You need backups, even at home!

You need backups, even at home!

I’ve been working on my own home systems for the past several years and while testing out some awesome new feature release or trying to run a command I found online that might solve an issue I was having with functionality; I have inadvertently broken a server beyond a point where I was able to fix it – thus needing to start again from scratch. I have had no backups and it’s time to sort this out!

The issue I’ve always had with setting up backups at home is that I don’t want to pay for a business grade backup solution or hardware just to use in my home network that only hosts services used by my fiancée & myself. I’ve looked at Veeam Community Edition & run that before on my physical Plex server (laptop which has an inbuilt UPS!) with success but I had issues with Plex being completely unresponsive if a backup was running as the laptop didn’t have enough resources to run both systems which meant that I was not getting the tick of approval from my fiancée - very important stuff!

While browsing reddit one day, I however came across a YouTube video by NetworkChuck (You need a NAS RIGHT NOW!! (How I run my Hybrid-Cloud YouTube business) which seemed meet all my requirements through a backup tool on Synology NAS devices called Active Backup for Business

Free 

Yes 

Completely self-hosted 

Yes 

ESXi Agentless Backups 

Yes 

Automatic VM protection 

Yes 

Historical reporting & email alerts 

Yes 

Agent for physical machines (Linux & Windows) 

Yes 

The only issue I had when I started investigating, was that my file system of my Synology NAS was in the wrong File System format and I had to convert it from ext4 to Btrfs. I grabbed a large USB hard drive, copied all my data off the Synology overnight & blew away the volume on the NAS. I created the new btrfs volume, copied all my data back overnight & installed Active Backup for Business! The full list of requirements are as follows:

  1. A Synology NAS
  2. DSM 6.2 or above
  3. X64 Synology NAS
  4. Btrfs file system
  5. Recommended minimum 4 GB of RAM (I’m running fine with 2 GB)

I now have backups of my servers at home which run automatically, protect any new machines that I create on my ESXi host & allow me to restore back to Hyper-V or ESXi with a simple restore option in Active Backup for Business. See below, an example of the Active Backup dashboard.

I’m currently backing up my ESXi virtual machines with Active Backup but it has the inbuilt flexibility to backup a physical server (Linux or Windows) if I want to expand on my environment, and this feature doesn’t cost anything extra - it’s all included for free!

I would highly recommend deploying this backup solution into your home network if you have the opportunity.

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