Why does Online Backup and Recovery Manager create full backups instead of incremental or differential in case of running two concurrent backup solutions for Microsoft SQL Server or Exchange Server?

Background

In configurations when there are two backup products running simultaneously, there is a high possibility that all incremental or differential backups will be transformed into Full.

Explanation

Two backup solutions can not create incremental or differential backups simultaneously because incremental backups fully depend on the full backups. In other words, full is the starting point for increments. Consequently, each backup solution will have a separate starting point (Full backup) and incremental chain will be inconsistent for both backup solutions.

For example, let’s review the situation when there are two Backup products and each of them has “Full and Incremental” backup policy configured. What happens is:

  1. Backup solution #1 (BS1) Full 00:00

  2. Backup solution #2 (BS2) Full 00:05

  3. BS1 Inc 01:00

What worth knowing is that Exchange and SQL are storing the information about the last backup only. So, what happens on stage 3, is BS1 requests information from SQL/Exchange about the last backup time, and receives “00:05” in return. BS1 sees that it does not have any Full on that time, and considers that something went wrong. Therefore, in order to prevent any data corruption and keep the backups consistent, it converts the Incremental into Full.

Solution

There are three viable solutions:

  1. Use only one backup solution for backing up Exchange and SQL. We recommend the following approach.

  2. Use “Fulls only” backup policy.

  3. Take as the fact that there is high chance for Incremental or differential to be converted into Full.

What IP addresses and domain names does Cloud Backup use?

In order for backups to run smoothly, the following IP addresses/domain names need to be whitelisted.

  • secure.sosonlinebackup.com (50.23.4.207)
  • ecommerce.sosonlinebackup.com (184.172.96.118)
  • cm.sosonlinebackup.com (184.173.3.157)
  • rc.managedoffsitebackup.net (50.23.9.39)
  • www.managedoffsitebackup.net (50.23.8.70)
  • dashboard.managedoffsitebackup.net (184.172.96.113)
  • rebrands.managedoffsitebackup.net (184.172.96.113)

All of the above use outgoing ports 80 and 443.

When does Online Backup and Recovery Manager compress data?

OBRM compresses data before transferring it to the cloud.

See details.

How does file versioning work?

When you upload a new version of a file to the cloud, OBRM will retain the old version and keep it available for restore. The software does this automatically and no action is required on your end to cause this to occur.

How can I restore an older version of a file?
Log in to the client and click on View/Restore, from here any file that has an older version will have a dropdown menu on the date field: Click on the drop down and you will be shown the date/time the version was uploaded to the cloud.
How much space do these versions take up on my cloud?
None. Only the most recent version of the file will count towards you used space.
How many versions can I keep?
You can keep an infinite amount of versions for any file on the cloud.
Why is this useful?
Here are a few applications of this:
  1. A file is saved incorrectly (or important data is removed from it) and a upload takes place before its noticed.

  2. You are infected by the Cryptolocker virus and a upload takes place. As the earlier versions were never infected by Cryptolocker, you can easily recover them.

What SPF records should partners add to avoid spam blocking of the emails sent from our servers, but still have the custom 'From' field?

This is the case when Partners enter their domain name to the From field of email templates and then providers block these emails because they are sent from another domain.

To avoid blocking of the emails, the Partners should add our email server to their SPF record: include:email-od.com.

Why is the 'Next' button in Online Backup and Recovery Manager disabled after selecting files and folders to back up?

OBRM accesses the backup set (selected files and folders) to calculate the space in the cloud necessary to back the data up. This is especially common with network drives and large data sets. Once OBRM completes calculation, the button will be enabled to proceed further.

Can Online Backup and Recovery Manager do system state backups?

Yes. OBRM can do system state (bare-metal) backups using ShadowProtect.

WebAPI calls to the cloud fail. What information should I submit to support?

To fasten the investigation process, please provide the full web request and the response XML (wipe password from AuthorizationHeader) in the support ticket.

If it is impossible to provide the above information, submit the username from the authorization header, WebAPI method being used, and the error message from the response.

Do all file versions count against my data limit?

No, not all file versions count against your data limit.

A Baseline file is created. Then when the file is changed, our software calculates a Delta (the part of the file which was changed). The Delta is uploaded to our server and the newer version of the local file is cached. When a new change to the local file is applied, the second Delta is generated and uploaded to the server, and the whole local file is put to cache again.

When doing a recovery from the cloud at this stage, our software retrieves the latest Baseline + the latest Delta from the cloud and merges them.

A file is fully uploaded (new baseline is created) when the new file is more than 50% larger or smaller than the initial baseline or the cache is cleared.

We count Used Space against the data limit as a sum of MAX Baselines only.

Why does Online Backup and Recovery Manager show smaller size of an SQL database when processing Microsoft SQL Server backup?

When backing up MS SQL database, OBRM backup progress often shows a smaller size of the database being backed up (db size = 5.63 MB, backed up size = 2.30 MB).

This is a normal situation and the reasons are following:

  • LDF is not used during the backup
  • free pages in the MDF file are ignored, hence backed up file becomes smaller than the actual MDF

More information can be found here.

When a DB is created, you can specify (for performance) how much space you want to allocate to the data and log files. This space is then reserved even if no data is stored in the tables. Only the extents that have data written to it are backed up.

In your case, your MDF/LDF total could have even been 100 GB but your backup would still be around 23 GB for the backup that you did. If around 1 GB of data was added, your MDF/LDF total would still be 100 GB, but your backup would now be around 24 GB.

A full backup contains all the extents that have data in them and a bit of the log file. The full backup contains all the data from the time the backup task ended, and not just from the time the backup task started; this is why a bit of the log file is also required.

Why do expired trial Cloud Backup accounts still appear as active in the Dashboard?

The account will show active in the dashboard until you cancel the account. The backup user would not be able to use an expired trial account.

We like keep the option available to upgrade a trial user account since it cannot be upgraded once it’s already cancelled.

Can Online Backup and Recovery Manager for macOS back up AirPort Time Capsule or Time Machine data?

No, OBRM for macOS can’t back up AirPort Time Capsule or Time Machine data since this requires root access, while OBRM makes backups under the current user.

Why is my backup taking so long to complete?

The initial backup will always take the longest. Subsequent backups will only upload the block level changes you make on your files, so it will run much quicker.

Other factors include the speed of your internet upload, the amount of data that you selected for backup, and your computers processing speed.

OBRM backs up data at the rate of about 2 to 4 GB per day for your initial backup. However, if you have a fast connection and left undisturbed, you can backup up to 8 to 9 GB in a single day.

Once the initial backup has been completed, subsequent backups will only be for changes/updates which will greatly reduce the backup time.

Where to view and manage devices associated with my Cloud Backup account?
  1. Log in to the Infrascale Dashboard.

  2. On the Home page, click the Device Management tab.

Why backup dates in SSRS report and in the Dashboard differ?

Backup report in the Dashboard shows the last time a backup successfully ran. This differs from the SSRS report, which shows the last time the data was uploaded to the cloud.

These two figures would not match if no new data was uploaded to the cloud.

For example, a user runs backup on 3/23/2015 where there are no new files or changes. The last backup was on 3/22/2015, where a new file was uploaded.

On SSRS, the last backup date will be reported as 3/22/2015 (last time the data was uploaded), while the last backup date in the Dashboard will be 3/23/2015 (last time the job ran).

Why does the size of data available for restore differ from the used space?

Used space in OBRM (View/Restore) is calculated based on the last file version size.

At the same time, on the backend, used space is calculated based on the maximum size of the backed up file.

Where to find Online Backup and Recovery Manager version information?

In OBRM for Windows, click Menu > About.

In OBRM for macOS, click Online Backup and Recovery Manager > About Online Backup and Recovery Manager.

In OBRM for Android, click Menu > About.

Why every Microsoft SQL Server backup with Online Backup and Recovery Manager is full, but not differential?

The reasons may be following:

SQL Server Recovery Model is Simple

To have differential backups, the Recovery Model for the database should be switched to Full. (For more information, check the Microsoft knowledge base article.)

To check the Recovery Model for a database in question, proceed as follows:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the appropriate SQL Server instance.

  2. Right-click on the database in question and click Properties.

  3. Go to Options and check the Recovery model section.

    To run differential backups, Full should be chosen.

Another backup software is running MS SQL backups that truncate logs

In this case, differential backups will only be occasional (in a case when between OBRM SQL full backup and the next differential, other backup software would not run).

How to confirm that other backups of SQL Server databases are running?

  • Check Task Scheduler (taskschd.msc) tasks. There may exist some tasks that are related to other backup applications that may run SQL Backup. In case SQL Server job is configured for the SQL Server instance in SQL Server Management studio, there would be no tasks in Task Scheduler.

  • In order to check whether other interfering backups of the database in question are running, process following investigation:

    1. Open SQL Server Management Studio, and then click New Query.

    2. Run the following query:

      Select TOP 1000 name, msdb.dbo.backupset.backup_start_date, [type], * from `msdb.dbo.backupset`
      where database_name='The_database_name_for_which_FULLs_Created'
      order by msdb.dbo.backupset.backup_start_date desc
      

      The name column has NULL values in case SQL backups are initiated by OBRM or other third-party backup applications.

      type may show D (full backup) or I (differential backup).

      To double check whether all recorded SQL backups are initiated by OBRM, get MS SQL Backup Start dates from Dashboard > Reporting and compare them with the values of backup_start_date column. If any other backups are configured, their start dates will appear between OBRM backup start dates.

      If there appear any database names in the output, then these backups were provided by the internal job configured in SQL Server.

How to locate and switch off/on SQL Server backup jobs?

Using the steps from Microsoft knowledge base article, SQL Autobackups can be switched on or off.

How to switch off/on the SQL auto-backup (if confirmed by the database administrators)?

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio, and go to Management > Maintenance plans, locate AutoBackup.

  2. Double-click AutoBackup, and then click the Calendar icon.

  3. Clear Enabled, and then click OK.

    Then click Yes when closing the AutoBackup plan page.

  4. Go to SQL Server Agent and find AutoBackup.

    Right-click it, and then click Disable.

    Other way is to double-click the job, go to General, clear Enabled. and then click OK.

How the Regular, UltraSafe, and UltraSafe Max accounts differ?

These account types differ in data compression and security levels, as well as in features available to them.

See details.

What happens to my data after I cancel my account?

After your account is cancelled, any data that was not manually deleted will remain on the servers. Data on a cancelled account is subject to be purged at any time but this will normally occur 90 days after cancellation.

Ultrasafe or Ultrasafe MAX account password lost

If the account is UltraSafe or UltraSafe Max and the password is lost, there will unfortunately be no way to recover any of the data that has been backed up. As we do not have the password stored on our systems, we will be unable to assist with its recovery.

What we can do for this case is help regain access to the account or help with the creation of a new passphrase so a new backup can be created. Please create a support ticket or start a chat and contact us for assistance.

Why does Online Backup and Recovery Manager back up files and folders not selected for that?

The confusion sometimes happens when backups are configured manually (manual selection of files/folders) and certain folders are added to the backup set that appear to be symlinks or folder redirections, like C:\Users\All Users. This particularly happens when the whole folder C:\Users is added to the backup set and then some access errors appear in the report for the files that are located in C:\ProgramData.

The first question is why the latter folder is backed up despite it has never been added to the backup set?

This is by design of Windows that the folder C:\Users\All Users is a symlink to C:\ProgramData:

Only C:\ProgramData actually exists as a “real” folder.

C:\Users\All Users is a symbolic link to C:\ProgramData. That is, C:\Users\All Users points to C:\ProgramData, so if you navigate to the former, you are automatically redirected to the latter. That is why they appear identical.

C:\ProgramData is known as the “All Users Profile” and is required for the correct operation of Windows 7. Please do not delete it, if Windows even lets you.

C:\Users\All Users is there for backward compatibility. Poorly-written applications do not retrieve the path of the All Users Profile correctly. They say, “Windows, give me the name of the profiles directory.” Windows says, “C:\Users.” And the program says, “Okay, I know the All Users profile is called All Users and it’s inside the profiles directory, so it must be C:\Users\All Users.” Really, what the program should say to Windows is, “Windows, give me the path of the all users profile,” to which Windows would say, “C:\ProgramData.”

Why Online Backup and Recovery Manager upload speed is low or decreasing?

OBRM speed value consists of two values:

  • Hash Sum calculation.

    The time required for this operation depends on the file size and location (local or NAS), machine CPU

  • uploading of the file to the cloud

Hence, we divide uploaded file size into Hash Sum time plus Uploading time. This operation occurs with every file which was uploaded previously, for example:

1
2
3
4
file 1 Calculating checksums...
file 1 Uploading...
file 2 Calculating checksums...
file 2 Uploading...

Upload speed can decrease due to the time required for Hash Sum calculation.

The suggestion is to check current event in the Show details menu. Check the last event message. Is it ‘calculating checksum…’ state or not.

Where in Online Backup and Recovery Manager to view backed up files and folders?

In OBRM for Windows, click View/Restore.

In OBRM for macOS, click Recovery.

In OBRM for Android, click My Cloud.

Where to find logs of Online Backup and Recovery Manager for macOS?

OBRM for macOS stores its logs in Library > Online Backup and Recovery Manager > Logs.

When does Online Backup and Recovery Manager calculate the used space in the cloud?

OBRM calculates the used space in the cloud before data compression.

See details.

Is there a limit on the file versions stored in the cloud?

By default, there is no limit on the file versions stored in the cloud for the File and Folder Backup and the Advanced Folder Backup (with Forever Save policy).

Backup accounts, which use our cloud servers, are not affected by many file versions since only one MAX Baseline is calculated against their used space.

Nevertheless, if needed, the company, partner, and distributor accounts can use special tools to clean up old and deprecated file versions from other backup accounts. This is useful for those using DPS, where the physical disk space is crucial.

See details.

Does Cloud Backup support MySQL?

Cloud Backup supports MySQL via bare-metal backup using ShadowProtect.

If I delete a file locally, will Online Backup and Recovery Manager remove it from the cloud?

OBRM will retain all files that have been backed up, even ones that are deleted locally. The only way to remove files from the cloud is by using the View/Restore button in the application and manually deleting the files. The backed up files will be removed if retention policy for locally deleted files is configured by user.

Where to view and change my billing information?
  1. Log in to the Infrascale Dashboard.

  2. On the upper right, click your account name, and then click Billing.

What operating systems does Online Backup and Recovery Manager support?

OBRM supports a number of desktop and mobile operating systems.

See details.

What account types are available within Cloud Backup?

There are three types of accounts available: Regular, UltraSafe, and UltraSafe Max.

See details.

Does Cloud Backup support pervasive databases?

No, not directly.

Our bare-metal backup technology protects and recovers entire disk volumes including such databases.

We recommend to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to back up pervasive databases. Once you’ve created the backup file, Cloud Backup can transfer it offsite for disaster recovery purposes.

Where does Online Backup and Recovery Manager save the restored data?

OBRM for Windows saves the restored data in the default folder. To view or change the default folder, go to Menu > Advanced Options > Folders.

OBRM for macOS asks where to save the restored data each time a file or folder is restored.

Microsoft SQL Server backup and system databases

When setting up an SQL backup, you may notice the following databases will not be populated:

This is because OBRM does not support backing up system database files.

How much does Online Backup and Recovery Manager compress data?

Compression rate varies depending on the file types.

See details.

Java applet tries to run when attempting to download an UltraSafe file?

That Java applet is pretty essential! It is responsible for decryption and download of the UltraSafe file. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it is a Java applet - it runs locally, and thus preserving the “we never upload the password” UltraSafe credo.

Why are my ShadowProtect licenses expiring?

ShadowProtect licenses are purchased on a perpetual basis, meaning they will automatically renew every month unless:

  • The machine upon which the SP license was activated was unable to reach the ShadowProtect licensing server for 30 days.

  • This could be caused by a network issue preventing access to the licensing server. Check your firewall status.

    To resolve, you will need to cancel the existing license in the Dashboard and add activate a new license.

  • On the machine in question, all three of the following unique identifiers have been changed:

    • machine name
    • software ID
    • hardware ID
  • If a perpetual license was not activated, and ShadowProtect was setup on a time-limited trial (14 days).

    ShadowProtect can be installed and configured using a time-limited 14-day trial, and will expire after 14 days if a valid license is not activated.

Why Cloud Backup monitoring and alerting system did not capture that my license had expired?

Cloud Backup monitoring and alerting systems require the installation of OBRM on the same machine as ShadowProtect is configured. Once a valid cloud backup account has logged in to OBRM, a monitoring event for ShadowProtect will be created.

The events include:

  • backup started
  • backup completed
  • backup not run in > 3 days (warning)
  • backup not run in > 5 days (error)

The monitoring event is labeled as the relevant backup type.

These events can be viewed on the Monitoring page in the Infrascale Dashboard.

If OBRM is not installed alongside ShadowProtect, then there will be no monitoring events.

Can I use a Linux host as a cache server to back up a Windows computer?

This scenario is not tested, but the cache location is simple storage and should not prove to be an impediment.

When setting up a backup, go to Settings > Folder Settings > Select Network Location.

As a warning, there will be communication over the connection to the storage, which could slow down performance.

What Online Backup and Recovery Manager files and network resources should be in firewall or antivirus exceptions?

Firewalls/antivirus software may block the execution of some Online Backup services leading to the backup issues with the software. So, it becomes important to know what files and network resources should be added to the security software exceptions.

OBRM executable files

Executable files of OBRM are located in the following folders by default:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Online Backup and Recovery Manager in x64 operating systems
  • C:\Program Files\Online Backup and Recovery Manager in x32 operating systems

The list of files to exclude from firewall/antivirus software is following:

  • SStorage.exe
  • SAgent.Service.exe
  • sosuploadagent.exe
  • SStorageLauncher.exe
  • SUpdateNotifier.exe
  • LStorage.exe
  • SMessaging.exe
  • SosLocalBackup.exe
  • SOSLiveProtect.exe
  • Upgrade.exe
  • AccountCreatorRunner.exe
  • CacheFolderRemover.exe
  • Integration.KrollLicenseSrvImpl.exe

Cloud Backup network resources

The following network resources should be added to firewall/antivirus software exceptions.

Open outgoing traffic for ports 80 and 443 for the following URL addresses:

  • secure.sosonlinebackup.com
  • ecommerce.sosonlinebackup.com
  • cm.sosonlinebackup.com
  • rc.managedoffsitebackup.net

Open outgoing traffic for ports 4849, 80, and 443 for the following URL addresses:

  • www.managedoffsitebackup.net
  • dashboard.managedoffsitebackup.net
  • rebrands.managedoffsitebackup.net
  • emailrelay.sosonlinebackup.com
  • kb.sosonlinebackup.com
  • URL addresses of backup servers to which the backup account is assigned (for this, create a support ticket or chat with a representative mentioning the backup account username and ask for backup server URLs to exclude)

In case the security software requires using IP addresses instead of fully qualified domain names in the interface, the current IP addresses of the Cloud Backup services can always be verified using the following commands:

ping server.URL
nslookup server.url
Does Cloud Backup personal plan include external drives and NAS backup?

Yes, Cloud Backup personal plan covers external drives and NAS backup.

Does Online Backup and Recovery Manager compress data?

Yes. OBRM compresses data to speed up backup and recovery.

See details.