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  • Synology DS211+ Backups, External Drives and the Windows Home Server Connection


    Dave
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    Your DS211+ will come with a free PC backup software.  In this article I’ll be going over installation, backups, and restores with that software, Synology Data Replicator 3.  I'll also look at backing up your Mac and using the Windows Home Server with the DS211+.

     

    PC Backups

     

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    Simple install of the 32 bit program.  The setup operation also installed a service but did not require a reboot.

     

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    The app starts very quickly.

     

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    I’m not going by the manual or a help file.  I just want to run through it to see if it’s intuitive enough to do a backup without help.

     

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    Select a destination for your backup.  Choose Synology and click OK.

     

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    Found the DS211+

     

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    Enter a username/password combination for this PC. I’m also going to choose the auto connect option.

     

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    It doesn’t look like I’m ready for this step so I’ll go back to the DS211+ and create a share for my PC backups.

     

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    Now I’m ready.  That part was easy.  Now choosing what to backup.

     

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    I’m going to need a little help with this one.  Immediate, Sync, or Schedule? Clicking Help brought up a webpage with a better explanation.

    Data Replicator 3 provides 3 backup modes for your most convenience, and they are:
    Immediate
    ,
    Sync
    , and
    Schedule
    .

  • 3.1
    Immediate
    By clicking the
    Immediate
    button, all files in the selected local folder(s) will be immediately backed up to the backup destination.3.2
    Sync

    • Sync data now and start monitoringClick the
      Sync
      button, Data Replicator 3 will make a complete backup of all the files in the selected folder(s) to the backup destination. After that, Data Replicator 3 will start monitoring those folder(s). As you make changes, Data Replicator 3 backs up only files that have changed.Note:

      1. After Data Replicator 3 enters the monitoring mode, it will keep working until you stop.
      2. The time interval between mail synchronization refers to time from synchronization completes to the next synchronization starts. The task may be postponed when Data Replicator 3 is processing synchronization of other files.

    • Stop monitoringTo stop monitoring, click the
      Stop Sync
      button in the Data Replicator 3 program window. If the program window has been minimized to the system tray, please double click on the Data Replicator 3 icon to open it.

    3.3
    Schedule

    • Set scheduleData Replicator 3 can be set to do automatic backups at the specified time regularly. To do this:

      1. Click
        Schedule
        .
      2. Set the backup period and start time for Schedule Backup, and click
        OK
        .
      3. If you wish to perform Schedule Backup during log off, please enter the username and password you're using while login to this computer. Then click
        OK
        .

        If you don't want to perform Schedule Backup during log off, please click
        Skip
        .

      Note:

      1. To back up while logout, the user password cannot be blank.
      2. For users running Windows 98 or Windows ME, Schedule Backup can be performed while logout by design.

      After the schedule setup is complete, you can exit Synology Data Replicator 3 or minimize the program window to the system tray. Synology Data Replicator 3 will perform Schedule Backup automatically when the time is up.
    • Delete scheduleClick
      Delete Schedule
      to stop Schedule Backup and remove the schedule settings.

    When you want to back up Outlook, Outlook Express, or Windows Mail files, please note:

    • If you're running Windows XP, Windows 2003, or Windows Vista,

      1. At least one of the drives on your PC should be in NTFS format.
      2. Outlook/Windows Mail files should be on local drives.
      3. You have to login as the PC's administrator.

    • If you're running operating systems other than Windows XP and Windows 2003, please close Outlook before back up Outlook.

  • I like the idea of the Sync backup but I’m going to choose a schedule.

     

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    Options are Once, Daily, Weekly, Monthly.  Daily can be setup for every “x” number of days and a time to start.

     

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    If you log out of the computer during the time you have scheduled the backup this will be needed.

     

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    The backup mode is set.

     

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    Under the options menu you will see even more control including versioning.

    Enable file versions

    What is file versions function for?

     

    Enabling file versions function can help you keep the history editions of the same file.

     

    After the first-time backup completes, all backed-up files will be stored in the ''latest'' folder in the backup destination. From the next backup, Data Replicator 3 will automatically check if any file with the same file name already exists in the "latest" folder. If there is and content of files has changed, the previous backed-up file in the "latest" folder will then be moved to the "past" folder as an older version, whereas the file on your computer will be backed up to the "latest" folder, where you can always find all the latest backed-up files there.

     

    Note:

     

    The referred file above must be in the same folder. So when you're using the same account to back up the folder, there will be past version generated.

     

    When the file version function is enabled, and you experienced improper and irreversible editing on your local files, you can find the history files in the backup destination and restore files easily.

     

    Number of past versions

     

    You can set here how many past versions of backup files you wish to keep, 20 versions are the maximum. The file name of past version files will be added with "v00", "v01", and so on. The bigger the number is, the newer version it is.

     

    Set a number of past versions to decide how many previous versions will be kept in the backup destination. Follow the steps to proceed:

    1. Tick Enable file versions.
    2. Set a number of past versions, and click
      Apply
      to save the settings.

    Restore points

    What is restore points?

     

    Every time after backup is performed, there will be a folder named as the backup starting time which contains all files of this backup. That will be a restore point.

     

    The file which had never been modified will appear in every restore point after each backup. However, only one file disk size is occupied actually.

     

    Number of restore points

     

    You can set here how many restore points you wish to keep, 128 restore points are the maximum. When the restore point number exceeds the set value, the oldest restore points on the backup destination will be automatically deleted after next backup.

    Support & Limitation

     

    Restore point function is supported only on Windows 2000 / Windows XP / Windows 2003 / Windows Vista.

    Auto-Start when Logon

    You can set to start Synology Data Replicator 3 automatically when you login Windows. Follow the steps to proceed:

    1. Tick
      Auto-start Data Replicator 3 on Windows Startup
      .
    2. Click
      Apply
      .

    Check data consistency before sync

    You can decide whether to check data consistency before Data Replicator enters sync mode. Follow the steps to proceed:

    1. Tick
      Check data consistency before start syncing
      .
    2. Click
      Apply
      .

    Note:

     

    If you uncheck this option and close Data Replicator, data added, removed, or modified might not be synced to the server when you start Data Replicator next time.

    Keep identical files on destination server

    If You can set to keep files in the "latest" folder to be identical to the ones on your local computer. Follow the steps to proceed:

    1. Tick
      When local files are deleted, delete the opposite backup files at the same time
      .
    2. Click
      Apply
      .

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    A popup came from the toolbar when the backup started.  I had the app still running so you can also see it in the background in this shot.

     

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    Performance of the app seemed rather light to the system.

     

    Restore

     

    You can restore files either by browsing or by searching.

     

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    If you have ever done a backup/restore with any software this will all look normal.  I do like the versioning offered in this backup software.  The only thing missing is an OS backup or bare metal restore option.

     

    Back that Mac up

     

    Synology’s website has a nice tutorial on backing up your mac with Time Machine.  I found the tutorial well after setting up my Mac but found the process to be rather simple.

     

    http://www.synology.com/us/support/tutorials/how_to_back_up.php

     

    The first thing I did was create a share on the DS211+ for just Time Machine backups.  I labeled it Time Machine for simplicity.

     

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    Enable Mac File Service in the DS211+ Control Panel and then go to your Mac.

     

    Open Time Machine and you will see this share available as a network location.

     

    Screen-shot-2011-02-11-at-8.26.20-PM[1]

     

    Choose it and turn Time Machine on.  That’s it'.

     

    Screen-shot-2011-02-11-at-8.25.17-PM[2]

     

    You can now use Time Machine to restore files from your backups.  You don't need extra software on the Mac nor do you have to make any system changes to it in order to get this to work.

     

    DS211+ Backups

     

    Attach an external hard drive via USB or eSata and you can backup the DiskStation to that drive.  If you have MySQL installed you can even backup the databases that you and your users have created.  The Photo Station and Blog can also be backed up.  This includes comments, labels, etc.  Surveillance Station is also included in the backup.  Logs, Events, Options, etc.  All goes on a schedule that you set and forget.

     

    Bare Metal Backups and Restores

     

    This section will be short as there is no option for this out of the box.  It does a good job backing up your files but a full restore of a system is going to require a third party software.  That doesn't necessarily mean you have to shell out money for another program.  I've tested Windows 7 system image and backup program to the DS211+ and it worked fine.  It backed up fine.   There are other programs such as the free Easeus ToDo backup which is free or the tried and true product of Acronis.

     

    External Drives and the Windows Home Server Connection

     

    The eSata port on the DS211+ is for storage expansion so it’s looking for drives that it can add to it’s storage pool.  Sadly, the Windows Home Server is doing the same.  Hooking the two together via this method didn’t yield anything.  The eSata port on the DS211+  cannot be used to expand a volume.  That just means it makes a nice and speedy backup port for your DS.  USB is pretty much the same.  Once you connect a drive you will be able to select this drive as a target in the Backup and Restore wizard.

     

    What does all this mean for the Windows Home Server user?  Not a whole lot I’m afraid.  It's still a good network storage target for anything you have on your WHS.  I've been using it as a network target for the Windows Home Server BDBB Add-In.  It works great in that regard.  Don't forget that the DS211+ will stream music and photos from WHS.  Oh, and you have the whole bare metal restore thing going for you on Windows Home Server but don't expect to increase your storage on WHS with the DS211+.

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    Interesting, you mention you did a system image backup (with built-in Windows 7 program) to the NAS, MS mentions that such backup can be done only to a NTFS destination drive. As the DS211 is supposed to support only Unix type formats (ext 3 / 4), how is that possible? Does it create issues? Thanks.
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    Answering to myself... Sorry, the 211+ supports NTFS, contrary to the 212+ which only supports ext 4. So for those who want to used the NAS as a target for an image backup, better to read the documentation to ensure NTFS is supported.
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