In devising a backup plan, many factors affect the configurations: size of VMs, operating systems in VMs, the applications used, source and target locations and . CloudBacko provides a wide range of configurations, such as configurable max concurrent backups, configurable min file size to trigger incremental backup and trigger full backup by number of delta and/or total delta size.

Virtual machines require a collection of virtual resources of CPU, disk, ram and network bandwidth. These hardware resources also affect your backup plan. CloudBacko provides configurations that can easily adjust your backup plan.

5. Changed block tracking for backup

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is an incremental backup technology for VMware virtual machines (VMs).Virtual machines running on ESX/ESXi hosts can track disk sectors that have changed. If any blocks were changed since the last backup, Changed Block Tracking tags them and stores the information in a CTK file. CBT tells the Cloudbacko only to copy these changed blocks, avoiding copies of the entire VM.

This technology can greatly reduce backup image size, hence using less cloud resources and network bandwidth. CloudBacko utilizes this feature to ensure that you can enjoy faster backup and restore.

6. Encryption of filenames in cloud storage

Cloud storage raises security concern among many users. The widespread stories on newspaper about data breach exposed the risk of using cloud storage. As we have discussed in previous post, “Cloud backup should come with encryption”, when data leaves the PC or the internal network on the clear, it is potentially leaked to the general public. Only with encryption that it protect your important data from cloud operators’ prying eyes. CloudBacko encrypt both data and filenames with a 256-bit truly randomized key with AES algorithm, the most advanced encryption standard, protecting your valuable data in cloud backup storage.

7. Report and email help management

Anything can break. With exploding volume of data, system admin faces the challenge of managing them all. When something bad happens, you want to be immediately notified and take suitable actions to minimize any risks. With CloudBacko’s reporting tool, you can get crystal clear visibility into the backup details of all destinations, including usage trend, backup and restore reports, log for warnings and errors, etc. CloudBacko can also be configured to send reports by email, hence any interruptions or job completion will be reported.

 Conclusion

CloudBacko is the clear choice for organizations concerned with end-user satisfaction at a reasonable price. CloudBacko is the VM backup tool you can trust.

CloudBacko’s architecture for VMware ESXi backup

CloudBacko Pro is packed with backup features under an easy-to-use interface. CloudBacko Pro supports backup and restore of unlimited virtual machines in VMware ESXi host.

Let’s consider the following scenario. In a host server with ESXi, there are 5 VMs running. One of the VM is running Exchange, another is running SQL Server. We need to back up all the VMs. Which is the best backup infrastructure setup?

Where should I install CloudBacko Pro?

Some users attempt to install CloudBacko Pro on one of the guest VM as a backup VM. All the other VMs are backed up through CloudBackup Pro, which will encrypt and compress the VM images and back up to local or cloud destinations, as shown in the following diagram. While this setup is possible, it is not a good backup strategy. The problem with this set up is that if the server fails, one needs to install on the CloudBacko Pro on a new machine and restore CloudBacko settings before restoring all the VMs. This setup is not recommended.

CloudBacko Pro can be installed on VMware host. But this setup is NOT RECOMMENDED.

CloudBacko Pro can be installed on VMware host. But this setup is NOT RECOMMENDED.

The Recommended Setup

We recommend that CloudBacko to be installed in a standalone staging CloudBacko Backup Server. This server is the core component in the backup and restore network. The staging server acts as intermediary between backup source and destination, controlling encryption, compression and management of backup data. The VM images will be sent to local or cloud destinations from the staging CloudBacko Backup Server.

CloudBacko Backup Server

The Recommended Setup: CloudBacko Pro on a staging Backup Server.

VMware Host Machine Restore

If the host server fails, the CloudBacko Pro Backup Server can use the backup copy to restore all the guest VM to a new machine. The restore process is simple as CloudBacko Pro only needs to redirect the restore destination to a new IP address.

CloudBacko restore

Restoring VM to a new machine

Refer to the blog post How to restore backed up VM to another VMware ESXi host with CloudBacko Pro on how to complete VMware restore in a new machine.