Online Backups with ReadyNAS Vault


The use of a ReadyNAS is a great way to prevent data loss from disk failures, but if you want to prevent data loss from fire, theft, flood, or other disasters, you’ll need to also think offsite backup.  There are a couple common ways of doing this — manually shuffling a USB disk back and forth to an remote location, and setting up two ReadyNAS to automatically perform daily online backups.  The latter costs a little more, but automates the backups and reduces the chance of a human factor error.

A third option is now available with a new service called ReadyNAS Vault.

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With ReadyNAS Vault, your ReadyNAS data can be backed up securely to a remote secure datacenter.  Security is key here as your data is first encrypted before it is sent over wire.  The datacenter itself is inside locked cages in a temperature-controlled facility with redundant power, connectivity, and fire/flood protections.  Access is monitored and granted to authorized-personnel only.  Backup administration is over 128-bit SSL connection, the same one used by banks and financial institutions.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, the ReadyNAS Vault service is available free on a 30-day trial, so you can try it out and see if you think the service is worthwhile before you decide to sign up for the subscription.  You don’t even need a credit card to start the trial.  The subscription fee is quite affordable starting at only $5.95 per month for basic service and $19.95 for business.  Consider the fact that you only need one account to backup data generated by countless number of users on the ReadyNAS and the deal sounds even better.

Setting up a ReadyNAS Vault Backup Job

OK, let’s do a quick run-through of what’s involved in setting up a ReadyNAS Vault backup job.  It’s actually pretty straight-forward and quite easy, so it’ll just take a couple minutes of your time.

Step 1 – Enable the ReadyNAS Vault service

Simply go to the Backup page in FrontView and click on the ReadyNAS Vault tab.  You can also elect to go directly to that tab from the menu on the left.  Select the checkbox and click Apply.

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Step 2 – Obtain a ReadyNAS Vault account

Once you’ve enabled the service, you’ll see a Click here to Register! link.  Click it to register an account.  All you need is your email address and enter the desired password twice.  You’ll need this info to manage your ReadyNAS Vault account.  Furthermore, if you wish to manage multiple ReadyNAS systems from that one account, you would enter this info on those other systems as well.

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Once your ReadyNAS Vault account has been successfully registered, you’ll be logged in automatically.

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Click on the Manage ReadyNAS Vault button to start setting up your backup jobs.

Step 3 – Set up your first ReadyNAS Vault Backup Job

You’ll first be sent to a login screen where you can enter your password set above.  This is an Internet-accessible site where you can manage your ReadyNAS backup jobs even when you don’t have direct access to your ReadyNAS.  In the future, you can type https://vault.readynas.com in your browser to access this site.

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Your first login will put you through a short Wizard.  You can elect to accept the default Recommended Set-up or enter Advanced Set-up.  To get going really quickly, just click Next.

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You’re presented with a couple pre-defined backup jobs that are initially disabled.

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To enable the job, click on the backup job entry and click Edit Job in the command bar.

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Select the Automatic/Enabled checkbox to enable the job, and click Save Changes at the top.  You’ll be returned to the Backup Job listing where you’ll see the new enabled job in green.

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Click Next, and Finish to complete the Wizard.

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Step 4 – Add a new Backup Job

We’ve gone through the process of enabling an existing backup job in the Wizard.  Now let’s add a new job in Advanced mode. To add a job, simply start by clicking on Add Job in the command bar.

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You’ll have the opportunity to name your backup job and then enter the path that you would like to back up on the ReadyNAS.  In our example below, we entered /c/backup/Cool Stuff.  You will need to use forward slash (‘/’) to delimit the folders — those who are accustomed to Windows will need to replace the backslash (‘\’) with the forward slash.  The format of the backup path is /volume/share/folder path.   volume is typically c unless you’ve configured additional volumes, such as d, e, or f in Flex-RAID mode.  share is the share name that you’ve configured in FrontView.  And folder path is the path within the share where you wish to start the back up.  The folder path can be left blank if you wish to start the backup from the root of the share.

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In addition, you specify file extension(s) the you wish to backup.  You can exclude certain paths as well by specifying them in the Exclude tab.

Then specify and how you would like the backup to occur.  The default is to perform the backup pretty much instantenously whenever a file is added, deleted, or changed.  This is the continuous mode.  You can elect to perform the backup on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis as well.  When doing this, you can specify the date and time on the ReadyNAS that you wish to start the first backup.

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Once you’ve saved the changes, the backup will start as quickly as within a minute.

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Restoring files from ReadyNAS Vault

If you need to retrieve a lost file or folder, click on the Access Your Files tab and use the built-in explorer to view your ReadyNAS host name under My ReadyNAS.  If you have multiple ReadyNAS systems using the same account, they will show up as separate entries here.

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Traverse down the tree to where your file or folder that you want to restore and right-click on the entry in the window pane to your right.

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Click on the Download option and you’ll be prompted for where you want to save the file or folder locally on your PC or Mac.

Sharing files from ReadyNAS Vault

If you wish to share your files with family, friends, or colleagues, select the Share option from the right-click menu above.  You’ll be requested to enter the email addresses and a brief message as below.

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