Altaro VM Backup Setup Step-by-Step

Altaro VM Backup

Altaro VM Backup is a company who offers a backup solution for small to medium sized businesses and have been around for a while that started out offering backup software for Hyper-V, but has now expanded to VMware as well. Altaro asked if I would be interested in trying for free as part of the vExpert program in my home lab.

I help out a few small companies here in town so having another backup solution to possibly suggest certainly wouldn’t hurt, so I decided to give it a try and below are my steps to setting it up and thoughts about the software so far.

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How to run Crashplan in Docker on Synology NAS

Crashplan running in Docker on Synology

I am a huge fan of CrashPlan and have been using it for years on my Synology NAS using this install guide I wrote up some time ago.

Admittedly the process in the old guide wasn’t always roses. Crashplan would push out an update and that update would, at times, break the Synology Crashplan client from PC Load Letter and backups would stop running for a couple days – maybe a week. Patters being the awesome guy he is, usually updated his Synology Crashplan package quickly and all was good again.

Then last year in DSM 5.2, Synology added support for Docker which opened up the possibility to run all sorts of software in a virtual container running on your Synology NAS. One such software being Crashplan and below I’m going to show how I now have Crashplan running in Docker on my Synology DS1815+ NAS!

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Another CBT bug found in VMware ESXi 6.0

VMware

VMware just published KB 2136854 regarding a new bug found in ESXi 6.0 that causes virtual machine backups, which use Changed Block Tracking (CBT), to be inconsistent. VMware says the cause of the issue is this:

This issue occurs due to an issue with CBT in the disklib area, this causes the change tracking information of I/Os that occur during snapshot consolidation to be lost. The main backup payload data is never lost and it is always written to the backend device. However, the corresponding change tracking information entries which occur during the consolidation task are missed. Subsequent QueryDiskChangedAreas() calls do not include these missed blocks, hence a backup based on this CBT data is inconsistent.

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How to install CrashPlan on Synology Diskstation

CrashPlan Backup

A little while ago I posted several ways to improve the security on your Synology NAS and was recently asked about how to install CrashPlan on a Synology NAS. Synology doesn’t have it’s own pre-built package available, but luckily PC Load Letter from the Synology community has stepped up and made a Synology package that works beautifully – the only downside is his instructions are a bit dated and I found harder than they needed to be.

If you don’t already have a CrashPlan account, go ahead and sign up now.

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Restore a VM using the {vm}-flat.vmdk file

  • VMware
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missing vmdk file error

A couple days ago I was asked the question “An admin deleted the vmdk file associated with a VM, there are no snapshots or backups of the VM . Can we restore this VM somehow?“. I believe in backups, I like to have my VM’s backed up so that I can depend on them for events just like this very issue. At first I was stumped, until the {vm-name}.flat.vmdk was mentioned. That’s when I remembered a method to recover a VM using the vm-flat.vmdk file that I had actually done 2-3 years ago.

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