Axcient Help Center

Preparing Devices for Protection

Some preparation work is required in order to ensure that image snapshots and file replication jobs are completed successfully. This section only applies to devices protected by an appliance-based service.

Axcient offers three configuration scripts:

  • The VSS Configuration Script creates or confirms the shadow storage of the device drive. Also confirms VSS functionality on the device.

  • The Windows Configuration Script confirms firewall sharing settings, and the Group Policy Object (GPO) settings will not affect permissions when protecting the device. This script also confirms that all necessary permissions are enabled to give the Axcient appliance full access to protect the device.

  • The Exchange Server Configuration Script confirms that all firewall sharing settings and permission settings are enabled to give the Axcient appliance full access to protect the device. Axcient offers three different Exchange Server Configuration Scripts depending on the version of the Exchange Server:

    • Exchange 2003

    • Exchange 2007

    • Exchange 2010

These scripts must be downloaded as a .vbs file and run directly on the target device. All devices should run the VSS Configuration Script and the Windows Configuration Script before being protected. All three configuration scripts should be run when protecting an Exchange Server. In this case, choose the Exchange Server Configuration Script that is closest to your version.

These scripts must be run using Microsoft Windows Based Script Host while in an Administrator role on the device; otherwise many of the automated commands will not be able to run due to lack of permissions.

Linux Machines

When protecting Linux-based machine, you must enable Samba Sharing. It is very important for you to have an understanding of Linux-based operating systems or have a team member on hand able to assist.

If you do not enable Samba Sharing on the Linux device before attempting to protect the device, the Axcient Service will be unable to detect the device or protect it. The process to enable Samba Sharing is unique to the kind of Linux operating system and version.

Currently, only file replication and protection is available for Linux operating systems. This means that the Granular File Restore tool can be leveraged for these machines, but not the BMR and Failover VM tools.

Running the Configuration Scripts

To install and run the configuration scripts:

  1. Log in to the Axcient Unified Management Console (UMC) of an Axcient appliance.

  2. On the UMC top navigation menu, click the System tab.

  3. On the left-hand System navigation menu, click the Tools tab.

  4. Right click the required scripts, select Save Link As... and save the file with the .vbs extension. Make sure that this file is saved on to the target device.

  5. Navigate to the script, right click the file, select Open With, and then select Microsoft Windows Based Script Host. This is often the default script host for Windows machines.

  6. Confirmation prompts will display for each step taken during the configuration script. If necessary, take any corrective action when indicated and then click OK. If no corrective action needs to be taken, simply click OK.

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Windows Server 2008 SP1

These additional steps only apply when recovering a Windows Server 2008 SP1 device with more than 4 drives that have been replicated by an Axcient appliance running AxOS 6.5.1.

When protecting a device with the Windows Server 2008 SP1 operating system, you must confirm that the 955430 package has been installed on the target device before performing the recovery. Please refer to the Microsoft KB955430 article for more information and to download the package.

Without the 955430 package, WS2008 will be unable to install GPLPV drivers due to Windows not trusting the certificates used to sign drivers. This will mean that you will not be able to deploy a cloud failover VM for the device if it has more than 4 drives.

Screen Sleep Timeout Option for Screen Shot Validation

Screen shot validations are automatically performed after successful replication jobs to ensure that replicated devices can be successfully virtualized in the event of a disaster situation.

In order to ensure that screen shot validations can be successfully performed, please make sure the screen sleep timeout option is set to 30 minutes or longer.

This is because a Test VM is deployed in order to take the validation screen shot. This Test VM is deployed with minimal resources so the majority of the resources can be used by other processes on the appliance, which may result in a longer deployment process. If the Test VM goes to sleep during the deployment and the screen shot taken during the validation, it will be of a black screen and result in a failed validation.

Be advised that the longer deployment process does not reflect the actual deployment time for a Production Failover VM.

Setting Up a New Service

Below are the steps for how to begin protecting devices using a newly provisioned Axcient service.

  1. On the Axcient Web Application Dashboard, Click on Start Protecting in either of the New Service event notifications.

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  2. Read through the Axcient End User Agreement. When you have read and understands the terms of the agreement, click I Agree to continue.

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  3. Verify the network settings for the appliance. The fields listed here will be auto-populated as part of the installation process. When the network settings have been verified, click Connect to Network.

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  4. Enter the Active Directory credentials. This step must be completely in order for the appliance to be able to query for devices to protect.

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    Note

    Please note that if the Active Directory credentials are not entered correctly, the appliance will not be able to find devices to protect.

  5. Select the devices to protect by checking the checkbox for the device under the Select column. Then, click Protect Selected to continue. To avoid any issues, make sure that all devices are online during the protection process. Only devices that are online can be protected.

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  6. The Protection Policy Summary screen will appear. Click Edit Policy Options to begin configuring the Default Protection Policy for the service. This Protection Policy will be applied to all devices protected under the service and can be reconfigured at any time.

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  7. Click the Edit button to edit either the Interval schedule or the Retention policy for the service. Click Done With Options to finish configuring the Default Protection Policy.

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  8. Click the Finish button to finish protecting the devices.The selected devices are now being protected.

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    Note

    You are not required to stay at the Protection Underway screen. Click Done to move on to other work while the devices are being protected.

Protect Devices with an Existing Service

Please note that the service can only query devices from the Active Directory configured in the Service Settings.

To protect devices using an existing service:

  1. In either the Service Details page or the Site Details page, click the Protect button.

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  2. Select the service with which to protect the devices and click Next.

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  3. Select the device(s) you would like to protect and click Protect Selected. Alternatively, click Enter device details manually to manually enter the target device network information.

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  4. Confirm the Protection Policy that will be inherited from the service. If you do not want to configure a custom Protection Policy for the device(s) click Finish.

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  5. Alternatively, if you would like to configure a custom Protection Policy, click Edit Policy Options.

    1. You will be able to edit the replication job interval and data retention settings for the device(s). Click the Edit button to edit the specific sections.

    2. Click Done with Options button to finish protecting the device(s).

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  6. The device(s) will now be protected. Click Done to finish.

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Configure the Service Settings

Configuring service settings is necessary for establishing replication job parameters. This includes the network settings of the service, the bandwidth thresholds, cloud replication schedule, business hours of the business, and time zone where the service is located.

To update service settings:

  1. On the Axcient Web Application Dashboard, click Services.

  2. On the Services pages, click the desired service.

  3. On the Service Details page, click the Configure Service button.

Service Settings

The service settings for the Axcient appliance list general descriptive information about the Axcient appliance. This includes:

  • Service Alias - The name of the service that appears throughout the Web Application. This field can be edited at any time.

  • Service Type - The type of service. This field cannot be changed.

  • Service ID - The ID for the service, which is automatically generated. This field cannot be changed.

Service Settings Screen

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Network

The network settings for the Axcient appliance are configured in the Network section of the Configure Services page.

As part of the installation process, the Network settings can be established either through DHCP or by manually configuring the appliance. The Network settings will already be populated when the Axcient appliance is successfully registered.

In the event that the network configurations of the Axcient appliance need to be changed, you can reconfigure them here. Otherwise, Axcient does not recommend changing the settings in this location, as this will interfere with the data protection process.

Network Configuration Screen

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Network Utilities

The Network Utilities tool is a collection of diagnostic tools that allow you to test the connectivity of the Axcient appliance. The diagnostic tools offered are:

  • Connectivity Health - This tool attempts to ping the network Gateway. If the appliance cannot successfully ping the Gateway, local replication jobs will run, but cloud replication jobs will not. The Axcient appliance requires communication with Axcient's data center in order to stay registered and active. If the Axcient appliance is offline for more than 60 days then the appliance deactivates and is no longer operational.

  • Ping - This tool allows you to specify an IP address for the Axcient appliance to ping. This will confirm whether or not the appliance is able to communicate with the specified IP.

  • Traceroute - This tool displays the route to a specific IP address from the Axcient appliance and measures transit delays of packets across the network.

  • NSlookup - This tool, which is also referred to as the Name Server Lookup tool, will query the Domain Name System (DNS) to obtain the domain name of the specific IP address.

Network Utilities Screen

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Active Directory

Configuring Active Directory will allow you to query the business’s Active Directory for devices to protect. If Active Directory is not configured, the Axcient appliance will not be able to query devices to protect.

When the Active Directory is configured, you can click the Scan AD button or the Protect button at the Service Details page or Site Details page. This feature will then discover devices to protect.

Active Directory Configuration Screen

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Service-Wide Alerts & Thresholds

This section allows you to define the protection threshold under a specific Axcient Service. You can configure:

  • The Appliance connectivity loss alert slider allows you to configure how long a device can lose connectivity before receiving an alert.

  • The Device's most recent local recovery point alert slider allows you to configure an alert for when a device's most recent local recovery point is older than the specified period time.

  • The Device's most recent cloud recovery point alert slider allows you to configure an alert for when a device's most recent cloud recovery point is older than the specified period of time.

The following alerts are not configurable, but will alert you when there may be important issues to investigate:

  • A device's best local recovery point completed with warnings

  • A device's best cloud recovery point completed with warnings

  • The most recent cloud recovery point is outside the Protection Policy threshold, but there is a job currently running an integrity check. Integrity checks are used to verify that no data has been corrupted. These typically take longer than a standard cloud job and will enter a Warned state if the check takes longer than the configured device threshold.

  • Local storage is 80% full.

  • Local storage is 90% full.

Additionally, a device's health status can be configured by navigating to the device's Device Details page, and then clicking the Alerting option. These settings will override the service-wide health status configuration.

Service-Wide Alerts & Thresholds Configuration Screen

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Service-Wide Protection Policy

You can configure the default protection policy for the Axcient Service. The policy defaults configured here will pre-populate the protection policy for new devices. Devices already protected by a protection policy will not be affected if these defaults are changed. Any changes to the Protection Policy default settings will only affect devices that are protected after the changes have been saved.

While a default protection policy is in place when you first begin using the Axcient service, Axcient recommends creating a protection policy that meets your specific business needs.

You will be able to configure:

  • The interval on which the replication jobs occur (hourly, daily, or weekly)

  • The time frame and days when the replication jobs will occur

  • The frequency of the replication jobs

  • The retention time of the replication jobs (how long replicated data will be stored)

You can also configure a unique Protection Policy for one or more new devices being protected during the protection process. You will be able to override the Service-Wide Protection Policy Defaults and protect devices using a custom policy.

Service-Wide Protection Policy Defaults Configuration Screen

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Quality of Service

You can configure the Quality of Service (QoS) to optimize bandwidth usage and limit network loads for both business and non-business hours for local (LAN) and cloud (WAN) replication jobs. The lowest bandwidth usage that can be configured is 125kbps and the highest that can be configured is unlimited. Unlimited means that the replication job will take up as much of the bandwidth pipe that is available at the time of the replication job. The higher the bandwidth usage, the quicker the replication jobs will complete.

For bandwidth usage during business hours, Axcient recommends consulting with your Network Administrator to determine what bandwidth throttling is best as to not impede on business operations. Weigh this decision based on the interval and frequency that the replication jobs will occur.

For bandwidth usage during non-business hours, Axcient recommends allowing as much bandwidth for the replication jobs as possible.

Quality of Service Configuration Screen

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Bandwidth Check

Axcient includes a diagnostic tool that allows users to test the Axcient appliance bandwidth usage. This is handy for detecting if traffic shaping or other issues are impeding the optimal flow of traffic between the appliance and Axcient data center.

Choose to send 2MB, 8MB, or 32MB of data using the existing QoS configuration. Uncheck the checkbox to use unlimited bandwidth for the test.

Bandwidth Check Screen

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SNMP Remote Management

Configure the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and trap settings to integrate the Axcient protection solution in to already existing network management environments.

SNMP Remote Management Configuration Screen

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Software Update

The current appliance software version is displayed here. Users have the ability to toggle automatic updates with the option of updating the Axcient appliance as soon as the update becomes available or during a designated time.

Software Update Configuration Screen

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Cloud Replication Schedule

Configure when the cloud replication jobs will occur for devices. You have two options:

  • Run immediately after local job - The cloud replication job will occur automatically and immediately after a device completes its local job. This is useful if you want cloud jobs to run more frequently rather than once a day. This may help relieve WAN traffic for cloud replication jobs.

  • Follow existing schedule - The cloud replication job will run as per the schedule specified in the Unified Management Console (UMC). Configured jobs will replicate to the Axcient Cloud every 24 hours as a single cloud job.

You can reconfigure the Cloud Replication Schedule settings at any time.

Cloud Replication Schedule Configuration Screen

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Business Hours

Designate the business hours for your business. The Business Hours configuration works in tandem with QoS to control bandwidth usage for replication jobs.

Business Hours Configuration Screen

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Time

Specify the time zone of the Axcient appliance in order to ensure that Business Hours and QoS operate in line with your business’s actual operating hours.

Time Configuration Screen

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Rebooting the Appliance

If the appliance requires a reboot, you can initiate the reboot process from the Service Details page.

  1. On the Axcient Web Application, navigate to the Service Details page.

  2. On the Service Details page, click the Reboot button located in the Appliance Service section.

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  3. In the Reboot Appliance dialog box, click the Reboot button. The reboot process will initiate.

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  4. If the reboot process initiates successfully, you will be prompted to click the Done button to close the dialog box.

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  5. If the process does not initiate successfully, you will be prompted to retry the operation. This message might display if you are experiencing network problems, or if the appliance is offline. Click the Try Again button to retry the process. Alternatively, click the Cancel button to cancel the process and close the dialog box.

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Configure the Site Settings

You have the ability to configure the Site Settings of an Axcient Site. From here, you can configure the alerting rules across all Services registered under the Site.

The Axcient Service can be integrated with third-party Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools, including Autotask and ConnectWise. This will allow users to maintain automation with existing tools. You can configure the PSA tool from the Site Settings page. Only one PSA tool may be configured at a time per Site.

Configurations are not permanent and can be changed at any time to accommodate a dynamic environment.

To launch the Site Settings configuration page:

  1. On the Axcient Web Application, click Sites.

  2. On the Sites page, click the Details button for the desired Site.

  3. On the Sites Details page, click the Settings button under the Account at a Glance section.

Notification Configuration

You can select which email addresses receive alert emails. These users will be alerted when significant errors have occurred in the health status of the client’s devices. These triggers are based on the Site-Wide Alerts & Threshold configuration settings.

These alerts can be configured based on:

  • Local/D2C, Cloud and Connectivity issues

  • Health Status (Warning and Troubled)

When a PSA tool is configured, you can assign notifications to be sent to the PSA tool.

For more information, please refer to the How to Configure Alerting section.

Notification Configuration Screen

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PSA Tool

Third-party Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools can be integrated with the Axcient protection services to allow you to maintain existing automation, rather than introduce new ones. Currently, Axcient supports:

There are two important steps to ensure the PSA tool successfully captures and transmits events:

  1. On the PSA Tool Selector page, select your preferred PSA tool . All required information must be entered correctly for the Axcient appliance to establish a connection.

  2. On the Notification Configuration page, configure events that will automatically open PSA tickets.

When these steps are completed, the Axcient appliance will publish tickets directly to the PSA tools. For more information on how to configure triggering events, please refer to the How to Configure Alerting section.

PSA Tool Configuration Screen

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Custom Alert Threshold Configuration

You can configure alert thresholds at both the device and job level. These options give you granular control over alerting options so that you can customize and prioritize notifications.

Performing a custom configuration will override the device thresholds defined in the Site Settings page.

Device Custom Alert Configuration

To configure custom alerting for a device:

  1. On the Axcient Web Application, navigate to the appropriate Device Details page.

  2. On the Device Details page, click the Alerting link located in the Protection at a Glance section. The Custom Alert Configuration dialog box displays.

  3. In the Custom Alert Configuration dialog box, click the Enable Custom Device Thresholds checkbox. The dialog box expands to display customization options:

    • Local Backup Threshold is a custom alert for when the device's most recent local recovery point for any job is older than the configured threshold.

    • Cloud Backup Lag Threshold is a custom alert for when a device's most recent cloud recovery point for any job is older than the most recent local recovery point by more than the configured threshold.

  4. Optionally, click the Disable all cloud replication alerts for this device checkbox found below each custom alert to turn off alerts for the device.

  5. Optionally, unchecked the Enable Custom Device Thresholds checkbox to revert back to settings defined in the Service Settings page and any custom setting at the device level.

  6. Click the Save Threshold Settings button to save your settings.

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Job Custom Alert Configuration

To configure custom alerting for a job:

  1. On the Axcient Web Application, navigate to the appropriate Job Details page.

  2. On the Job Details page, click the Job Thresholds link located in the Job Settings section. The Custom Alert Configuration dialog box displays.

  3. In the Custom Alert Configuration dialog box, click the Enable Custom Job Thresholds checkbox. The dialog box expands to display customization options:

    • Local Replication Threshold is a custom alert for when the job's most recent local recovery point is older than the configured threshold.

    • Cloud Replication Lag Threshold is a custom alert for when a job's most recent cloud recovery point is older than the most recent local recovery point by more than the configured threshold.

  4. Optionally, click the Disable all cloud replication alerts for this job checkbox found below each custom alert to turn off alerts for the job.

  5. Optionally, unchecked the Enable Custom Job Thresholds checkbox to revert back to settings defined in the Service Settings page and any other custom setting at the device level.

  6. Click the Save Threshold Settings button to save your settings.

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Exclude Files from a Job

Note

This feature is only available on AxOS version 6.5.1 or later.

You can exclude drives, folders, and files from replication jobs by clicking the Exclusions button in the Job Details page.

To include or exclude a drive, folder, or file:

  1. On the Job Details page, click the Exclusions link found in the Job at a Glance panel. The Exclusions dialog box displays.

  2. In the Exclusions field, configure items to be excluded:

    • To exclude an entire drive, enter the drive letter in the following format:

      <Drive Letter>:/

      Example: E:/

    • To exclude a folder from a drive that is being backed up, enter the drive letter and target folder in the following format:

      <Drive Letter>:/<Folder Name>

      Example: C:/Documents

    • To only exclude a specific file from a drive and folder being backed up, enter the drive letter, along with the target folder and the specific file in the following format:

      <Drive Letter>:/<Folder Name>/<File Name>

      Example: C:/Desktop/Old_Image.png

    Note

    By default, the Exclusions dialog box will use the $ symbol instead of the : symbol. These symbols are interchangeable and either can be used when creating exclusion and inclusion rules. The : symbol is used in this document.

  3. In the Inclusions field, configure items to be included:

    • To include a drive, no additional step is necessary. All drives are included in the replication job as long as no Exclusion rule is set in the Exclusions field.

    • To include a folder from an excluded drive, enter the drive letter along with the target folder in the following format:

      <Drive Letter>:/<Folder Name>

      Example: E:/Music

    • To include a specific file from an excluded folder, enter the drive letter along with the target folder and the specific file in the following format:

      <Drive Letter>:/<Folder Name>/<File Name>

      Example: C:/Documents/Test_File.docx

  4. When all of the exclusion and inclusion rules are configured, click the Save Exclusions button.

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Additional Exclusion and Inclusion Notes
  • When a device is added, all detected drives will populate the Inclusions section of Exclusions dialog box.

  • Axcient recommends that you do not delete a drive from the Inclusions field in order to exclude it from the replication job.

    If a drive is removed from the Inclusions field but not added to the Exclusions field, it will be implicitly included in the replication job. A drive must be explicitly listed in the Exclusions field in order to be excluded from the replication job.

    Example: In the figure below, the E:/ drive is not listed in the Inclusions field. Instead, the E:/Personal folder is listed. In this case, there is no need to explicitly list a folder in the Inclusions field because the E:/ drive is not explicitly listed in the Exclusions field. Because it is not listed in the Exclusions field, the entire E:/ drive will be replicated during regularly scheduled replication jobs.

    You need to list folders and files in the Inclusions field only when the containing drive and folder are listed in the Exclusions field.

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