Select one of the tech tips below
- New Management Portal Permissions
- How System State Backups Work
- Deleting the 0000 Subaccount
- Using the REST API
- Backup Issues Caused by a Lock File
- How to Verify and Reduce Usage
- Initial Seed Process
- How to Change an Online Backup to Local-Only Backup
- Proper Procedure for Changing Passwords
- How to Decommission an Account or a Computer
- 5 Best Practices for Configuring Exchange Information Store Backups
- How to Allow System State Backups to be Written to Any Volume on Windows 2008
- File and Folder Exclusions and Wildcard Excludes
- Backing Up a Linux Machine
- Stray Files and Missing Local Files filters
- Monitor Usage with the Manage Plugins Tool
- Intronis Backup Local Vault Functionality
- Automate Your Day With Templates
- Real-Time Backup Monitoring & Maintenance
- Automate Your Day With Templates
New Management Portal Permissions
When logging in with a partner account nothing will change, you will still be able to view and edit all settings on any client account. When you log in with a client user name and password, however, the default behavior will now be “read only” access. According to the new default access, in order to be able to view logs, edit backup sets, restore data or other types of admin functions, you will need to be logged in with a partner account.
The benefit this brings is that partners can now choose to assign a higher level of access to particular clients. And these permissions and access can be controlled on a client-by-client basis so that you can decide which clients would benefit from the ability to have greater control over their own accounts by performing their own admin functions, backups and restores.
For more information on how to change the portal access for a client, please consult the knowledgebase article “How to Change Portal Access.”
You can reach our Technical Support Team by phone at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, emailing email@example.com or by live chat from the management portal.
How System State Backups Work
A system state backup stores operation system configuration files. Windows supports system state backups on server versions of Windows only. System state backups can only be restored to identical hardware – for practical purposes, the machine the backup was made on.
When the software makes a system state backup, it calls the built-in Windows backup component to actually create the system state backup file. Then, we back that file up using our standard File and Folder backup technology. The end result is that, if you ask the software to restore your system state backup, you will get files that you can restore using the normal procedure for your version of Windows.
See “System State Best Practices” in our knowledge base for more information. For additional information on backing up the Windows System State please contact our Technical Support. As always you can reach us by phone at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by live chat from the management portal.
Deleting the 0000 Subaccount
When a computer that has been running backups is retired and a new computer replaces it, the common practice is to create a new subaccount rather than re-use the existing subaccount. It is an easy task to delete the old subaccount, which will remove all the data that was being stored along with it.
The only exception to this used to be the 0000 subaccount. In the past, the ability to delete the 0000 subaccount did not exist — we were only able to reset that subaccount. The reason the 0000 subaccount was unable to be deleted is that it contained the encryption and account information.
The reset would delete all the data but the 0000 entry would still exist. This could cause false notifications to be triggered, especially for customers and partners using the ConnectWise or Autotask integrations.
With the ability to delete the 0000 subaccount, you are able to remove the 0000 account just as you would any of the other subaccounts through the management portal.
If you’d like to delete the 0000 subaccount for any client prior to that, please consult our Technical Support Team and we can assist you in getting it done.
To learn more about this release, please see our series of blogs highlighting all the great new features:
QuickSpin: A local disaster recovery tool for VMware virtual machines
Branded Portal: A centralized tool that allows partners to enjoy complete customer-facing branding
Trial-as-a-Partner: A more complete trial experience for prospective partners
Portal Usability Updates: A handful of popularly requested upgrades to the partner portal
Canadian Data Center: A Montreal-based data center for Canadian partners
You can reach our Technical Support Team by calling 1-800-569-0155 option 2, emailing email@example.com or by Live Chat from the management portal.
Using the REST API
Many of our partners aren’t aware that within the Intronis Backup Software offering there is an existing REST (representational state transfer) API that can be utilized. You can use automation to take the repetitive responsibilities out of your hands, allowing you to focus on the daily tasks that are most important to you. Using the REST API you are able to do things like create custom websites, query backup stats, create custom applications and do custom alerting and reporting.
For more information on what is available within the API, how to interact with the Rest API and to get started please view the recorded webinar . From there, the “Automate Your Day” blog posts are a great resource for additional information – Automate Your Day.
To request an API key please contact our Partner Support by phone at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by Live Chat from the management portal.
Backup Issues Caused by a Lock File
If you notice a backup that is canceled right after it was run, you may have a “lock file” that is preventing the backup from running successfully.
When a client subaccount runs its first backup, the backup agent will associate itself to the current MAC address of the machine that the software is running on. If for any reason this MAC address changes when the next backup runs, it will check the MAC address and, because of the difference, will cancel immediately.
This MAC address change results in a “lock file” on the backup agent. This will go on and happen repeatedly until the “lock file” is cleared out and the backup agent is able to re-associate itself to the new MAC address.
Specific examples that could cause the MAC address to change would be if a hardware component of the computer/server was replaced, if the subaccount was installed on a new machine, if the software is running on a VM or because of possible network modifications within the client infrastructure.
You can easily determine if a “lock file” is preventing the backup from running. This can be done on the local software: Go to the activity tab and in the browse previous actions section, double-click on the backup action to view the logs. If you see any error messages that reference a lock file or MAC address-related error, this is a clear sign that there is a lock file preventing the backup.
If you suspect that you have a lock file error, please contact our Support to clear out the lock file. When doing so, please have the client user name and subaccount information available.
One easy way to prevent the lock file from occurring when changing computers is to choose the Move Account option during the install process on the new computer.
You can reach our Technical Support Team by phone at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, emailing email@example.com or by Live Chat from the management portal.
How to Verify and Reduce Usage
Users may find that, over time, the usage on their account continues to increase. As data is added to a machine, any data that is added to a folder already being backed up is also backed up, and files that are updated will also increase usage on the account.
There are many steps users can take to lower usage and to try to prevent usage from rising sharply:
- View data storage by plugin type
- Calculate backup set usage
- Adjust Base Revision Rule
- Remove stray files
- Review remote files and server usage
For additional assistance on dealing with usage or other support related items please consult our Technical Support team at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by Live Chat, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Initial Seed Process
When you sign up a new client and they have a lot of data they would like to back up, we recommend that you utilize our Initial Seed Process to ensure that the client gets their data backed up as quickly as possible.
What Initial Seed means is that, rather than back up the data over the network, you can back it up right to a USB hard drive and then mail the drive to Barracuda MSP to upload directly to our servers. This procedure works well for clients who have large amounts of data they would like to back up along with a slow network connection.
Once the initial seed is complete, you can continue to run the incremental backups while the drive is in transit and being processed. Once uploaded, it will form a complete copy of the data backed up remotely.
It is important to note that the Initial Seed differs from the local vault and the proper steps should be followed to make sure that it is performed correctly. Also, when you are looking to seed Exchange Information Store or Microsoft SQL data, it is important to keep in mind that at some point down the line we will need to back up a complete full copy of the data when it has changed more than 50%.
In order to get this process started, please contact our Technical Support at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by Live Chat, or emailing email@example.com.
How to Change an Online Backup to Local-Only Backup
It is very common that, at the time when you first set up a backup set, you decide to back up the data to the Intronis Backup cloud servers, but then at a later date decide to change that data destination to be local only. Due to the current product architecture, you need to follow a careful procedure in order to complete this process successfully.
- The first thing you will want to do is delete the current online backup set.
- Next, run a stray file or manual delete to remove the data that was currently being backed up by the online backup set.
- Once that is done, you need to enable the local-only backup subscription and configure the local vault location.
- And then lastly, create a new backup set that is local only with the desired data selected to be backed up.
This procedure applies for both changing an online backup to local only and changing an online and local backup to just local only. The reason you need to delete the data that was backed up online is because the catalog contains single entries for each file, regardless of where it gets stored. The catalog is shared between data backed up online or locally. Also, it is important to note that it is possible, within the same software installation, to have certain data backed up local only and different data that is backed up online and locally. The only caveat is that you can’t have a file/files selected in a local-only backup set that already exist in an online backup set.
For more information on the local only backup option please consult the Knowledge Base article “What is the Local Only Backup Feature?: or contact our Technical Support Team by calling 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by Live Chat, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proper Procedure for Changing Passwords
Whenever there is a need to change the password on an Account, you will need to change it in the Portal as well as in the Backup Monitor on the system with the application installed.
To change the password via the Partner Management Portal for the 0000 system, you would need to go to the “Manage Accounts” Tab, select the Username and then select change password. For all other sub accounts, you would need to select the Computer ID after selecting the username and then select Change Password.
To change the password for the 0000 sub account via the Client Management Portal, you would click on the “Contact Information” Tab and select Change Password. For all other sub accounts, select the Computer ID after clicking on the “Contact Information” Tab and select Change Password.
Once the password has been changed in the Portal, it needs to be changed in the Monitor on the local system.
To change the password in the monitor, click on the Preferences tab, scroll down to “Account Information”, expand the “Change Password Section” and change the password. Run the test connection and let it fail. Once it fails, restart the services and run the test connection again, this time it will pass.
For further details regarding this process, please contact our Technical Support at 1-800-569-0155 option 2 or email email@example.com.
How to Decommission an Account or a Computer
In this article, you will learn how to manage the data removal and handling of the client or computer record in the management portal when a client is no longer using the backup service or decommissions an existing computer that was being backed up.
First, let’s go through the basic terminology that is used in the Intronis Backup management portal. Each client that is backing up will have their own unique user name. Even if the client is backing up multiple computers, they will all fall underneath the same client user name. Each computer that is being backed up will have its own subaccount or computer ID. This is how the computer is distinguished on the Intronis Backup side. The data backed up is associated with the subaccount number for the machine it was backed up from.
When a new client account is created, the 0000 subaccount is automatically created by default and is to be installed on the first computer being backed up. Within the 0000 subaccount holds all the client details and encryption information. Due to that, it cannot be completely removed if at some time the machine it was installed on is no longer being backed up. The ability to delete the 0000 subaccount will come in a later software release. At the current time if that machine is no longer being used, please contact our support team and we can reset it for you which will delete all the data that was backed up. The proper way to reset the 0000 subaccount is while it is still installed, but if this is not possible we will still be able to accomplish the reset. It is recommended that it be re-used on a different machine to continue running backups. For any other subaccount machine that is running backups but then is no longer needed to be backed up you can remove the subaccount through the management portal. This will delete the subaccount and remove all data from our online servers.
To remove a subaccount through the management portal, once logged in the management portal, log in with your partner account credentials and go to the manage accounts and computers tab. Locate and select the client you are working on to view all subaccounts within the client account. Then click just to the left of the subaccount number, don’t click on the entry. By clicking on the row, you will highlight the row in blue and you will see a delete button in the upper right-hand corner. Clicking this button will delete the subaccount. When prompted for a password you will need to use your partner account password, this is the password for the entire partner account and not for your individual user account to the management portal. For more information and a detailed procedure, please consult the “How to Delete a Computer ID” in the Knowledge Base.
Similar to removing a subaccount, we can also delete an entire client account in the event that an existing client decides to stop using the backup service. Once logged in to the management portal, click on the manage accounts and computers tab to display the list of all clients. Locate the client you are looking to delete and click on the row for that specific client user name but do not click on the name itself. This will highlight the row in blue and you will see a delete button in the upper right-hand corner. Click on delete and then enter in your partner account password and select a reason the account is being deleted. This action will delete the client account and remove all billable data from our servers. We will retain the data for 7 days. For a step by step process please consult article “How to Cancel a Client Account” in the Knowledge Base.
For any questions on these or any other procedures, please contact our Technical Support Team at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by Live Chat, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
5 Best Practices for Configuring Exchange Information Store Backups
The Intronis Backup Software contains the ability to back up the entire Microsoft Exchange database and store it in the cloud in the event of a failure or corruption disaster recovery scenario. In order to ensure that the backup will run successfully and follow the schedule of 1 full per week the following best practices must be followed:
- Turn off circular logging to prevent full backups from occurring every day.
- If in use, set Backup Exec or NT Backup to Copy Only Mode to keep them from truncating logs and forcing full backups.
- Turn down Exchange defragging to keep them from forcing Intelliblox to run full backups.
- Follow the recommended backup schedule of 1 full per week (Saturday) and incremental backups the other 6 days.
- Do not use bandwidth throttling because, with the large size of the full backup, this could cause it to run for multiple days.
Following these guidelines will ensure that the Exchange Information Store backups run successfully and efficiently while keeping the data storage within acceptable limits.
Check the Partner Portal for the full webinar, “SQL, Exchange and Exchange Mailbox Backups,” and to see the list of all 10 live and recorded training webinars available.
Please consult our Technical Support Team with any questions or for more information regarding backing up the Microsoft Exchange database. You can reach us directly at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by live chat or by emailing email@example.com.
How to Allow System State Backups to be Written to Any Volume on Windows 2008
After setting up a system state backup on Windows 2008, it is not uncommon to receive a failure moments after running it for the first time. Your activity logs will read as follows:
WBAdmin process failed with exit code -2, arguments: start systemstatebackup -backupTarget:D: -quiet
You can validate this error condition by running the system state backup outside of the Intronis Backup Software using the native Windows backup utility Windows Server Backup. This will isolate an error that might be occurring. Keep in mind that the backup target location is the local drive destination for the backup. To do this open a command prompt and using WBAdmin run the following command:
wbadmin start systemstatebackup -backupTarget:D: -quiet
This will result in the following Windows error to reveal the source of the failure.
ERROR – The location for the backup is a critical volume
This behavior occurs because system state backups to critical volumes are blocked in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The recommended solution is to modify the system state backup set to use a different volume as the non-critical drive. This choice may involve adding a new volume to this server if no other volumes exist. If choosing a new volume is not an available option then we could consider modifying the Windows registry in such a way as to allow system state backups to be written to any volume.
To enable the system state backup files to be targeted to critical volumes, you must set the value of the AllowSSBToAnyVolume registry entry under the following registry subkey:
Set the value of this entry as follows:
Name: AllowSSBToAnyVolume Data type: DWORD Value data: 1
Note: When this value is set to 1, system state backups to any volume are enabled. To revert to the default behavior, set the value to 0.
Note: The Backup Agent will never allow you to use C as the backup target, regardless of any registry changes.
Warning: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
More information on this subject can be found here in Microsoft knowledgebase article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944530.
File and Folder Exclusions and Wildcard Excludes
Intronis Backup allows for you or your clients to select multiple files and folders both on the local server, and across the network. However, sometimes it’s useful to limit what can be backed up, whether you are managing the data selected for your clients, or they are using the monitor to select data themselves. It is in these situations that our File and Folder Exclusions and Wildcard Excludes become a very useful tool.
Both of the Exclusion options are located in the File System Settings of the monitor’s Preferences section. The File and Folder Exclusions allows you to block certain folders from being backed up or even selected in any files and folders backup set. The Wildcard Excludes section lets you set wildcard or regular expression rules to prevent certain file types from being backed up across all files and folders backup sets. For example: you have selected all folders on the server that need to be backed up, but want to ensure that no music files saved in these folders are backed up. Inputting *.mp3 and *.wma can help you make certain that no unnecessary files are backed up.
The Exclusion options in the backup monitor are a fantastic way to ensure that only your client’s critical data is selected and that they are backing up efficiently, saving you time and support, and keeping them your clients happy and protected.
Backing Up a Linux Machine
There currently isn’t support for a version of the Intronis Backup Software that can run right on a Linux machine. However we currently do have the ability to back up mapped drives and folders over the network. Within a Linux environment you need to have Samba installed on the server in order for it to be accessible from a Windows Machine running the Intronis Software. (Samba is standard on nearly all distributions of Linux)
To back up a mapped drive please perform the following steps:
- Open the Backup Monitor and navigate to Preferences > Share Manager.
- Click “Add New…”
- For name, enter the UNC path of the share \\server\foldername.
- For User and Password, enter the credentials of a user that can access the mapped drive.
**The proper syntax in a domain environment is: domain\username and then the password. The proper syntax in a workgroup environment is: name of the computer you are trying to backup\username and the password. If you are unsure about the name of your computer you can right click on My Computer and choose Properties.
- Click Save.
- While creating/editing a backup set, in the field “Browse to a Server or a Share,” enter the path previously provided in the Share Manager (\\server\foldername) and click the blue plus sign, providing the same credentials as in the Share Manager.
- Down toward the bottom of the folder manager, an option for Remote Computers should appear with the mapped drive within it. There you can select the files and folders from the mapped location that you would like to back up.
- Continue with the backup set configuration
If you have any questions, please consult our Technical Support Team at 1-800-569-0155 option 2, by Live Chat, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stray Files and Missing Local Files filters
The Intronis Backup solution allows for filtering of your stored data in a multitude of ways, whether to restore your client’s important data, or to delete data from the Intronis Backup servers. The “Miscellaneous” section in your monitor’s Delete tab includes filters for Missing Local files and Stray files, but what is the difference between the two?
Missing local files includes any data that was previously backed up, but is no longer present on the local server. For example, a folder on your server’s C: drive is selected in a file and folder backup set, but after a few weeks of successful backups, this folder is deleted from the C: drive on the local server. The data from this folder on the Intronis Backup servers is now marked and viewable in the Missing Local Files section.
Stray files, on the other hand, include these missing local files, but also include other files that are no longer being backed up: files and folders that were selected in a backup set and later taken out of the set, and files and folders that are selected in a backup set and have since been excluded through a wildcard or global exclude rule in the preferences.
The Stray Files and Missing Local Files filters are extremely useful in managing your client’s data and drilling into files you may or may not need to hold on to. Rest assured; these files are by default never deleted from our servers unless manually deleted through the monitor, ensuring that you’ll always have your important data available to restore, even if the associated files have been deleted from your server.
Monitor Usage with the Manage Plugins Tool
Curious about how much data each of your backup types is using? The “Manage Plugins” tool in the backup monitor is a great way to keep an eye on usage, and determine from where the majority of your usage originates.
Start the backup monitor, and browse to the My Account section. In the “I want to…” menu on the left, click “Manage Plugins.” This screen will list all the built-in plugins included with the backup solution. You’ll be able to see at quick glance how much data is being used by your Exchange, SQL, and files and folders backups. This can be an invaluable tool in analyzing an account’s usage, and in taking measures to reduce your client’s usage if necessary.
Intronis Backup Local Vault Functionality
Intronis Backups local vault feature allows you to save a copy of your backups to a local volume which can be either on a local drive, a USB connected drive, or even a NAS or network share.
The configurations underneath local vault are powerful and need to be understood to configure your local vault behavior successfully. Underneath the path field you’ll find two check boxes. Both enable the ability to turn on synchronization but in different ways.
The first of the two options is standard Sync which, and when enabled, it copies portions of files directly to your local vault as it uploads each block to the cloud, keeping both locations synchronized.
The second option which states “backup directly to the local vault first” is called an Async operation. This allows you to get a full copy into the local vault first and then uploads gradually to the cloud.This option is best used with caution, and only recommended on machines that are disconnected from their Internet connection often. Also note that once an Async operation is launched, it can never be cancelled until it completes.
Automate Your Day With Templates
Did you know that you can make Preference and Notification changes to multiple clients at a time? Most partners know that you can make individual adjustments like Wildcard Exclusions and Bandwidth Throttling through the management portal, but what you may not realize is that you can use templates to enact these changes globally. Read our
knowledge base article on templates
to learn more. Then, try creating a template to enable the automatic upload of logs with each backup, delete, and restore – this will make monitoring backup failures and errors on the Backup Status Report a cinch.
Real-Time Backup Monitoring & Maintenance
When you log into the management portal, the home screen now shows the Backup Status Dashboard, a simplified version of the Backup Status Report that updates in real-time. This will guide you directly to those clients that are experiencing issues that need attention, saving you time from going through each client individually. From the dashboard, you can view logs to diagnose the given backup issue and manually run a new backup.
Best Practices to Backing Up Exchange
It’s elementary that backups of your clients’ (and your own!) e-mail server run daily, but equally important is ensuring you’ve got these backups configured correctly. While our software provides a simple and intuitive interface for creating these backup sets, it’s paramount that you ensure your Exchange server is ready to be backed up.