Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) agent deployment
Axcient x360Recover now offers the option to deploy backup agents in Direct-to-Cloud mode, eliminating the need for a local BDR appliance.
This article provides a list of best practices to follow when setting up your customer’s protected system for Direct-to-Cloud backup.
'Convert' existing Replibit appliance protected systems
As of release 10.5.0 and agent 2.26, there is currently no means to automatically ‘convert’ an existing protected system from appliance mode to Direct-to-Cloud.
A future Replibit release with an updated agent version will provide conversion functionality, but current Direct-to-Cloud deployments are limited to new protected systems.
Note: If you must switch an endpoint to Direct-to-Cloud mode, these manual steps will be necessary:
- Completely uninstall the agent.
- Delete the existing agent installation directory.
- Deploy the D2C agent in a clean state.
You cannot ‘attach’ to any existing data for this protected system on the vault, and the system will be treated as an additional net-new endpoint for billing purposes.
Note: Conversion of a Direct-to-Cloud endpoint on the vault "back" to an appliance is also not yet supported. This functionality will be provided soon, in a later release.
Replace other backup solutions
Axcient x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud has been specifically engineered to help partners consolidate their backup and disaster recovery services onto a single platform, allowing migration away from other third party backup solutions.
Our goal is to make switching to x360Recover as painless as possible, streamlining your business operations down to a single vendor.
Painless transitional deployments
The Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) agent has been specifically tested and is verified as ready to coexist with a wide variety of third party backup solutions during a transition period.
- The D2C agent can be installed alongside your existing backup solution, allowing both products to perform backups in parallel while you transition from one product to the other.
- The D2C agent does not require any reboot of the system during install or uninstall and does not deploy any Volume Shadowcopy Services components that might conflict with other vendor’s software.
Scheduling: If you choose to deploy D2C agents side by side with your existing backup solution, we recommend that you arrange backup schedules that do not overlap.
For example, configure your existing solution to only perform backups during business hours, and then configure the D2C agent to perform backups after hours. This will ensure that regular backups of your protected systems continue to take place while the initial full backup is being transferred to the Cloud by our agent. Once the initial full backup completes, disable and remove your legacy backup solution and configure the D2C agent to take regular backups during business hours.
'Rip and replace' deployments
To shorten the transitional phase (when systems are being protected by another product), you may remove your current solution up front when deploying our D2C agent and configure the backup to operate 24/7.
For many protected systems with typical data sizes and Internet speeds, a long weekend is sufficient to complete the initial full backup to the cloud. Subsequent incremental backups are very light and efficient. This means deploying the D2C agent toward the end of the work week and then arranging for the devices to be left on continuously over the weekend is a good way to get your endpoints up to the cloud quickly for continuous protection.
Axcient Support is available to assist you with problems you might be experiencing 24/5 (with 24/7 support for critical disaster recovery issues), but here are some tips to make DIY troubleshooting easier.
How do I troubleshoot Direct-to-Cloud backup issues?
STEP 1. Check the status of the particular backup job
From the vault, visit the Jobs -> Backup page to see the status of your Direct-to-Cloud backup jobs.
Often, this job list contains many entries and you’d like to identify specific running, hung, or failed jobs. You can enter ‘Complete’, ‘Running’, ‘Missed’, ‘Failed’, or ‘Paused’ into the search field to highlight one of those categories.
- To select multiple job types in a single search, separate your entries with a ‘|’ (Pipe) character.
For example, ‘Running|Paused’ will display all active jobs that have not already completed or otherwise failed
- If a job has failed, the vault records the final failure message provided by the agent. If you search for Failed jobs, you can move the mouse over the Failure status icon to bring up the failure details in a tooltip dialog.
STEP 2. Review the agent log file
For a more granular view of agent status and troubleshooting details, examine the agent log file on the protected system. The agent log file (aristos.log) is in the agent installation folder on the endpoint.
STEP 3. Run our Analysis Tool
Many of the most common reasons for backup failures are well known and can be tested for by our Analysis Tool.
- From the Protected Systems Details page, click the icon to launch the Analysis Tool.
- Check all the available tests and click Run to send the job to the agent.
- Optionally, if you have an open ticket number with our support team, enter this ticket number in the Analysis Tool popup to have the results automatically attached to the ticket.
- You can monitor the Analysis Tool job progress from the Jobs -> Agent page.
- When done, you may download the results as a zip file from this page. Inside the zip file will be many files containing detailed results of the various tests, but the end result is summed up in the ‘Problems.txt’ file.
How do I handle interrupted backups and inconsiderate users?
What happens when your backups are interrupted, devices are rebooted, or users shut down their systems after business hours?
The D2C agent has a robust design which handles intermittent connectivity and device availability, even during the initial full backup phase.
Typically, interrupted backups are simply resumed where they left off, but every block of data committed to the Cloud vault updates a hash file on the vault. If the previous backup attempt failed and the full backup was not yet completed, this hash file is downloaded at the start of the next backup cycle. This ensures that the agent will be aware of all data previously sent, and no duplicate data will need to be sent again to the Cloud.
How do I check to see if my initial full backup is making progress?
During the initial full backup, if your protected system contains a very large amount of data, you may question whether the backup job is actually making progress.
During long-running jobs, the agent updates its log file (aristos.log in the Agent installation folder) with progress statistics every 5 minutes.
Open the log file and scroll down near the end to locate the latest update. This will specify the volume uuid, drive letter, and completed / total GB for each volume being backed up to the Cloud.