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NAS 259

Using Remote Sync (Rsync) to backup your data

Learn how to create and execute Rsync backup jobs to a remote ASUSTOR NAS

2022-07-13

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Having a basic understanding of Rsync.
  2. Be able to create and execute an Rsync backup job to a remote ASUSTOR NAS.
  3. Have an understanding of some of the Rsync usage scenarios with ASUSTOR NAS.

PREREQUISITES

Course Prerequisites:
None

Students are expected to have a working knowledge of:
N/A


OUTLINE





1. Introduction to Rsync

Rsync is a network protocol that is used to synchronize files and directories from one location to another. It provides block level replication and is appropriate for use with files and data that are always changing. By providing block level replication, Rsync is able to offer incremental backup. Incremental backup allows for successive backup jobs (after your first backup job) to only copy data that has changed since your last backup job. For example, if you have made some small changes to a 10 MB file, incremental backup will only copy the portions that you have made changes to. By only transferring the differences between two sets of files, Rsync can help you to significantly reduce bandwidth usage.




2. Using Rsync

In the following example, we will take you through the process of using Rsync to backup data from a local ASUSTOR NAS to a different remote ASUSTOR NAS.

ASUSTOR NAS is able to function both as an Rsync server and Rsync client which means you can either use your NAS as a centralized backup server or back up your NAS to another NAS or Rsync compatible server.



2.1 Enabling the Rsync server service on the remote ASUSTOR NAS

In this section we will enable the Rsync Server service and then proceed to create a backup module for storing backup jobs. Please remember that you must enable the Rsync Server service on an ASUSTOR NAS before you are able to use Rsync to back up to it.


STEP 1

  • Select [Services] [Rsync Server].
  • Select [Enable Rsync Server] and then click [Apply].
  • Finally, click on [Add] under the Backup Modules heading.


STEP 2

  • The Add New Backup Module window will now appear. Enter a name for the new module and then click on [Browse] to select the path that the files for this module will be saved to.
  • Click [Finish] once you are done.


STEP 3

  • You should now be able to see the new backup module under the Backup Modules heading.



2.2 Creating an Rsync backup job on the local ASUSTOR NAS

In this section we will create and execute a backup job to the remote ASUSTOR NAS using a local ASUSTOR NAS.


STEP 1

  • Select [Backup & Restore] [Remote Sync].
  • Click on [Create] under the Remote Sync tab.


STEP 2

  • The Create New Backup Job wizard will now appear. Under [Transfer mode], select [Your NAS -> Another ASUSTOR NAS] and then click [Next].


STEP 3

  • Enter the IP address of the ASUSTOR NAS that you want to back up to in the [Server address] field and then click [Next].

Note: You can also choose to use encrypted transmission. Should you decide to do this, you will have to enter the other host’s SSH connection information in addition to your Rsync account information.


STEP 4

  • Select the source folders or files that you wish to back up and then click [Next].

Note: Here you may also choose to use 1 on 1 folder synchronization if you wish. If you decide to use 1 on 1 folder synchronization, all the data in the designated destination folder will be synchronized with the data in your source folder (you may only select one folder). The contents of both folders will be exactly the same. If you decide not to use this feature, all your chosen source folders (you may select multiple folders) will be copied one by one to the destination folder.


STEP 5

  • Select the destination folder that you wish to back up to and then click [Next].

Note: You can see the list of backup modules created by the remote NAS introduced in section 2.1.


STEP 6

  • Select [Back up now] and click [Next].

Note: You can also select [Scheduled backup] to create regular backups.


STEP 7

  • Enter a name for the backup job into the [Save job as] field and click [Next].


Note: Here you will also see additional checkboxes for a variety of backup options. These options are described as follows:

  • Archive mode (incremental backup): After enabling this feature, successive backup jobs (after your first backup job) will only copy the data that has changed since your last backup job (block level). For example, if you have made some small changes to a 10 MB file, incremental backup will only copy the portions that you have made changes to. This can significantly reduce bandwidth usage.
  • Compress data during the transfer: During backup you can compress the data that is being transferred thereby lowering bandwidth usage.
  • Keep file metadata: When you enable this option, certain file properties (permissions, extensions, attributes, owner, groups, etc.) will be sent along with the file to the destination.
  • Support sparse files replication: You will only need to enable this option when the data that you wish to back up contains sparse files. Normally, you will not have to enable this option.
  • Mission Mode: Sometimes backup jobs may be stopped because of various connection problems with a busy server on the other end. ASUSTOR’s Mission Mode option allows you to configure the number of connection attempts and time interval for connection attempts, ensuring for the successful completion of your backup job. This also gives IT administrators a significant amount of flexibility when configuring backup jobs.


STEP 8

  • Look over a final summary of your settings. Once you’re done, confirm these settings by clicking [Finish].


STEP 9

  • You should now be able to see the job that you just created under the Remote Sync tab. Select the job you have created and then click on [Back up now] to execute the backup job.




3. Rsync - Best Practice

In the following examples we will introduce you to a couple of best practice scenarios using Rsync in conjunction with ASUSTOR NAS.



3.1 Centralized backup (for multiple sites)

ASUSTOR NAS can be used as a centralized backup server for multiple sites. Centralized backup can be executed in the following two ways:


Pull Backup

In "Pull Backup", data from multiple sites are "pulled" onto the centralized backup server (NAS) for backup. The backup jobs are all initialized by the centralized backup server. The centralized backup server is able to schedule backup jobs at different times, thereby avoiding potential congestion and bandwidth issues.



Rsync Server

In "Rsync Server", ASUSTOR NAS acts as a centralized Rsync backup server. The backup jobs are all initialized by their respective sites. The potential disadvantage of this setup is that too many sites initiating backup jobs simultaneously could lead to congestion and bandwidth issues.




3.2 Offsite backup

Data from your NAS can be backed up offsite to a remote site for extra security. You can use the [Remote Sync] function found under the [Backup & Restore] system app to back up your NAS to either another ASUSTOR NAS or an Rsync compatible server. The main purpose of offsite backup is for disaster recovery in the event of environmental disasters, theft, and hard disk or other mechanical failures. With data already backed up offsite, disaster recovery efforts should be uncomplicated and straightforward.


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