Time to Adopt Offsite Backup

Time to adopt offsite backup

Business continuity is actually more critical than you think. Don’t take it for granted for any potential threats that may cost your company a great deal in your future.

Here is a recent example – A fire broke out on the midnight of 10 March 2021 at Strasbourg, France. One of the four major data centers of OVHCloud was burnt down and this resulted in bringing down millions of websites and online services. A lot of recovery work has been undergoing since the unfortunate incident and it is now expected that a substantial interruption will continue and extended in range of weeks.

Over the years, many corporations have moved their mission critical servers and data onto datacenters and cloud platforms. This is a positive move in terms of bringing more reliable and professional service – both for viewpoint to their internal and external stakeholders. However, the example above will still prove that the move is not yet adequate. An offsite backup methodology being adopted will save the day here. A few points below I’d like to highlight to the readers:

1) A secured method to take the important data to remote site regularly (typically daily). Network security is not compromised if proper technology is in place.

2) Business will be least impacted in case of catastrophically situation that may arise. Do not underestimate the chance for disastrous moment that may happen and additional protection will bring actual benefits to the company.

3) Offsite backups combined with a disaster recovery plan allow businesses to get back up and running faster. The cost will range from minimal to high depends on the recovery time required.

Start now and explore the options. For sure, it is not late to implement a better solution that can keep your mind to be worry free.

in Tips | 295 Words

Ahsay now supports Microsoft Office 365 Modern Authentication

Ahsay v8.3.6 supports Microsoft Office 365 modern authentication and hybrid authentication

Microsoft Office 365’s basic authentication in Exchange Online uses a username and a password for client access requests. Such authentication method provided a loophole for hackers to hack into users’ accounts by using brute force or password spray attacks. Therefore, to help users better protect their accounts, Microsoft suggests users to enable modern authentication, and plans to:

  1. begin disabling Basic Authentication in existing tenants with no recorded usage as early as October 2020; and
  2. disable Basic Authentication for the EAS, EWS, POP, IMAP, and RPS protocols in the second half of 2021.

The good news is that starting from v8.3.6, Ahsay supports the use of Microsoft Office 365’s Modern Authentication when creating a Microsoft Office 365 backup set in AhsayOBM client backup software, as well as AhsayCBS web console. If users are still using Basic Authentication, we also support that until Basic Authentication is not supported anymore.

Ahsay v8.3.6 supports Microsoft Office 365 modern authentication

If you leave the Username and Account Password fields blank, and just click the Test button, you will be using the Modern Authentication mode, and a browser window will be brought up for you to perform authentication.

Ahsay v8.3.6 supports Office 365 Modern Authentication

Ahsay v8.3.6 supports Office 365 Modern Authentication

After successful authentication, an Authentication Code will be provided to you.

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Copy and paste this code into Ahsay’s software and the software will be linked with your Office 365 account.

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You can then proceed with the backup set configuration as usual.

Ahsay v8.3.6 supports Microsoft Office 365 modern authentication

To understand how to create a Microsoft Office 365 backup set to backup emails and files in an Office 365 domain, check out this Microsoft Office 365 Backup and Restore Guide.

in Tips | 249 Words

Why Ahsay Is an Ideal Tool for Office 365 backup

Why Ahsay Is Ideal for Office 365 Backup

Microsoft Office 365 is no doubt a great tool for businesses, allowing easy storage and access to business documents, improving productivity and collaboration among colleagues. However, there are many businesses which believe that after moving everything to there, no backup is ever required, as Microsoft will take care of that for them. This is utterly wrong. Guarantee of quick restore on currupted or permanantly deleted data is never included in Microsoft Office 365’s offerings. Microsoft will only be responsible for offering a highly available platform for users to use, and protecting their service against hardware failure and natural disaster. They do offer tools such as the recycle bin to let users recover temporarily deleted data, but that’s not a full backup protection.

Protection on data because of the following reasons are the responsibilities of users:

In Microsoft’s service agreement (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement), you’ll find this clause: “We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

Therefore, if you haven’t thought of backing up your Office 365’s data, you better start doing it before data loss disaster happens.

Why Ahsay is an ideal backup tool

There are many Office 365 backup solutions out there. Why choosing Ahsay? Well, yes, there are many tools, but each tool is different from the rest. These are the reasons that differentiate us from others:

What to do when you need to recover lost data

When you need to restore lost emails or files from the backup, simply choose to restore those data either from the latest point-in-time, or from an earlier point-in-time. Then, the lost data will be quickly restored back to your Office 365 domain effortlessly.

Interested in understanding more? Contact us to obtain a trial now!

in Tips | 597 Words

Need an Alternative to Acronis MSP Backup Solution?

Acronis alternative

If you are looking for an alternative to replace your current Acronis MSP backup solution, why not give Ahsay Cloud Backup Suite a try? These are the key reasons for you to switch:

A digram showing how Ahsay backup software's components connect to each others.

The whole Ahsay’s solution is with flexible client-server architecture. On the server side, our AhsayCBS server-side centralized management console can be installed on your own backup server hosted in your datacenter, on cloud VM such as Microsoft Azure, or on backup appliances deployed in your customers’ offices. Users’ backup data can be stored on your own backup server, or on cloud storage such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, etc., or the locally deployed backup appliances. On the client side, AhsayOBM / ACB client agents are for installing on the servers, workstations that need to be backed up. With proper configuration, your customers’ data will be automatically backed up or replicated to your managed storage.

Unlike Acronis which offers you quite limited choices in storage, you can use a wide range of storage listed here for hosting your customers’ backup data with Ahsay. Backup to multiple destinations are also possible. The AhsayOBM / ACB client agents can simultaneously backup to multiple destinations. Also, you can replicate the data from your AhsayCBS server storage to another server or cloud for added redundancy. This storage flexibility might not be available from Acronis. Check out our 4 common deployment options here, and choose the one that fits your business objective most.

Besides product, our Support Service is much more helpful than theirs, because all of our support engineers know well about our product, and thus will be able to solve your questions quickly. Our near round the clock support can definitely have good coverage on your timezone.

If you have any product and sales related questions, just contact us.

in Tips | 314 Words

Configure your own color schemes for AhsayOBM / AhsayACB

Do you know that you can configure the color schemes for your AhsayOBM  and AhsayACB client backup software if you have Rebranding Option purchased? That’s right, you don’t have to use the default blue and red scheme for your branded AhsayOBM  and AhsayACB. Instead, you can choose to use the Predefined Scheme, or define your own Custom Scheme within your AhsayCBS web console > System Settings > Basic > Administrative Access > [Select your administrator] > Rebrand Clients > Color Scheme Settings – AhsayOBM / AhsayACB. Configure the color schemes for your AhsayOBM / AhsayACB backup software - 2

Configure the color schemes for your AhsayOBM / AhsayACB backup software - 1

For the details on the rebranding feature, please refer to the corresponding section of this AhsayCBS Administrator Guide.

in Tips | 103 Words

Termination of Support for Amazon Cloud Drive by Ahsay

We regret to inform partners that due to circumstances beyond our control, we have no option but to terminate all technical support relating to Amazon Cloud Drive with immediate effect. It is because we have confirmed that both the Amazon Drive Software Development Kit (SDK) and (Application Programming Interface) API have already been closed by Amazon.com Inc.

Applications will no longer be able to connect to and use features & resources on Amazon Cloud Drive, however users will still be able to login and access files on their storage accounts directly from the Amazon Drive portal.

The following Ahsay features will no longer function on both v7 and v8.

Any data already backed up cannot be restored directly from Amazon Cloud Drive using AhsayCBS/AhsayOBM/AhsayACB. For partners who wish to restore this data from Amazon Cloud Drive, we recommend they manually synchronize the data using third party tools to a local storage device and use the Utilities > Decrypt Backup Data feature on the AhsayOBM/AhsayACB client application.

To avoid confusion, we recommend that Amazon Cloud Drive option be removed from AhsayCBS > Policy Group > Default setting > Backup Set Setting > Standard Destination.

Please refer to page 185 “Destinations Visible to Users” of our AhsayCBS Administrator’s Guide for details: http://download.ahsay.com/support/document/v8/guide_cbs_admin_v8.pdf

Note: Amazon S3 and AWS S3 Compatible Cloud Storage are not affected.

in Tips | 282 Words

How to create AhsayCBS VM on 1&1 IONOS cloud platform

1&1 IONOS is a web hosting and cloud service provider established in UK. Because of their service quality, user friendly interface, and good pricing, we start seeing UK and European partners migrating their physical backup servers to its cloud platform.

Let’s see how you can easily create a Windows VM thru their drag-and-drop interface for running our AhsayCBS central management software.

1). After logging into 1&1 IONOS web interface, click Data Center.
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2). Enter your data center info. The data center is a software defined (SDDC) in the public cloud, which is highly available, dynamically scalable virtual resources place with needs-based delivery and use-based billing. Within your data center, you can define multiple VMs. In this demo, we will be creating one Windows Server VM for running AhsayCBS software.

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3). Select a region for this data center.

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4). After the data center has been created, you can start creating a VM by dragging the Server icon to the canvas.

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5). Connect this VM to the Internet by dragging the green dot to the “+” sign above the VM.

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6). The VM has connected to the Internet through LAN 1.

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7). You can setup the number of CPU cores and RAM size based on your requirement.

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8). Then, add hard drive to the VM by dragging the HDD icon onto the VM.

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9). A hard drive has been added to the VM. You can setup it’s size as needed.

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10). 1&1 IONOS has got many common OS images for quick deployment. To use a readily available image, select 1&1 IONOS Images.

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Then, select the image you need. In this demo, I have chosen Windows 2012 R2 Server.

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11). Enter the password for the Windows Administrator that will be used for logging into the Windows OS.

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12). Oops. Forgotten to give the hard drive a better name. No worries. Just click Resolve to modify it.

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13). Click Provision Now to provision the VM.

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14). After provision is  completed, click on the VM. You can either remote login to the VM through Remote Desktop Connection, or just click the Remote Control button in the web interface.

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15). You can login to the Windows Server thru a web interface.

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16). Send the Ctrl + Alt + Delete command to the Windows.

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17). Use the password created in step 11). to login to the Windows Server as Administrator.

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18). Done. Successfully logged in to the Windows Server. You can make any configuration to your Windows Server VM now.

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19). For demo purpose, I just simply turn off Windows’ firewall. You can definitely make your own settings when you see fit.

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20). Download the latest AhsayCBS software from Ahsay’s download page here.

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21). Install AhsayCBS onto the Windows Server.

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22). When completed, AhsayCBS web interface can be accessed through the local IP: 127.0.0.1.

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23). You can also access the AhsayCBS console through the public IP provided by 1&1 IONOS.

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1&1 IONOS offers free 30 days trial. Simply apply for a trial account to test it out.

Besides putting AhsayCBS on their cloud VM, you can also use their S3 compatible cloud object storage for storing your users’ backup data. See how it works with Ahsay through here.

in Tips | 500 Words

How to Create Windows System State Backup Set

BS_Create_sysstate







Requirements

Please ensure that the following requirements are met:



  • Software Requirement: MS System State backup can be run on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003/ 2008/ 2008 R2/ 2012/ 2012 R2/ 2016 or SBS 2008/ 2011.

For Windows XP and Windows Server 2003

!

Please kindly note that:


  • Windows XP home is not supported for the system state backup and restore by AhsayOBM.

  • As Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are no longer supported by Microsoft any more, we will provide best effort support for backup and restore for these 2 Windows platforms.


  1. AhsayOBM Installation: Latest version of AhsayOBM must be installed on the computer to be backed up.

  2. Windows System State Add-on Module: Make sure that the Windows System State add-on module is enabled for your AhsayOBM user account.

  3. Backup Quota Requirement: Make sure that your AhsayOBM user account has sufficient quota assigned to accommodate the storage for the system state backup for the new backup set and retention policy.

  4. Restore to Alternate Computer: You can restore a system state backup to the same physical computer from which the system state backup was created, or to a different computer that has the same make, model, and configuration (identical hardware). Microsoft does not support restoring a system state backup from one computer to a second computer of a different make, model, or hardware configuration.
    Please refer to the following article for more details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694

  5. NTBackup: NTBackup must be installed on the computer to be backed up. This can be confirmed either by searching if ntbackup.exe is found under C:\WINDOWS, or running the following command in an administrative command prompt:

    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]

    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.



    C:\Documents and Settings\support>ntbackup

    You can verify if NTBackup is installed or not by if the “Backup and Restore Wizard” pop out or not.


  6. System Volume: The system volume must be formatted with NTFS.

For Windows Server 2008 and Newer Releases


  1. AhsayOBM Installation: Latest version of AhsayOBM must be installed on the computer to be backed up.

  2. Windows System State Add-on Module: Make sure that the Windows System State add-on module is enabled for your AhsayOBM user account.

  3. Backup Quota Requirement: Make sure that your %edition_name% user account has sufficient quota assigned to accommodate the storage for the system state backup for the new backup set and retention policy. The size of a set of system state backup data is dependent on the role installed.

  4. Restore to Alternate Computer: You can restore a system state backup to the same physical computer from which the system state backup was created, or to a different computer that has the same make, model, and configuration (identical hardware). Microsoft does not support restoring a system state backup from one computer to a second computer of a different make, model, or hardware configuration.
    Please refer to the following article for more details: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694

  5. Java Heap Size: The default Java heap size setting of AhsayOBM is 2048MB. For Windows System State backup, it is highly recommended to increase the Java heap size setting to at least 4096MB to improve backup and restore performance. The actual heap size used will be dependent on amount of free memory available on the machine with AhsayOBM installed (machine that is running the backup).

  6. Windows Server Backup (WSB) Features: The following Windows Server Backup feature must be installed on the computer to be backed up:

    • Windows Server Backup

    • Command line Tool

    • Windows PowerShell


    This can be confirmed in the Server Manager. These features can be added by selecting Add Roles and Features.

  7. Windows Account Permission: To perform recovery using Windows Server Backup, the operating system account that you use must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group.

  8. Latest Service Packs from Microsoft: Make sure that you have the latest service packs installed on the computer to be backed up. Update to the Windows operating system improve its performance and resolve known issues with Windows Server Backup.

  9. System Volume: The system volume must be formatted with NTFS.

Best Practice and Recommendation

The following are some best practices or recommendations that we strongly recommend, before you start any Microsoft System State backup and restore:


  1. Temporary Directory Folder Location: Temporary directory folder is used by %edition_name% for storing backup set index files and any incremental or differential backup files generated during a backup job. To ensure optimal backup/restoration performance, it is recommended that the temporary directory folder is set to a local drive with sufficient free disk space.

    !

    Kindly noted that for Windows Server 2008 or newer releases, the restriction on temporary volume must also be considered.


  2. Backup Destination: To provide maximum data protection and flexible restore options, it is recommended to configure:

    • At least one offsite or cloud destination

    • At least one local destination for fast recovery



  3. Backup Frequency: MS Windows System State backup should be performed at least once per week.

  4. Performance Recommendations: Consider the following best practices for optimized performance of the backup operations:

    • Enable schedule backup jobs when system activity is low to achieve the best possible performance.

    • Perform test restores periodically to ensure your backup is set up and performed properly. Performing recovery test can also help identify potential issues or gaps in your recovery plan. It’s important that you do not try to make the test easier, as the objective of a successful test is not to demonstrate that everything is flawless. There might be flaws identified in the plan throughout the test and it is important to identify those flaws.



Set the backup set

Name This is the name of the backup set. You can create a meaningful name for it.
Backup Type Enter the correct backup type from the drop down box.
Specify the temporary location for the system backup (For Windows Server 2008 and newer releases only) Select the location where you would like to store the system state image before generating the backup data.

To create a backup set:



  1. Type in a meaningful backup set name.

  2. Enter correct backup type, eg: MS Windows System State Backup.

  3. For Windows Server 2008 and newer releases, select the location where you would like to store the system state image before generating the backup data.

    !

    Kindly noted that for Windows 2008 Server, the temporary storage location cannot be set to a network path.


  4. Click [Next] button to start the verifying process and continue.



in Tips | 1,073 Words

How to Create Windows System Backup Set

BS_Create_winsys







Backup Requirements

For System backup of Windows 2008/ 2008 R2/ 2012/ 2012 R2/ 2016 or SBS 2011, please ensure that the following requirements or recommendations are met:



  1. AhsayOBM is installed on the computer to be backed up.

  2. Sufficient disk spaces are required for the temporary directory (actual size depending on the volume).

  3. The following Windows Features are installed on the client computer:


    Windows Server Backup Features




    • Windows Server Backup

    • Command line Tool

    • Windows PowerShell




  4. Limitations on the temporary directory:




    • Temporary directory must be a local or USB drive and local drive is preferred option.

    • Temporary directory can be a non-critical or critical drive.

    • Temporary directory can only be set to the root of a drive.

    • Shadow Copies storage location of temporary directory must be set to local.




  5. The Microsoft Windows System backup module (wbadmin start backup) uses the .vhd format for writing backups.

For System backup of Windows 7, Windows 2008/ 2008 R2/ SBS 2011 and Windows Home Server 2011, the current virtual hard disk specification limits the size of a virtual hard disk to be 2040 GB (2 TB), which can fit a volume of size 2040 GB minus 2 MB.


For details, please refer to:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/ranjanajain/archive/2010/03/23/virtual-hard-disk-vhd-architecture-explained.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd183729%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

Set the name of the backup set

Name This is the name of the backup set. You can create a meaningful name for it.
Backup Type Enter the correct backup type from the drop down box.

To create a backup set name:



  1. Type in a meaningful backup set name.

  2. Enter correct backup type, eg: MS Windows System backup.

  3. Click [Next] button to continue.



in Tips | 283 Words