One of the common questions ReadyNAS users continue to ask is “how do we backup a ReadyNAS?” If your data fits on a USB drive, you can backup to that, but what if you want to backup the whole ReadyNAS, and what if you want to keep that backup at a remote site so you can safeguard your ReadyNAS data in case of disaster, or theft? Our best advice has been to use another ReadyNAS to do this, but you’ll need to setup Rsync for data and continually backup the system settings. Plus you’ll need to utilize a VPN or make changes to your firewall settings on the router.
Quite a number of folks have done just that, but what if you want a better integrated solution that you don’t necessarily have to spend too much time on? After all, you bought a ReadyNAS because it was an easy-to-setup appliance — why couldn’t remote backups be that easy as well?
The ReadyNAS Team certainly felt the same way, and we’ve been tinkering with a project to simplify remote replication built on our successful ReadyNAS Remote technology. Out of that project comes ReadyNAS Replicate, a one-time licensed software product that you can use to manage replication for ReadyNAS Pro series and rackmount (ReadyNAS 2100, 3100, 3200, 4200) products.
With ReadyNAS Replicate, simply purchase and place your backup ReadyNAS on the same LAN, create a system replication job, and start the initial backup.
Once the initial backup is complete, take the backup unit to a remote site with Internet access, turn it on, and your replication continues, sending only incremental block changes across in a peer-to-peer secure tunnel.
Centralized management and monitoring in the cloud
So how do you manage and monitor the replication? You do it in the cloud, and you can use your existing ReadyNAS Remote ID or a newly registered ID to do this. Just access replicate.readynas.com anywhere you have Internet access, and manage or monitor your job there. Management is over the same SSL encrypted authentication used by banks and brokerage sites.
And when you add more ReadyNAS devices to your Replicate network, you’ll continue to do all your management from one site.
Backup data or replicate the entire device
ReadyNAS Replicate gives you the option to backup a selected folder on the ReadyNAS, or backup/replicate the entire ReadyNAS. The replication support captures all the configuration settings on your ReadyNAS so that you can replicate the primary ReadyNAS environment just by doing a simple system restore.
Snapshot backup for consistency
Backup and replication jobs are performed on a point-in-time snapshot of your ReadyNAS data. This means your backup and replication images are consistent with your ReadyNAS data at the time the jobs are started, even when data is changing during the run.
Versioning allows rollback to any saved image
You can opt to save all versions of files in your backup, or you can specify the number of revisions to keep. Either way, we optimize on the space utilization so that only the changed files take up additional space on the backup device. During restoration, you can elect to restore from any of the saved images.
Compression option uses lower bandwidth
If you are on a slower bandwidth connection or you are being charged if you go beyond your quota, ReadyNAS Replicate provides a compression option at the time the backup job is created. On average, this option can reduce the amount of data you send across by 66%.
Backup many to one or one to many
ReadyNAS Replicate allows one larger capacity ReadyNAS to be the backup/replication target for one or more ReadyNAS devices. Keep in mind that the backup ReadyNAS does not need to be the same model as the primary device. The backup device just needs to have greater capacity. This option allows businesses with multiple remote ReadyNAS devices to utilize one larger ReadyNAS at the headquarter for the backup target.
You also have the option to backup one ReadyNAS to multiple ReadyNAS at different locations. This allows a greater data redundancy in case of disaster.
Advanced configurable scheduling options
We know that some backup jobs have different scheduling needs, so in addition to the simple schedule which we provide by default, ReadyNAS Replicate also allows a more configurable custom settings.
And once you’ve set up the schedule, you can preview it on a calendar.
Quick restore is key to reducing downtime
We talked about backups, but the key to a good backup solution is a good restoration solution. With ReadyNAS Replication, you can set up a data or system restore similarly to how you create a backup or replication job. For folder level restoration, you can restore without any physical movement of the devices. If you plan on restoring quit a bit of data, simply bring the backup ReadyNAS to the primary network to allow for faster restoration, use the ReadyNAS Replicate management to select the device you want to restore (this could be the original device or a replacement one), the device to restore from, and the snapshot image on that device that you want to use.
In no time, you’ll have a restored device that you can bring up and re-deploy.
Built-in monitoring, logging, and alert system
The ReadyNAS Replicate management system gives you full real-time monitoring of your backup and replication jobs.
Once complete, you are alerted by email on the job status, and you can view a detailed report on the job online.