How to create backups of PCs, workstations, physical servers, and virtual machines with Active Backup for Business, free software that Synology offers to all those who buy its NAS. Complete and versatile, the backup solution provided by Synology can be used by professionals, SMEs, and large companies. Let’s see how it works.
The backup data solutions the market offers are countless, each designed to meet specific needs. So much so that it is estimated that every company today uses over four different backup solutions, tools that do not talk to each other, which require a different configuration and management method, which can be free (but significantly limiting in terms of functionality and usage scenarios) and for a fee.
With traditional backup solutions, administrators must evaluate their hardware and software compatibility, preferring one or the other product depending on the configuration of the corporate network, the servers used, the possible use of virtual machines, and the needs to be managed: type and load of the various workflows, users who must be able to manage backups, frequency of backup operations, conservation of multiple versions of the duplicate files (so-called versioning ) and so on.
The traditional approach also requires administrators to address the issue of device management by scheduling the distribution of updates for the various backup systems. All this, typically, using different management platforms. A considerable amount of work. Suppose there is a need to obtain technical support. In that case, the company administrator or the technicians in charge must necessarily interface with various subjects whose number grows as the different backup solutions used in the company increase.
Synology Active Backup For Business: All-In-One, Complete, Versatile, And Accessible Solution For Professionals, Offices, SMEs, And Large Companies
As of October 2018, Synology Active Backup for Business is a revolutionary free solution for backup management, usable at all levels, regardless of the size of your company, versatile, flexible, complete, and very suitable for the market. Synology, a company specializing in the design, development, and marketing of NAS and, more generally, of networking devices, offers Active Backup for Business as a solution capable of sweeping away all the problems summarized at the beginning in one fell swoop.
And it’s true because Active Backup for Business allows management and backup of PCs, workstations, physical servers, virtual machines, Google G Suite, and Microsoft Office 365 installations. It is an all-in-one solution, easy to administer and to implement in any enterprise; it offers a unique support team that you can contact if you have any questions or problems; it’s completely free.
With traditional backup solutions, professionals and companies are called upon to periodically renew the various software licenses with a considerable financial outlay. Synology Active Backup for Business instead “democratizes” the backup market by making available to users, free of charge, all the most advanced features, some of which are absent in competing for software.
Active Backup for Business is a functional software tested and applied on a large scale by both small and large companies. The Active Backup for Business software is made available free of charge to all those who purchase one of the NAS listed on this page (see the Usable models paragraph ).
By supporting only the cost of the NAS, you can immediately install Active Backup for Business and take advantage of all the other features for which Synology devices are now famous (see these pages ).It is an excellent opportunity for small businesses where sometimes the correct planning of backup policies needs to be carefully weighed or tackled by resorting to approximate approaches.
Even companies with very articulated infrastructures can reap essential benefits: mainly if the applications and data are distributed on various platforms if backups are managed separately on each of them, if outdated, inadequate procedures or those developed by administrators were exploited who are no longer part of the company staff. Active Backup for Business is the answer to the layering of technologies that are difficult to manage and no longer protect data adequately.
The Strengths Of Active Backup For Business
There are many advantages deriving from using Active Backup for Business as a partner for managing backup activities. Let’s summarize the main ones:
- 1) Simplified backup management. Active Backup for Business allows you to monitor all backup activities to be performed on entirely different platforms: think of the various versions of Windows Server, Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 systems, Linux servers, VMware vSphere virtual machines, VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V (Synology solution also supports protocols like SMB and sync ).Once Active Backup for Business is installed, it is possible to define the permissions for administrators and regular users, the type of recovery (at file or bare metal level or full disk backup, including partition and boot data), the frequency of backups, their retention policy ( file versioning ).You can then set up different templates to back up more effectively depending on how often data is created or updated.For departments such as administration, accounting and sales, multiple templates can thus be defined via the Active Backup for the Business control panel to create automatic backups more frequently where needed.
- Maximum efficiency. Thanks to the single management console that Active Backup for Business offers, it is possible to set up data backup activities on any system and significantly streamline the backup process itself.The Synology home solution supports a feature called CBT ( Changed Block Tracking ): it allows you to activate the control at the level of data blocks.Think of a production site that Active Backup for Business backs up; Suppose users make changes to the contents of files and folders. Synology software analyzes the differences and copies only the changed data blocks to drastically speed up the procedure. Furthermore, the support of global deduplication ensures that unique data is stored within the backup archive set up on the NAS, avoiding useless redundancies. Active Backup for Business is cross-platform and cross-device: Synology technicians have combined this versatility to the nth degree by creating unique and all-encompassing backup archives that are very easy to manage. The example in the figure, developed by Synology during one of the many field tests, shows how the backup of a battery of virtual machines and physical servers – with data weighing something like 280 Terabytes – thanks to optimization technologies (CBT and deduplication in the first place) occupies just 891 GB. A truly Guinness result.
- Flexible recovery options. Thanks to the convenient Active Backup for the Business panel, users, depending on the privileges assigned to them by the administrator, can autonomously manage access to data and their eventual recovery. Active Backup for Business allows full or instantaneous recovery of VMware virtual machines: in the first case, the recovery of the production site takes more time, but the performance at the I/O level is maximum; in the second, the recovery is decidedly faster, but the optimization will not be complete (lower performance) Synology also provides users with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), which allows the configuration and loading of various virtual machines, including Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM, while also overseeing the recovery and disaster recovery activities. Restores with Synology VMM are instantaneous and are, for example, very useful for temporarily recovering a virtual machine in the event of a production site malfunction by recovering the changes and deploying them to the production site as soon as it becomes available again. By clicking Restore State in the Active Backup for the Business management interface, you can access an intuitive tool for migrating machines that have been restored to Synology VMM to the original virtual environment, Hyper-V or VMware.
- Completely free solution that replaces competing products. Synology’s software is proposed as a free alternative to Veeam and Acronis solutions, which, as is known, can be used by facing management costs and some technical limitations absent in Active Backup for Business. By purchasing the Synology NAS only, you ensure that you can install and use the backup solution without restrictions (receive all subsequent updates) and replace free software, scripts, or agents for VMs frequently used within SMBs. What were previously many stand-alone solutions that are now combined into a single advanced product that can be used for the simultaneous management of all devices, planning and configuring activities, and optimizing resources?
- G Suite and Office 365 backup. As mentioned above, the Synology solution allows you to use your Google and Microsoft accounts to manage G Suite, Google Drive, and Office 365. Also, in this case, users have the same centralized management that can be used for activities on PCs, servers, and virtual machines, the continuous backup system with support for versioning, and block-level deduplication for controlling individual files.
How To Use Active Backup For Business
On the NAS devices listed on this page, Active Backup for Business can be installed like any other Synology software or by referring to the Package Center . After starting the software, you access the interface that allows you to configure backup activities on PCs, servers, and virtual machines. To proceed, click on Add device or Manage Hypervisor in the case of virtual machines.
In the case of servers, PCs and workstations, download the Synology agents and install them; for virtual machines, it is sufficient to indicate the IP of the VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V server. With the release of DiskStation Manager (DSM), 7.0 Active Backup for Business has been enriched with support for bare-metal backup of Linux machines (click on Physical server, Linux ).
In the case of Linux, the agent works exclusively from the command line, and the installation package is distributed in 64-bit DEB and RPM format (the supported distributions are, therefore, Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and CentOS). Supported file systems are ext4, ext3, ext2, and XFS. The backup, we said, is also of the bare-metal type resulting in the generation of a complete image of the contents of the Linux system.
After completing these procedures, the names of the various systems will appear on the Active Backup for Business main screen. By clicking on the name of any system, it is possible to customize the backup activities by choosing, for example, the type of operation to be performed (complete bare metal backup, limited to the partition containing the operating system or single storage units)
With a click on Schedule, it is possible to define the periodicity of the backup. While accessing the Retention section, it is possible to determine the versioning policies indicating how long the multiple copies of the various files must be kept. The Settings section allows you to decide how many devices can be backed up simultaneously and define a time for analyzing the retention criteria (helpful in maintaining the various backup versions).
This way, you can avoid any performance problems regarding load on the NAS, the devices to be backed up, and network traffic. The Model tab lets you establish general preferences for automatic backups on various devices. The new compression system (saves up to 40% space) and support for AES-256 improve data storage efficiency and make it impossible for unauthorized users to decrypt it.
Data is encrypted and compressed based on the backup destination rather than on a single task level. If both functions are enabled, any subsequent backup to the same destination drive will be encrypted and compressed. Global deduplication is unaffected by encryption and compression. Soon Active Backup for Business will allow you to configure the backup of macOS systems and Synology DSM installations: these two innovations will be introduced in 2022. More information about Active Backup for Business can be found on these pages on Synology’s official website.