Axcient Help Center

Deploying a New BDR Appliance

Whether you ordered an Axcient Branded Replibit BDR Appliance or decided to use your own hardware, the next step is to connect and configure the Appliance for use. You will deploy an Appliance at each Customer Location to hold the backup data received from installed Agents, manage replication to the Cloud Vault, provide the Web interface for the local site, and host the virtual machine environment.

Role of the BDR Appliance

The Appliance is the core customer-facing component of the Replibit solution. You will deploy an Appliance at the Customer site to:

  • Hold the backup data received from installed Agents,

  • Manage replication to off-site Vaults,

  • Provide the Web interface for the local site, and

  • Host the virtual machine environment for local Disaster Recovery.

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Turning on a Replibit BDR Appliance

If you are using your own appliance hardware, plug in your Appliance and make sure it is connected to the Internet.

If you ordered a Replibit BDR Appliance, follow the instructions below to plug in and power on your Replibit BDR Appliance.

  1. Open the shipping case and remove the Appliance, the power cord, and the Ethernet connection cable.

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  2. Connect the power cable to the back of the Appliance and plug it into a power source.

    Connect one end of your network cable to the back of the Appliance and the other end to your network connection.

    Optionally, you can connect a keyboard and a monitor to the Appliance so that you can read and record the IP address from the Login screen after powering on your device.

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  3. Press the Power button to turn on your Appliance (as an example, the Replibit Mini BDR Appliance is pictured here).

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Configuring a New BDR Appliance

Whether you ordered a Replibit BDR Appliance or decided to use your own hardware, the next step is to configure the Appliance for use. These steps will differ depending on which Appliance option you selected.

BYOD Appliance Hardware Only: Pre-Installation Steps

If you are using your own Appliance hardware, also referred to as the BYOD option, you will need to download and install the Replibit software and create a bootable flash drive. The steps below reference the Linux Live USB Creator (or LiLi) software, but you can use your preferred USB-creation software.

Note

These steps are only required if you selected to use your own BYOD Appliance hardware.

If you ordered a Replibit BDR Appliance, you can skip these pre-installation steps.

  1. Navigate to the Replibit Downloads site and download the Replibit ISO file. You can download two different versions of the ISO: the original, standard ISO works with systems that support legacy BIOS; and the new EFI ISO that supports systems that boot using the new UEFI standard. Make sure you select the correct ISO link.

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  2. Navigate to the Linux Live USB Creator site (or your preferred USB-creator software site) and download and install the LiLi application.

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  3. When LiLi is installed, insert a USB drive into your computer.

  4. In the Step 1 section of the LiLi application, click the blue Refresh button and select your USB drive from the drop-down menu.

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  5. In the Step 2 section, click the ISO/IMG/ZIP icon and select the Replibit ISO file previously downloaded from the Replibit Downloads site. When the ISO is verified, you might notice an error message. You can safely ignore this message.

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  6. In the Step 4 section, select the Format the Key checkbox.

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  7. In the Step 5 section, click the lightningicon to create the bootable flash drive.

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BYOD Appliance Hardware Only: Installing the Replibit Software

When you have a bootable flash drive, you can begin installing the Replibit software.

Note

These steps are only required if you selected to use your own BYOD Appliance hardware.

If you ordered a Replibit BDR Appliance, you can skip these installation steps.

  1. Insert your USB drive into the BDR Appliance and power on the Appliance.

  2. When booting the Replibit OS, a message displays, prompting you to select an installation type.

  3. If you are setting up an Axcient-branded Nano device, select Nano. Otherwise, select Standard Replibit Installation.

  4. When the installation process is complete, you can remove your USB flash drive and click the Restart Now button to restart your machine.

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Configure Your Device as an Appliance

When your Appliance has the Replibit operating system software installed, you can begin the provisioning and configuration process. The Appliance must have Internet access to complete this process.

Note

If you ordered a preconfigured Replibit BDR Appliance, you can skip this step.

  1. Power on the Appliance.

  2. Record the IP address listed on the screen. If you do not see an IP address, wait a few minutes and them press the Enter key on your keyboard to refresh the screen. If you still do not see an IP address, visit the Knowledgebase for troubleshooting tips.

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  3. When you have recorded the correct IP address, open a browser on a different machine within the same network. Make sure your Appliance is turned on, because you will not be able to access this location when the Appliance is turned off.

  4. Click the Proceed button to continue.

  5. In the Setup Wizard, read the End User License Agreement (EULA) and select the I Accept the terms in the license agreement radio button.

  6. Click the I Agree button to continue.

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  7. In the next screen, click the First machine in Cluster radio button.

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  8. Click the Next button to continue.

  9. In the next screen, configure each Appliance password, including:

    1. The Linux RootUser password, which is the operating system super-user; this user requires a highly secure password,

    2. The Replibit User password, which is a limited access shell account, and

    3. The Admin (Web GUI) password, which is used to access the Web Interface and all Replibit features.

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  10. Click the Next button to continue.

  11. In the next screen, select the Appliance option to indicate this machine will serve as the Appliance.

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  12. Click the Next button.

  13. In the next screen, enter your reseller username and password and then click the Get Customers button. The screen expands, prompting you to select the Customer and Location where this Appliance will be deployed.

  14. In the Customer Username drop-down menu, select the appropriate Customer Username.

  15. In the Customer Location drop-down menu, select the appropriate Location. If the drop-down menu does not display a list of Customers and Locations, then you do not have Customers with unused Locations configured within the License Portal.

  16. Click the Next button when you are finished.

  17. In the next screen, use the Select Time Zone drop-down menu to select the time zone for the selected Location.

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  18. Click the Setup button when you are finished. The Appliance will complete the configuration process and reboot.

Logging In to the Appliance UI

When the Appliance is configured and ready to be used, you will be able to access the Appliance Web interface from any browser in the network. If you ordered a preconfigured Replibit BDR Appliance, you will be able to access the Appliance Web interface as soon as you turn on your Appliance. You will need to use the password you defined during the ordering process.

  1. With the Appliance turned on, type the IP address of your appliance into the address bar.

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  2. When prompted, type your Username (admin) and your Password and then click the Login button.

  3. In the Appliance Web interface, you can now manage settings and add a Storage Pool.

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Auto-Enable Remote Assist

When you first log in, a pop-up window displays, prompting you to configure the Auto-Enable Remote Assist feature. We highly recommend selecting Yes.

When you enable this feature, Remote Assist is automatically enabled for 7 days following an upgrade of the Replibit Software. Remote Assist allows Axcient Support to access your BDR devices without your intervention in order to perform troubleshooting tasks. Axcient monitors all BDR devices through Telemetry and attempts to proactively correct issues that might occur during updates.

Adding a Storage Pool

Unless you ordered a preconfigured BDR appliance, you will be prompted to create the Storage Pool when you first log in to the device.

  1. In the left-hand navigation menu, click Manage Storage.

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  2. In the Storage Pool page, click to expand the Storage Pool heading and then click to expand the Unused Disk(s) heading.

  3. Select the following settings:

    1. RAID level

    2. Compression level

    3. Disks

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  4. Click the Create Storage button when you are finished.

Best Practice: Storage Pool Settings

When setting up the Storage Pool, you will need to consider RAID level, Compression level, and disk selection.

Note

While you can expand the Storage Pool after initial configuration, the Storage Pool must be expanded by the same number of disks chosen during the initial setup, using the same RAID level.

RAID Level

Consider the following best practices when setting up RAID level for the Storage Pool:

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RAID-0 should never be used for production, as this option provides no redundancy. The loss of any disk in the Storage Pool will corrupt its data integrity.

For RAID-1, RAID-5 and RAID-6, one or more disks are reserved to store parity or redundancy information.

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RAID-1 requires a minimum of 2 disks. All disks in a RAID-1 set are mirror copies of the data, and the total usable data size is equivalent to the size of 1 disk. Note that it is possible to allocate more than 2 disks in a RAID-1 set, but not common practice.

A maximum of 1 disk can be lost within a RAID-1 set without losing Storage Pool data integrity.

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RAID-5 requires a minimum of 3 disks. In RAID-5, data is written across each disk in the set sequentially, with every 4th block being parity data. This distributes the data and parity information evenly across all disks in the set. The total usable space with RAID-5 is the total of all disks in the set, minus 1 disk of parity. For example, 3 disks that are each 2TB in RAID-5 yields 4TB.

A maximum of 1 disk can be lost within a RAID-5 set without losing Storage Pool data integrity.

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RAID-6 requires a minimum of 4 disks. In RAID-6, data is written across each disk in the set sequentially and parity data is stored using an advanced data guarding algorithm. This distributes the data and parity information evenly across all disks in the set. The total usable space with RAID-6 is the total of all disks in the set, minus 2 disks of parity. For example, 4 disks that are each 2TB in RAID-6 yields 4TB.

A maximum of 2 disks can be lost within a RAID-6 set without losing Storage Pool data integrity.

Note

Expansion of the Storage Pool is performed through spanning. With spanning, multiple RAID-1, RAID-5, or RAID-6 disk sets are expanded together by creating a RAID-0 set of RAID sets. This is sometimes referred to as RAID-10, RAID-50 or RAID-60. For more information, please reference our Knowledgebase.

Compression Level

Consider the following best practices when setting up Compression Level for the Storage Pool:

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LZ4 mode is recommended for all devices. LZ mode has slightly lower compression but higher performance.

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GZIP-4 mode has higher compression at the expense of lower performance.

Unused Disks

Consider the following best practices when selecting disks for the Storage Pool:

  • We recommend never selecting more than 10 disks in a single RAID set.

  • The more total disks you have within your storage pool, the better the overall disk performance will be.

  • Adding many disks to a single RAID set increases the risk of data loss, as you can only lose 1 (RAID-5) or 2 (RAID-6) disks in the set before losing data integrity.

  • Spanning together multiple smaller RAID sets increase performance with less risk, as there are more total parity drives, and you are less likely to lose data integrity.

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Configure Key Appliance Settings

After the Storage Pool is configured for the Appliance, you can begin to browse the Appliance Web interface and configure key settings.

To configure settings for the Appliance:

  1. In the left-hand navigation menu, click the Settings tab.

  2. In the Settings page, click to expand each section that you want to update.

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  3. For example, click the License Details section to view the number of licenses available for use. Before you deploy the Replibit agent, we recommend reviewing this information to make sure the Replibit agent will properly register with the Appliance. If no licenses display:

    1. Log in to the Replibit Licensing Portal to assign additional licenses. For instructions, please reference the Allocate Licenses section of this guide.

    2. Return to the License Details page and click the Sync button to force the Appliance to resync with the licensing portal.

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  4. Click the Email Notifications section to configure an email server and turn on email notifications. To configure an email server:

    1. Click the Enabled button.

    2. Enter information about the email server, including a From Emailaddress, the username and password of a valid email account on the email server, and the IPaddress and port of the server.

    3. Select your connection security preference.

    4. Enter one or more email addresses that should receive alerts generated by the Appliance.

    5. Select the types of alerts that should be generated by the Appliance.

    6. Click the Test Mail button to test your settings and then click the Save button. To configure email delivery without a mail server account (which is not recommended) leave the Username and Password fields blank. In the Connection Security field, select None.

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  5. Click the Change Machine Name section to change the name of the Appliance, ensuring that the Appliance is easily recognized. This name will display in the Global Management Portal. To change the machine name:

    1. In the Machine Name field, enter the new machine name.

    2. Click the Change button when you are finished.

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  6. Click the Management Portal section to enter the IP address of your Global Management Portal. When you connect an Appliance or Vault to the Global Management portal, you will be able to monitor all Protected Systems from one centralized management portal. As a first step, you may choose to create a Customer-specific Username and API Key for this Appliance in the Global Management Portal, or use the existing Admin user and APIKey. For instructions, please reference the Configuring the Global Management Portal section of this guide. To connect to the Global Management Portal:

    1. In the IP Address field, enter the Global Management Portal IP address or URL (without the https).

    2. In the Username field, enter the username from the Users tab in Global Management Portal.

    3. In the API Key field, enter the API key associated with the username in the Global Management portal.

    4. Click the Test Connection button to test your settings and then click the Save button.

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  7. Click the Time Settings section to confirm that your time settings are correct. To update time settings:

    1. In the Time Zone drop-down menu, select the time zone of the Appliance.

    2. In the Time field, enter the current time.

    3. In the Date field, enter the current date.

    4. Click the Save button when you are finished.

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  8. Click the Update Manager section to enable Auto Updates for the system. When enabled, Replibit will update the Appliance automatically. If you do not want Replibit to automatically update your systems, then periodically schedule time on your calendar to manually check for updates. To turn on Auto Updates:

    1. Click the Enable Auto Update checkbox to turn on the Auto Updates feature.

    2. Click the Auto-Enable Remote AssistWhen Upgrading checkbox to allow Axcient Support to remotely support the Appliance during updates.

    3. Optionally, click the Check for Updates button to manually check for available updates.

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