56070: Acronis Backup Cloud: how to assist end users with uploading large amounts of data to cloud or downloading them from cloud

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    Acronis services to use for upload and download of large amounts of data to cloud

    Backing up and restoring large amounts of data to a cloud storage over a slow Internet connection is time-consuming. To help backup service users in these cases, we at Acronis have designed special services for initial upload and download of large amounts of data. These services help end users save time and network traffic by sending the data to the cloud data center on a hard drive or request a hard drive with their backups from the data center.

    This article explains how you, as a Service Provider working with Acronis solutions, can provide these services to your end users.

    Initial upload to cloud

    Initial Seeding and a newer Physical Data Shipping are both services that enable end users to save the first full backup locally and then send it to the data center for upload. After uploading the initial backup, only incremental backups to that full backup are saved to the cloud. While Initial Seeding and Physical Data Shipping differ in their technologies, both services are designed for one purpose. In future, Physical Data Shipping will fully replace Initial Seeding.

    Download from cloud

    Large Scale Recovery is a service that enables end users to obtain a copy of the backups they have in the cloud storage. Once they order Large Scale Recovery for a particular machine, you send them a hard disk drive with all of the backups made from this machine. The end users can recover data directly from the disk or copy the backups to a local or network folder.

    Initial Seeding, Physical Data Shipping and Large Scale Recovery availability

    Depending on the deployment type of your solution, these options are available:

    Deployment type Initial upload to Cloud Download from Cloud
    Service Who performs upload Service Who performs download
    Acronis-hosted starting with Acronis Cyber Cloud 7.8 Physical Data Shipping Acronis Large Scale Recovery as described in this article Service Provider
    version 4 to 7.7: Backup Client version 789 to 10330, Server versions 12.0.1511 to 12.0.5604, Console versions 12.0.2009 to 12.0.7802 Initial Seeding as described in this article Service Provider Large Scale Recovery as described in this article Service Provider
    Hybrid starting with version 4 Initial Seeding as described in this article Service Provider Large Scale Recovery as described in this article Service Provider
    Service provider hosted starting with version 4 Initial Seeding as described in this article Service Provider Large Scale Recovery as described in this article Service Provider

    Supported backup types

    Service Backup types
    Physical Data Shipping Disk-level backups and file backups created by Agent for Windows, Agent for Linux, Agent for Mac, Agent for VMware, Agent for Hyper-V, and Agent for Virtuozzo are supported. The backup format must be set to Version 12.
    *Backups created under bootable media are not supported.
    Initial Seeding Disk-level backups and file backups created by Agent for Windows, Agent for Linux. File backups created by Agent for Mac. Both version 11 and version 12 backup formats.
    Large Scale Recovery Disk-level backups and file backups created by Agent for Windows, Agent for Linux. File backups created by Agent for Mac. Office 365 backups. Both version 11 and version 12 backup formats.

    Physical Data Shipping workflow

    Is described here.

    Initial Seeding workflow

    The typical Initial Seeding workflow is as follows:

    1. End user purchases the service and receives the shipping address.
    2. End user creates the initial backup on a local hard drive.
    3. End user packs the hard drive and ships the package to the Service Provider's data center.
    4. Service Provider uploads the initial backup to the cloud storage by using the Initial Seeding tool and notifies the user that the upload is complete.
    5. Service Provider sends the hard drive back to the end user or securely destroys the hard drive.

    Large Scale Recovery workflow

    The typical Large Scale Recovery workflow is as follows:

    1. End user purchases the service and provides LSR token to the Service Provider.
    2. Service Provider downloads the end user's archive(s).
    3. Service Provider ships a hard drive with the archives to the end user.
    4. End user recovers data from the archive(s).

    How to set up Initial Seeding and Large Scale Recovery service

    Acronis recommendations for setting up the service:

    1. Decide on licensing and pricing. Note that there is no count of Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery orders in Acronis Backup Cloud.
    2. Think of the shipping procedure. We recommend DHL, UPS or Fedex as shipping providers. Note that customers may want their hard drives back, so you would either need a return shipping label from them or include return shipping costs in the price of the Initial Seeding service.
    3. Decide on a notification service for the customers. Acronis Backup Cloud does not send notifications upon Initial Seeding backup creation or upload/download completion.
    4. Allocate a machine for installing the Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery tool. You need a Windows/Linux x64 machine with at least 2 GB of RAM and fast Internet connection to Acronis Cloud Storage and/or your custom Acronis Storage installation.
    5. Decide on supported hard drive types. Most customers send the Initial Seeding backup on USB hard drives. If you want to support more hard drive types, for example SATA/eSATA, make sure the machine is properly equipped for easy hard drive connection.
    6. Install the Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery tool on the chosen machine.
    7. Test the Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery process: create the initial backup and upload it to the storage, after creating a couple of incremental backups, download the archive using the IS/LSR tool.
    8. Prepare a step-by-step instruction for customers about using the service.

    Initial seeding with IS/LSR tool

    How to install and configure IS/LSR tool

    To check the currently installed version, issue:
    is_tool --version

    How to update IS/LSR tool

    1. Download the update.
    2. Unpack the archive.
    3. Install the new msi/rpm package.

    How to receive the initial backup

    Educate your end users on how to use the service. You can use this guide as reference, but we recommend you to create your own branded step-by-step guide. Be sure to answer all the questions listed in the How to set up initial seeding service section above.

    For backups of version 12 format (aka archive3) created in version 7.7 and newer versions, you also need the certificate file from the backed up machine. See certificate locations in this article. Certificate have to be obtained from the end user in a secure way, we recommend using an encryption service like keybase.io

    How to upload the initial backup

    Backup of version 12 format (archive3)

    If you have created the initial backup with version 7.7 and newer versions, follow these steps:

    1. Connect the hard drive with the initial backup to the machine where IS/LSR tool is installed. In Windows, it is C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\InitialSeedingTool
    2. Download the Customer's certificate to the machine where IS/LSR tool is installed. See certificate locations in this article.
    3. Start Command line as Administrator in Windows or Terminal (as root) in Linux and go to the IS/LSR tool folder.
    4. Execute this command to upload the backup:
      archive_io_ctl.exe --copy=<full_path_to_the_backup> --astor <storage_address> --cert <path_to_certificate> --dst=/1/<name_of_backup_file> --show-progress --infinite-timeouts
      Name of backup file is case-sensitive.
      Example:
      archive_io_ctl.exe --copy="D:\temp\machine-1BC12411-1121-1C73-1B3F-11168F8BE99F-B16F1117-3118-4B12-B115-D11215E9D253A.tibx" --astor baas-fes-ru2.acronis.com --cert C:\ProgramData\Acronis\BackupAndRecovery\OnlineBackup\Default\certificate.crt --dst="/1/machine-1BC12411-1121-1C73-1B3F-11168F8BE99F-B16F1117-3118-4B12-B115-D11215E9D253A.tibx" --show-progress --infinite-timeouts

    (!) Make sure to use .tibx extension (lowercase) on the destination side: e.g. --dst "/1/machine-1BC12411-1121-1C73-1B3F-11168F8BE99F-B16F1117-3118-4B12-B115-D11215E9D253A.tibx". In case .TIBX  or .Tibx extension is used instead, Storage will treat the file as a separate archive not associated with Initial Seeding.

    In case you encounter an issue during upload, you can continue uploading with this command:
    archive_io_ctl --astor <storage_address> --cert <path_to_certificate> --put <full_path_to_the_backup> --dst /1/<backup_name_only> --show-progress --infinite-timeouts --continue

    How to proceed when upload is completed

    Notify the customer that the upload has been completed. Customer’s incremental backups will be created according to the backup plan schedule.

    After initial backup, all other runs of this backup plan will check whether it was uploaded to cloud storage and fail if the uploaded backup is not found in the cloud.

    The Initial Seeding backup can be used only with its native backup plan. Another backup plan, even with the same parameters and for the same machine, requires another shipping.

    Large Scale Recovery with IS/LSR tool

    If you have not installed and configured IS/LSR tool yet, please follow these instructions.

    How to download a backup for Large Scale Recovery

    LSR tool downloads all archives created a specific machine (by token). You cannot download a single archive or specific archives.

    Supported backup types:

    • Entire machine backup
    • Disks/volumes backup
    • Files/folders backup
    • Office365 backup
    1. Note the machine token provided to you by the end user. To find the machine token, navigate to the Backup management console, click on the machine, then click Overview.
    2. Open Command Line (Windows) or Terminal (Linux) on the machine where the IS/LSR tool is installed and navigate to the folder where the tool is installed. In Windows it is C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\InitialSeedingTool
    3. Execute this command:
      lsr_me --username <administrator_login> <token> <path>
      where <administrato_login> is the administrator's username of the group that contains the end user or of a parent group;
      <token> is the LSR token provided by the end user;
      <path> is the folder to download the archive(s) to.
      For example:
    4. You will be prompted for the password. You should type in the administrator's password.

    How to proceed when download is completed

    Pack the drive and send it to the end user.

    More information

    Initial Seeding tool logs are stored in %allusersprofile%\Acronis\InitialSeedingTool\Logs

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