Knowledgebase: General
Best Practices and Guidelines for Installing Endpoints

Best Practices and Guidelines

Creating Backup Sets:

Identifying Data for Backup

Data can be categorized into three tiers: critical (integral to ongoing operations), important (valuable but not mission critical) or archival (required but not typically retrieved).

Let's take an example of Joe's Exchange Server. In this case Exchange Server data, System state and Active Directory can be categorized as being critical data, which should be backed up every day.

The same server might host other applications and data which might be critical as well for the customer's ongoing operations. Typically, 70% of data on a server never changes or changes very rarely. There could be lots of old files that are not being used, and might never change, but the user wants them backed up.

If you (as a provider) have a hands on relationship with the customer, the decision on what is critical data (or important or archival data) should be decided by talking to the customer and deciding what applications his business relies on and what data usually changes.

Backup Sets

When you have categorized data, create separate backup sets based on rules:

Create one backup set for critical data. Schedule it for Daily or Monday-to-Friday. Set the start time an hour after close of business, and an attempt window of 6-8 hours.

For Important data, create a separate backup set and set the schedule for once a week or during weekend.

For archival data, create another backup set and set the schedule for once or twice a month.

Depending on what changes daily and what changes rarely, you can split your data into multiple backup sets thus making the backup process less resource-intensive and time-consuming.

 

Scheduler

Recommended: Use the Windows Task Scheduler option in the Scheduler Interface. Either select "Use System Account" or enter the Administrator's (or logged in user's) username and password. The Endpoint automatically creates Windows Scheduled Jobs/Tasks for you.

 

Backup Type 

BitBackup - (Please Read: http://www.remote-backup.com/whitepapers/bitbackup.pdf) This method backs up only the changes to files that happened between backups. Use this backup method only for huge files that change just a little every day, like CAD drawings, Outlook PST files, and Quickbooks files.

Because this backup method requires a lot of local disk space for caching files, it should not be used for average every day files like MS Office files.

Typically, the bitbackup local cache requires one-and-half times the disk space as the original data size. So, if the total data comes to 10 GB, make sure you have at least 15 GB of free space for the local cache.

Bitbackup is suitable only for huge files, like databases, PST files, etc which are not practical to be backed up at the file-level on a daily basis. BitBackup by default does a full backup the first time. There is no need to do a first Full backup and then switch to BitBackup.

 

Recommendations

For Exchange Server data (Mailboxes): Use Incremental Backup. (Use the built-in Exchange Backup Agent to backup all the Mailboxes. Read the Endpoint's Help/Manual for more information. The agent does a full backup the first time it runs, and then backs up only new exchange emails (or tasks, contacts, etc) . There is no need to do a first full and then switch to Incremental. Just start out with Incremental backup for Exchange.)

For SQL Server (databases): Use the built-in SQL Backup Agent to backup all SQL databases. If the endpoint computer has more than than one instance of SQL Server installed, you can backup the second instance as well by creating a new backup set for the second instance.

In the case of Joe's Exchange Server (the example cited earlier), we recommend creating two backup sets:

First backup set: Include Exchange (all mailboxes), System State and Active Directory. Incremental backup type, scheduled for Daily backups.

Important Note: For a complete DR solution for Exchange Server, you should also backup System State and Active Directory.

Second (and maybe a third) backup set: For all other data files, documents, etc. Backup Type: Bitbackup or Incremental. Schedule based on importance of data.

 

Data Retention

Based on your Service Level Agreement (SLA) or payment plan for the customer, correctly set these options before running the first backup. There is a lot of difference in time taken for backup/sync (especially for sync routines) in setting a retention period of 365 days vs. 30 days.

More info on these settings can be found in the Endpoint's documentation and Help File.

Recommended:

"Keep Latest Version of All Files Online" should be turned ON.

Set the "Purge Files Older Than" option to x days. Commonly this option is set to 30 or 60 days. (In some cases, 365 days or longer)

 

File Selection Method

There are 3 File Selection Methods - Archive Bit, Modified Date/Time, and Fast Pick. The Selection Method ONLY applies to normal files. The backup agents (Exchange, SQL, Active Directory, System State and SharePoint) do not depend on the File Selection Method.

Unless the end user has another form of backup (like Tape Backups, etc) always use Archive Bit.

IMPORTANT: The first backup using Archive Bit will back up all files, similar to a FULL backup. Tnereafter the Endpoint will switch to Incremental automatically.

Choose Modified Date/Time, if the number of files in the backup set is less than 10,000. The first backup using Modified Date/Time will back up all files, and then switch automatically to Incremental.

NOTE: This method is slower than Archive Bit and Fast Pick. The Scanning time increases with this method, sometimes dramatically.

Choose Fast Pick, if the number of files is greater than 10,000. The first backup using Fast Pick method will back up all files, and then automatically switch to Incremental.

 

Endpoint Checklist:

Temp Path Location

By default, the Endpoint uses the C:\Temp\Rbackup\ directory as its Temporary Folder. The Endpoint temporarily uses this location to compress and encrypt files. If there is not enough free space on C:\ drive, you should redirect the Temp Path Location to a bigger drive.

BitBackup Reference Path (or Local Data Store) 

If you are using BitBackup as your backup type, assign the BitBackup Reference Path to a drive that has plenty of space. The requirement is one-and-half times the original data size.

Test Connection

After registering the Endpoint, run a Test Connection from the Endpoint software. If the Test Connection passes successfully, the Endpoint is ready to do backups. If the Test Connection fails, usually the Connection parameters are set incorrectly. (Check the following: Username (logon name), Password, Account Group, Backup Server IP/URL, and Port number)

Personal Firewalls

If there is a software firewall installed, make sure that rbackup.exe and rbClient.exe are not blocked as that can prevent backups from occurring.

Schedules

Make sure your schedules are set correctly. If you have multiple backup sets, it is recommended you stagger the start times so they don't overlap. If they do happen to overlap, RBackup will run them one at a time, queuing subsequent backup sets to start as soon as earlier ones are finished.

 

First Backup (Copy-To-Disk):

If the first backup is too big to back up online in a reasonable amount of time it is recommended to use the "Copy-To-Disk" backup option for the first backup. 

For this procedure, take an external USB device to your client's site. Connect the drive and open the Endpoint software. Create your backup set and select files for backup.

Then, go to Run > Copy to Disk. The software will ask you to confirm a location for the backup. Select your external USB device. The backup will run just as it would over the internet, except it's going to your local disk, so the transfer times are much shorter. When the backup is complete, take the drive to the Server machine.

Open the RBS Manager utility. Select the Accounts button. Right click on the account you want to import, and select the Import option.

 

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