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
|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. Microsoft 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:
- End user purchases the service and receives the shipping address.
- End user creates the initial backup on a local hard drive.
- End user packs the hard drive and ships the package to the Service Provider's data center.
- Service Provider uploads the initial backup to the cloud storage by using the Initial Seeding tools and notifies the user that the upload is complete.
- 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:
- End user purchases the service and provides LSR token to the Service Provider.
- Service Provider downloads the end user's archive(s) using the Large Scale Recovery tools.
- Service Provider ships a hard drive with the archives to the end user.
- 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:
- Decide on licensing and pricing. Note that there is no count of Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery orders in Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud.
- 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.
- Decide on a notification service for the customers. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud does not send notifications upon Initial Seeding backup creation or upload/download completion.
- Allocate a machine for installing the Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery tools. 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.
- 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.
- Install the Initial Seeding/Large Scale Recovery tools on the chosen machine.
- 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 tools.
- Prepare a step-by-step instruction for customers about using the service.
There are 2 tools that facilitate IS/LSR services:
- archive_io_ctl tool for 'version 12' backup format
- IS/LSR tool containing is_tool, lsr_me and archive_io_ctl for 'version 11' and 'version 12' backup format
Depending on your customers' archive type, you can use one of these tools for Initial Seeding:
- Customer uses 'version 12' backup format -> archive_io_ctl tool works with this backup format
- Customer uses 'version 11' backup format -> IS/LSR tool works with this backup format
- Customer uses both backup formats -> you can use either archive_io_ctl or IS/LSR tool, but archive_io_ctl is updated more frequently and is recommended
'Version 12' backup format (archive3) and archive_io_ctl
Download archive_io_ctl, unpack and place it on a machine in your environment.
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 initial backup of version 12 format (archive3)
If you have created the initial backup with version 7.7 and newer versions, follow these steps:
- Connect the hard drive with the initial backup to the machine where you placed the tool.
- Download the Customer's certificate to the folder where you extracted archive_io_ctl. See certificate locations in this article.
- Start Command line as Administrator in Windows or Terminal (as root) in Linux and go to the archive_io_ctl tool folder.
- 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.
See also: How to find storage address
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 --copy <full_path_to_the_backup> --astor <storage_address> --cert <path_to_certificate> --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 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.
Backups of 'version 12' format can be downloaded directly with archive_io_ctl
archive_io_ctl --astor <storage_address>:44445 --cert <path_to_certificate.CRT> --copy /1/<backup_name_only>.tibx --show-progress --infinite-timeouts
See also: How to find storage address
archive_io_ctl.exe --astor baas-fes-eu2.acronis.com --cert "C:\ProgramData\Acronis\BackupAndRecovery\OnlineBackup\Default\email@example.com" --copy /1/machine-06478024-A44E2525-D37F-4FF8-A3C2-FC5940E7D3AC-A5FB1B01-8D0B-EC82-BC41-39E9AC59D496A.tibx --show-progress --infinite-timeouts
How to proceed when download is completed
Pack the drive and send it to the end user.
Initial Seeding tool logs are stored in %allusersprofile%\Acronis\InitialSeedingTool\Logs