Supported hardware configurations and solutions - x360Recover

x360Recover BDR

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at July 26th, 2022

The following information is designed to help you make decisions  - before you begin working with x360Recover. 

Supported protected system configurations

Supported Operating Systems 

  • Server 2003 R2 *
  • Server 2003 R2 64-bit *
  • Server 2008 32/64 bit SP2 *
  • Server 2008 R2 64-bit  SP1 *
  • Server 2008 R2 *
  • Server 2012
  • Server 2012 R2
  • Server 2016
  • Server 2019
  • Server 2022 
  • Windows 11
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 * 
  • Windows 7 * 

 * Windows 7 and Microsoft Server 2003/2008 systems are deprecated and end-of-life.  Although x360Recover is able to perform backups for these operating systems, support is limited to basic troubleshooting and diagnostics. 

 Supported Filesystems 

  • Microsoft NTFS 
  • Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVFS)**
 ** Requires Agent 2.24+ and Appliance 9.0.0+

Supported Networking

  • 1G Network Adapters and Switches
  • 10G Network Adapters and Switches 

 Supported DR Recovery Mechanisms

  • Bare-Metal Restore
  • Virtual Disk Export
  • iSCSI
  • Direct Virtualization

Supported Application Aware Backups

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft Exchange 2007 
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange 2016
  • Microsoft Exchange 2019
  • Microsoft Exchange DAG Groups **
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2016
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2017
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2019
  • Oracle Database versions with Oracle VSS Writer installed
  • Other third-party Database software with their own VSS writer services

 ** Only the Active Cluster member in the DAG group will receive a VSS-aware backup of the message store. Passive cluster members will receive a crash-consistent backup.  (This is a Microsoft limitation of the Exchange VSS Writer.)

Supported Virtual Disk Formats

  • VMDK (VMware ESX/ESXi 3.x-6.x)
  • VMDK (VMware Workstation / Fusion)
  • VHD (Microsoft Hyper-V Gen-1 / Xen)
  • VHDX (Microsoft Hyper-V Gen-2)
  • VDI (VirtualBox)
  • RAW (KVM)

Minimum hardware recommendations

x360Recover does not require you to purchase proprietary hardware. You can choose your own hardware if it meets the minimum hardware requirements; however, the hardware you choose must be compatible with Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). Current versions of x360Recover ship an updated kernel, so please consult the Ubuntu 16.04 compatibility column in the following links.

The following links will assist you in determining whether or not the hardware you want to use will support Linux.


x360Recover minimum recommended hardware configuration:

OS: 8GB RAM, 4 Cores minimum recommended for 1-5 protected systems

Backing up more than 5 Servers:

  • For every additional 5 Protected Systems (production servers being backed up), x360Recover requires 4 more GB's RAM and 2 more cores.
  • Example: To backup 6-10 servers, x360Recover requires a minimum of 12 GB RAM and 6 cores.

Add the additional memory needed to support running the protected systems as virtual machines.

  • Example: 2 protected systems that normally run with 4GB of RAM would need the standard 8GB of RAM plus 8GB of RAM for virtualization so a total of 16GB. 
  • It is highly recommended to use ECC RAM for data protection and performance.

Machine must have at least three hard drives:

 Three physical hard drives are required as a minimum: 

  • One drive must be dedicated to the operating system. A minimum of 100 GBs is needed for the OS drive, but use of a 256 GB M.2 is recommended. NVMe is supported with x360Recover v8.2.3 and above
  • The remaining two or more drives must be used for storage in a RAID1, RAID5 or RAID6 set.
  • x360Recover uses a software RAID. If your BDR has a hardware RAID controller it must be set to a RAID0 or JBOD configuration. Some RAID controllers may not be supported.

Please note: Nightly Boot VM Checks are enabled by default and require an additional 2 GB of RAM and 2 available CPU cores to perform. 

Minimum Recommendations    

Compatability

  • Must be compatible with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial)

  • 64-bit OS 

Hard Drives

SMR-based hard drives are not suitable as x360Recover storage devices**

Three physical hard drives are required as a minimum:

  • One drive must be dedicated to the operating system. A minimum of 100 GBs is needed for the OS drive, but use of a 256 GB M.2 is recommended. NVMe is supported with x360Recover v8.2.3 and above
  • The remaining two or more drives must be used for storage in a RAID1, RAID5 or RAID6 set.

  • x360Recover uses a software RAID. If your BDR has a hardware RAID controller it must be set to a RAID0 or JBOD configuration. Some RAID controllers may not be supported.
Requirements to Back Up 1-5 Protected Systems:
  • 8 GB RAM*

  • 4 cores*

Requirements to Back Up 6+ Protected Systems:

For every 5 additional Protected Systems, we recommend an additional 4 GB RAM and an additional 2 cores.

  • For example, to protect 6-10 Protected Systems you will need at least 12 GB RAM* and 6 cores*
Virtual Machine Requirements:

If you are planning to run Protected Systems as Virtual Machines for instant recovery, we recommend these additional requirements:

    • Processor must support hardware assisted virtualization:
    • Intel VT
    • AMD-V
      Note: VMware ESXi 5.5+ supports only Intel processors for Nested Virtualization

Include additional RAM and CPU cores: 

  • Double the RAM requirements outlined above
  • We recommend ECC RAM
  • Boot VM checks are enabled by default and require an additional 2GB of RAM and 2 available CPU cores to perform
Additional Considerations:
  • Hybrid Software/Hardware RAID controllers are not supported
  • We highly recommend installing on bare metal
  • Microsoft Volume Shadowcopy Service (VSS) requires sufficient free space on the disk to maintain changed data during backup operations. We recommend maintaining at least 10% free space on each drive volume to ensure sufficient free space is available to backup the system.

 * Represents minimum recommended resources


** SMR Hard Drives

Shingled magnetic recording (SMR) is a hard drive storage technology that improves data density and storage capacity on disk, at the expense of write performance.  SMR drives achieve high storage density by overlapping tracks of data slightly on top of neighboring tracks.  The underlying storage mechanism writes entire tracks in a high density fashion that is not conducive to the random write patterns associated with the native copy-on-write functionality of ZFS.  Severe performance limitations have been observed with x360Recover when employing SMR-based hard drives, and these storage devices are not recommended for use with x360Recover. 


Firewall ports (inbound)

This article describes inbound firewall ports and public NAT mappings required by x360Recover.

  • No inbound ports from the internet need to be opened at a customer location for appliances.  
  • Appliances connect to the Cloud and establish secure tunnel services for remote access via Management Portal (Legacy) or x360Recover Manager.

For details on securing outbound communications, refer to this article.

Management Portal (Legacy)

The following inbound TCP ports must be NAT mapped and allowed to access the Management Portal:

  • 22 SSH
  • 80 (HTTP is redirected to HTTPS)
  • 443 (HTTPS)
  • 10,000-10,000+N* (Remote Management)
  • 20000-20000 + N* (Axcient Remote Assist)

*Where N is the number of appliances and vaults communicating with the Management Portal.

Vault

The following inbound TCP ports must be NAT’d to the vault:

  • 80 (HTTP is redirected to HTTPS)
  • 443 (HTTPS)
  • 9079 (Endpoint Manager)
  • 9080 (Vault Transfer Service – Legacy)
  • 9081 (Vault Transfer Service – VT2)
  • 9082 (Cloudserver) 
  • 9083 (Disaster Recovery Access Layer)
  • 9090 (Backup Manager)

Appliance

The following TCP ports  must be open between the x360Recover backup agent and the appliance:  (Usually this only needs to be done if the backup agent and the appliance have a firewall between them.)

  • 9090-9200 (Cloudserver)
  • 15000-15999 (VNC Terminal Access)
  • 860 and 3260 (iSCSI connections to appliance)

Note:

The following outbound TCP ports are available on Axcient-hosted Management Portals and vaults for email delivery of alerts and reporting

  • 465, 587 (ssh/tls) for outbound smtp traffic

Timeouts

Some firewalls/routers have very low TCP timeout settings by default. These can affect long-lived TCP connections such as the connection between the appliances and vaults to the Management Portal. Always set TCP timeout settings for all x360Recover services to the maximum allowable on the device. 

To increase the TCP timeout setting on SonicWall firewalls:

  • Login to your Sonicwall device
  • Go to the top-level menu item “Firewall”
  • Choose “TCP Settings”
  • Change the “Default TCP Connection Timeout” from its default value of 15 minutes to 720 minutes

Firewall ports (outbound)


Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) agent requirements

The x360Recover Direct to Cloud agent requires the following firewall ports to be open for outbound communications on the internet:

TCP 80 (http)
TCP 443 (https)
TCP 9079 (Endpoint Manager)
TCP 9082 (Cloudserver)
TCP 9083 (Disaster Recovery Access Layer - DRAL )
TCP 9090 (Backup Manager)

Note: The list of IP addresses within our datacenter to which the agent must communicate is dynamic and subject to change


Recovery Center requirements

Recovery Center requires the following ports to be open:

  • TCP/443 (https) to the vault (or appliance) holding the data to be recovered
  • TCP/443 (https) to api.axcient.net   
  • TCP/9083 (Disaster Recovery Access Layer [DRAL]) to the Axcient Scale-Out Cloud storage node 
  • Please refer to Axcient Cloud IP addresses and application port ranges 



Common requirements for appliances and vaults

All x360Recover devices must be able to communicate with the following destinations and ports:  


     Distributed Tunnel Service
  • TCP/2222 - rb-prd-slcflow.slc.efscloud.net 

x360Recover License Portal

 

Cloud Key Management Services

  • TCP/443 (https) – Used to access API endpoints 
  • URL: appliances.efscloud.net
  • IP(s): 143.204.29.2/143.204.29.74/143.204.29.16/143.204.29.87
    Note: IP addresses subject to change
 

Telemetry Services

The  x360Recover telemetry service utilizes a highly-dispersed cloud data provider with a large list of volatile IP addresses.  A list of the current IP addresses in use can be found here

 

Update Manager

  • TCP/80 (http) - Used for package downloads and version updates
  • TCP/443 (https) - Used for package downloads and version updates
  • URL(s): pkgmgrrepo.replibit.net
  • IP(s): highly volatile (Amazon AWS S3 service)
 

Update Repository

  • TCP/443 (https) – Used for software updates and custom package distribution
  • URL: download.slc.efscloud.net
  • IP: 198.73.17.62
 

Ubuntu Package Mirror

  • URL: rb-mirror.slc.efscloud.net
  • IP: 198.73.17.51

Appliance requirements

The x360Recover appliance is typically deployed on the same LAN as the protected systems it is servicing. This means NO inbound firewall rules are generally required. (The appliance has its own internal firewall restricting inbound traffic at the device level.)

However, if you have deployed a firewall between your protected systems and your appliance, the following ports need to be accessible:

Inbound traffic
  • TCP/80 (http) – (Optional) Used only for redirection to port 443 (https)
  • TCP/443 (https) – Used for accessing the user interface and API endpoints of the device
  • TCP/860 (iscsi) – Used for accessing iSCSI targets exported by the device
  • TCP/3260 (iscsi) – Used for iSCSI discovery when accessing targets exported by the device
  • TCP/9090-10100 (agent) – Used by the x360Recover agent for data transfers during backups
  • TCP/15000-15999 – Randomly assigned port range for VNC console connections to running VM’s

Outbound traffic

In addition to the common network ports listed at the top of this article, the x360Recover appliance requires the following ports and destinations to be accessible:

 Management Portal 

Appliances must be able to communicate with the management portal on the following ports:

  • TCP/22 (ssh) – Used to establish secure tunnel for remote management and Remote Assist
  • TCP/443 (https) – Used for accessing API endpoints

 Vault 

Appliances must be able to communicate with all Vaults configured for Replication

  • TCP/443 (https) – Used for accessing API endpoints
  • TCP/9080 (vt1) – Legacy vault transfer client
  • TCP/9081 (vt2) – Enhanced vault transfer client

 Scale-Out Cloud 

Appliances must be able to communicate with all available Scale-Out Cloud storage nodes within the configured data center.  The URLs and IP addresses of the Scale-Out Cloud are dynamic and subject to change as nodes are added over time.

  • TCP/9081 (vt2) – Enhanced vault transfer client

Vault requirements

Most partners use Axcient-hosted cloud vaults, in which case all network security is fully managed by the Axcient cloud engineering team.

However, if you are self-hosting some or all of your vaults, refer to the following when configuring your firewall rules:

Inbound traffic
  • TCP/80 (http) – (Optional) Used only for redirection to port 443 (https)
  • TCP/443 (https) – Used for accessing API endpoints
  • TCP/9080 (vt1) – Legacy vault transfer client
  • TCP/9081 (vt2) – Enhanced vault transfer client 
Outbound traffic

In addition to the common network ports listed at the beginning of this article, the vault requires the following ports and destinations to be accessible:

 Management Portal 

Vaults must be able to communicate with the Management Portal on the following ports:

  • TCP/22 (ssh) – Used to establish secure tunnel for remote management and Remote Assist
  • TCP/443 (https) – Used for accessing API endpoints

Supported operating systems for Recovery Center

Please refer to the full article here: Recovery Center

Recovery Center is a stand-alone application for Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) protected systems which allows you to recover data directly from the Axcient Cloud or Private Cloud, with or without a local cache device.

A note on operating systems: Any x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud (D2C) protected system (regardless of OS version) may be recovered using Recovery Center.

Supported operating systems for running Recovery Center include:

  • Server 2008 R2 
  • Server 2012
  • Server 2012 R2
  • Server 2016
  • Server 2019
  • Server 2022
  • Windows 11 64-bit
  • Windows 10 64-bit
  • Windows 8 64-bit

Note: Recovery Center installation is not supported on a Windows domain controller.


Do’s and Don’ts

  • Installing additional packages commonly available within the Ubuntu package repository is generally considered safe, as such packages are tested extensively by Canonical and the Ubuntu community.
  • Installation of additional third party packages and software should only be done if a genuine need for the software is demonstrated, and limited in scope to the bare minimum number of changes from the default environment to reduce the risk of impacting the product.
  • Installing any package or software component that requires configuration of additional package repositories is unsafe and will most likely block your devices from Ubuntu OS-level upgrades. 
  • Likewise, installing any software from source code and compiling it onto the environment is highly likely to cause issues later during Ubuntu OS upgrades and should be avoided.
  • Axcient does not recommend installing any Antivirus engine directly onto the BDR device, as several AV products have been shown to interfere with x360Recover software updates and the internal workings of the product.  

Third party software

The x360Recover platform provides for a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) model to allow the maximum flexibility in choosing or re-using a wide range of hardware devices. 

Along with this BYOD model comes a level of access to the BDR operating environment not typical of other solutions.  This presents the ability for partners to install their own customized software solutions onto the BDR.

Installation of third party software onto your x360Recover BDR devices is unsupported by Axcient.  Any such installations are undertaken at the risk of the partner and should be thoroughly tested before widespread deployment to your fleet.

Axcient performs extensive quality and regression testing around all aspects of the platform, but only with the default software configuration employed.  Adding additional software components can have unexpected consequences and may impair the operation of your devices.

Advanced Format Disks (AFD)

Please refer to the full article here: Recover protected systems with 4K AF drive

Support for protected systems with Advanced Format Disks (Native 4K block size.): 

  • Backup of protected systems with 4K drives requires agent version 2.25 and newer.
  • Recovery of protected system data requires x360Recover version 10.1.0+. (Backups made with Agent 2.25 on older appliance version will be recoverable once the appliance is upgraded.)
  • Limited recovery operations for protected systems using 4K disks is currently available (Only Mount, iSCSI, and Bare Metal Recovery.)
  • Full recovery operations for protected systems using 4K disks is currently available in Recover 10.8.0 and newer 

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR)

x360Recover currently does not support bare metal recovery onto systems that utilize Windows-Only Drivers. These are typically embedded motherboard RAID controllers on very low-end servers or mid-range workstation devices. Examples of unsupported controllers include the Dell PERC S3xx series, Intel Cxxx controllers, and HP SmartArray B120/B320, as well as most white-box motherboard RAID controllers. These controllers are supported only in SATA/ATA Mode, not RAID Mode. Recovery options back to a physical server using one of these controllers is limited.  You may either disable the ‘Fake’ RAID controller and revert to standard SATA mode, or alternatively you can load Windows on the physical hardware in Hyper-V mode and recover the system as a Hyper-V guest.

Virtualization

In general, any supported operating system that can successfully be backed up by x360Recover can be virtualized, including both legacy MBR-BIOS based systems, and newer EFI-BIOS based systems.

Deployment as a virtual machine

Limited support is available for deploying a x360Recover device as a virtual machine. 

Axcient Support will provide support for x360Recover-specific problems only.  Support for troubleshooting of performance, deployment, configuration, or other issues related to the hypervisor layer is not available. 

x360Recover virtual machines are supported under the following requirements: 


Hyper-V

Hyper-V host must support nested virtualization which requires either

  • Windows Server 2016 or newer | Intel processor with VT-x and EPT

OR

  • Windows Server 2022 | AMD EPYC/Ryzen processor or later

Hyper-V guest VM requires

  • 12GB minimum 
  • 2 cores CPU minimum
  • Configured as Generation-2 (EFI-BIOS)
  • Secure Boot should be disabled for the guest VM

Additional Hyper-V requirements:

  • x360Recover 10.5.0 or higher

Full instructions on how to deploy x360Recover as a Hyper-V virtual machine are here:


VMware

  • VMware ESXi 5.5 or newer
  • Intel CPUs only
  • Virtual machines must have CPU-enabled passthrough of Intel VT
  • 12GB RAM minimum
  • 4 CPU cores minimum
  • E1000 or VMXNET3 network adapter
  • VMware Tools installed (Recommended)

Full instructions on how to deploy x360Recover as a VMware virtual machine are here:


Axcient does not perform rigorous testing of virtual deployments across a wide range of hypervisor major and minor releases.  Issues encountered related to specific builds and releases of VMware are beyond the scope of Axcient Support troubleshooting and assistance.

IMPORTANT:  Axcient x360Recover does not recommend deploying a virtual appliance to the same hypervisor hosts or storage pools as your production servers, as this provides no redundancy between your production systems and backup platform.  Be aware that deploying x360Recover as a virtual appliance may have performance limitations compared to deploying on bare metal. 

- - - - - - - -


Unsupported hardware configurations for x360Recover devices

  • SMR-based hard drives are not suitable as x360Recover storage devices. Shingled magnetic recording (SMR) is a hard drive storage technology that improves data density and storage capacity on disk, at the expense of write performance.  Severe performance limitations have been observed with x360Recover when employing SMR-based hard drives, and these storage devices are not recommended for use with x360Recover. 
  • Single-disk installations from a x360Recover appliance or vault (where both the operating system and customer data co-exist on a single drive) are NOT supported for Bring-Your-Own Hardware (BYOD) solutions.
  • BYOD solutions are supported only for systems with at least 2 disks: one for the operating system and a separate disk for data.
  • It is HIGHLY recommended that you build your BYOD systems with at least 4 disks: one disk for the operating system, and at least 3 disks for your data pool in a RAID configuration to provide redundancy.
  • External SAN storage connected at less than 4 Gigabits (i.e. iSCSI onver 1Gig Ethernet) is not supported.
  • Baking up remote devices to an appliance over WAN or VPN connections is currently unsupported. It is recommended to deploy a Direct to Cloud agent to a vault to accomplish this scenario. 

Unsupported networking configurations

Backing up remote devices to an appliance over WAN or VPN connections is currently unsupported. 

To back up protected systems which are remote from the on-site appliance, we recommended deploying the agent in Direct-to-Cloud mode and performing backups directly to the vault. 

For details on deploying the Direct-to-Cloud agent, refer to the following articles:


Unsupported protected system configurations

Unsupported Operating Systems

  • Windows XP
  • Server 2003 (Non-R2)
  • Server 2000
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Other Non-Windows Operating Systems

Unsupported Networking

  • 10/100 Network Adapters and Switches *
  • 1G iSCSI Storage Adapters

 * Image-based backup and recovery can be a network-intensive operation.  x360Recover  does not recommend deployment on networks slower than 1Gigabit between the BDR and the protected system.

Unsupported Filesystems

  • NAS (Network-Attached Storage) volumes
  • Fat/Fat32 - Limited support is available for systems with MBR (basic) formatted system volumes where the the system reserved (boot) partition is formatted as FAT/FAT32.  The FAT/FAT32 boot partition will be protected and the system will be bootable on agent version 2.34 or newer 
  • ReFS
  • Non-Windows File systems 

Unsupported Applications

  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 and earlier
  • Microsoft SQL 2000 and earlier
  • Third-party database servers without VSS Writer services  


 


 


SUPPORT | 720-204-4500 | 800-352-0248

  • To learn more about any of our Axcient products,  sign up for free one-on-one training.
  • Please contact your Partner Success Manager or Support if you have specific technical questions.
  • Subscribe to the Axcient Status page for a list of status updates and scheduled maintenance.

Last updated 7.15.22                                                                     255  |  633 |  750 | 859 |  989  |  1014  |  1236 | 1237|  1247