Tag: backup

Office 365 and the backup/data loss conundrum

With GDPR on the horizon and many organisations rapidly moving to Office 365, Azure services, Skype for Business and SharePoint online it seems many are not 100% clear on the distinction of responsiblities between their organisation and Microsoft themselves.

The plain bare fact is that YOU and your organisation are responsible for your data. All of it. Not Microsoft, sure they provide the service and there are SLA’s associated with those services – but those SLA’s can still be met if even if all your data was maliciously or accidentally erased i.e. the service is still running (even though all your data is gone!).

Microsoft are not responsible for backup or restore of your data.

Again, you might say there is 30 days backup for Office365 and 14 days for SharePoint online – but this only provides a limited amount of protection against data loss. Believe it or not any restore requirements are on a best effort from Microsoft as oppsed to tied to a distinct SLA. As with all cloud services, functionality and features continually change and evolve, a good thing generally BUT when talking about backup/restore and data loss this uncertainty around continual change represents a significant risk to your critical data.

Granular restore of a specific document in SharePoint online? Forget it, it’s either the whole Site Collection (yes, everything!) or nothing.

What to do about it?

First the DON’T: Don’t rely upon Recycle Bins & Version control; Don’t rely upon Microsoft Support; Don’t wait for a best effort restore that might wipe more recent data

Much like the traditional backup method > to tape, offsite storage, cyclical backup procedure, testing restores you need an equivalent plan for your data stored in:

  • Office 365
  • Azure VMs
  • SharePoint Online
  • Skype for Business
  • Onedrive
  • and more

You need a service that backs up your data reliably & efficiently, that has SLAs associated with it and allows easy granular data based restores as & when needed. Here are some BaaS options:

KeepIt – www.keepit.com – Simple setup cloud to cloud backup storage; backup Office 365 or G-suite; Easy to restore

Metalogix Essentials – www.metalogix.com – Migration and backup/restore for Office 365

CloudAlly – www.cloudally.com – Office 365 backup within a few clicks; Non-destructive Restore

AvePoint – www.avepoint.com – DocAve has been backing up SharePoint before cloud was a thing; Now they do Cloud; It’s a good thing

Skykick – www.skykick.com – SharePoint & Onedrive backup; Fast search; One-click Restore

There are more options of course.

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Magic a Fujitsu Celvin Q802 into a QNAP TS-469 Pro

Welcome fellow NAS enthusiasts.

A Fujitsu Celvin Q802 (much like previous Celvin models) is simply a rebranded QNAP model with a firmware modification. In this instance the Fujitsu firmware limits some of the features of the equivalent QNAP firmware such as the HDMI out found on TS-x69 models.

First of all confirm that you do indeed have a Q802 in your posession, the back ports layout should be exactly as this:

Rear of Q802/TS-469
Rear of Q802/TS-469

Notice the HDMI out port at top and the USB3 and USB2 ports. The front of your NAS will also have an LCD config/notification screen. This all confirms you have the right model.

OK, before you begin you need some tools to get going:

Run the Universal-USB-Installer-1.9.5.5.exe progamme, there is no need to install it just click ‘I Agree‘ on the EULA. Then do the following:

  • Step 1 From the drop down list choose ‘Precise Puppy‘ under the Puppy Linux section
  • Step 2 Browse to the local file ‘precise-5.7.1.iso
  • Step 3 Make sure you select the correct USB Drive letter (very important!), select the Format box too
  • Finally click create, this creates the USB Linux OS boot drive for you

Don’t remove the USB stick just yet.

  • Copy the ‘F_TS-469_20140516-1.2.8.img‘ firmware file to the USB stick
  • On the USB stick rename the firmware file you just copied to simply ‘dom.img
  • Now you can safely eject the USB stick from your computer

Pick up the USB stick and take it to your NAS drive.

  • Ensure the NAS is switched off
  • Ensure you have removed ALL disk drives from your NAS.
  • Plug in the keyboard, mouse and attach the monitor to the VGA port.
  • Plug in a network cable, ensure your router will allocate a DHCP address
  • Plug in the USB stick to any of the available USB 2.0 ports on the back (2 of them should be in use by your keyb/mouse)

Switch on your NAS and allow it to boot into Precise Puppy, wait a few minutes. Once in the GUI the fun really starts.

Close off any windows that pop up by clicking OK/Kill until you can see the Puppy desktop. Don’t worry about localisation settings.

Locate the console/terminal icon in top left of Puppy desktop. Double click it to launch a terminal shell session.

REMEMBER: You may need to turn off Num Lock as it is enabled in the NAS BIOS by default!

Type in these commands at the shell prompt:

sudo su

fdisk -l

Look at the list of drives displayed, your USB stick will be SDB (/dev/sdb) and the NAS Local Flash Storage will be SDA (/dev/sda). YOUR USB may use a different mount point e.g. /DEV/SDB1 or SDB2 etc.! We will confirm this in the following step, first you need to create a new folder, do this:

mkdir usbdrive (this creates a new folder in /root called ‘usbdrive’)

mount /dev/sdb /root/usbdrive (this mounts your USB stick to the usbdrive folder we created)

cd /root/usbdrive (changes directory to the usbdrive directory)

type in ls to list directory and confirm you can see dom.img in the list. If you can then SDB is definitely your USB stick and SDA is your NAS local storage drive. Only if you cannot see dom.img or any contents of you USB stick then the drives are the other way around. Shutdown, boot up again and reverse the volumes in the instructions above.

Finally you need to copy dom.img to the NAS local storage drive, type in this command:

cp dom.img /dev/sda (copies dom.img to the NAS local storage)

That’s it. Shut down your NAS. Before you boot it back up, first REMOVE THE USB DRIVE, then start your NAS and see if it takes the firmware. On the monitor, after the BIOS screen you should see 1 or 2 single digits on the top left. Shortly after you should see the screen as below and hear some beeps:

qnap boot screen
qnap boot screen

The LCD screen should show ‘Ready for Test Ver 1.2.8‘ and eventually on the desktop monitor display you are prompted with a login screen (admin/admin if you really want to!). At this point the fan will be very noisy, ignore it.

Don’t panic if nothing happens. You might have to do the whole copy dom.img file process again. It didn’t work until my 3rd attempt. Don’t ask me why!

Once you have the factory firmware 1.2.8 running and can see the logon prompt place a SINGLE hard disk drive into HDD1 caddy (yes, its fine if you do it hot!).

You can now move to your computer. Download and install QNAPQfinderWindows-4.2.1.0722.exe or if you wish get the latest version from http://www.qnap.com/v3/uk/product_x_down/product_down_cat.php?csn=4&p_cat=1.

Additionally from the official QNAP support page for the TS-469 download a slightly older non-factory firmware, I downloaded TS-469_20130816-3.8.4.img to my local disk. I know other people have tried direct to firmware 4.1.0 with success, so you may wish to try that directly. I was being extra cautious in my procedure. We will use the Qfinder or Web Interface to install the firmware update.

Launch QNAP finder and let it locate your NAS drive.

Screenshot_1

Please IGNORE the pop-up prompt to update to latest version 4.x of firmware, we’re going to take a gradual approach [Please see Update below].

Notice as a curiosity that the MAC address shows up as 00-00-00-00-00-00. NOTE: This may be just my own setup, because the same network card/MAC was previosuly part of my home network while this NAS was still a Celvin Q802; it was setup as a DHCP port reservation on a .11 address.

Complete the basic configuration as prompted, I chose the manual setup, gave my NAS a new name (CONQUEROR) & and left it as JBOD single disk. Once these initial tasks were complete I tried to update the firmware from QFinder but it repeatedly failed and the connectivity was unstable for an unknown reason. I switched to the browser interface (how? right click on your NAS in QFinder and choose the browser option! OR browse directly to http://your_NAS’s_IP/:8000) , chose System Settings > Firmware Update, I selected Browse… and browsed to my local copy of the 3.8.4 firmware file ‘TS-469_20130816-3.8.4.img‘ and selected ‘Update System‘. You can see the progress below:

Screenshot_8

It completed succesfully and the NAS rebooted. It took a while so be patient, but now the NAS was in a supported steady state and the connection via QFinder was far more stable. The fan also stopped being so LOUD, and the front LCD panel showed the normal information (NAS name, IP etc.). The correct MAC was also now displayed in QFinder.

My final step was actually to accept the pop-up prompt to update the Firmware via QFinder to version 4.1.0, which it downloaded itself and applied to the NAS. After a reboot I was now running firmware 4.1.0 and the full QnapTurboStation.

I slammed in my other 3 SATA HDDs into slots 2,3 and 4. Then I configured my storage as I wanted. All done and happy!

I’ve currently downloaded HD Station (XMBC and Chrome) and will experiment further.

I’ve carved out a storage chunk for my own data (tonnes of Technet ISOs, Movies, Music and CBTs/Tutorials) and a significant chunk as an iSCSI target for my 2 vSphere boxes.

Update

You can actually update the firmware to the latest version once your QFinder locates your NAS and advises via the prompt to update to the latest firmware (even though I said to cancel the prompt). The issue that remains is that the DISK firmware is then out of sync with the NAS firmware. Once you have succesfully applied the latest firmware once, you will actually need to apply it AGAIN once you have all your disks back into the drive bays. This updates the DISK firmware to match the NAS. You will continue to get warnings in the web interface about the firmware mismatch until you do this.

 

 

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