I recently wrote a review about CloudBerry Backup 2.2 for Windows Home Server v1 and thought it might be helpful to give you a quick guide to get setup and running quickly. I leveraged both the CloudBerry Labs site as well as my own learnings to provide the following. Here’s what you’ll be doing:
- Sign up for a cloud service (Amazon S3)
- Installing the CloudBerry Backup add-in on Windows Home Server
- Configure the cloud backup service
- Setting up your first Backup Plan
A couple of points to remember:
- the following are my opinions, your experience may vary from mine;
- I encourage you to explore the various options and features available in the add-in and the cloud service as my implementation may not fit exactly what you need.
Before you start installing the CloudBerry Backup add-in for Windows Home Server, you’re going to want to explore the various cloud storage options available to you. I personally have chosen to use the Amazon S3 service, part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. Many services are offered and it can be somewhat intimidating when you first arrive at the AWS site. However, the only service you need to be concerned with is the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
1. Sign up for cloud storage service
When you setup your cloud-based storage provider, keep in mind that you will have a recurring monthly fee. This fee is based on the amount of storage used and PUT and GET transactions processed per month (PUTs and GETs are nothing more than uploading and downloading files to and from the service).
For example, my first monthly fee using the Amazon S3 service for roughly 26GB of storage amounted to less than $13.00. This is due to the high volume of my first time PUTs to send my files into the cloud. If I have less than 1000 changes to said files each month, my on-going recurring monthly cost should be around $3. Whenever you PUT new files, or GET old files out of the service, you are charged for the transaction after the monthly allowance.
If you already have an Amazon account (and don’t we all), you can add S3 service to your existing login. The CloudBerry Labs site contains a walk through on how to setup an Amazon Web Services account – check it out. Also, CloudBerry Labs provides information regarding the Amazon S3 directly on their site.
As a side note, Microsoft offers the Azure service which is easy to setup and get started. If you go this route, you’re going to sign up for the Windows Azure Platform Consumption service which gives you access to all the Azure services, but you pay on a consumption basis (just like the Amazon S3 service). You can get started with a free trial to see if the service is right for you.
Once you’ve picked your service provider and signed-up, you’re ready to install the CloudBerry Backup add-in.
2. Install the CloudBerry Backup add-in
CloudBerry Labs offers a 15-day trial so there is nothing to buy to get started. Also, if you decide you no longer want to use CloudBerry Backup, you don’t have to do anything to your cloud storage — both are independent of each other.
- Download the latest version of CloudBerry Backup for Windows Home Server from the website, or via Add-in Central from within the console. If you download outside the Add-in Central, be sure to copy the downloaded MSI file to the \\SERVER\Software\Add-Ins folder.
- Open the Windows Home Server Console.
- Click Settings, then Add-ins from the list.
You’ll have CloudBerry Online Backup for Windows Home Server available to you.
- Click Install.
If you previously uninstalled a prior version, your settings are preserved. After the install is complete, the WHS Console will disconnect.
- Reconnect to the Console and click the CloudBerry Backup tab at the top of the console view.
You may need to scroll depending on the number of additional add-ins you have installed.
3. Configure the cloud backup service
- Click Setup Backup Plan, then click Next.
- Click Amazon S3, then <create a new account>.
You’ll be presented with the Amazon S3 Account Setup properties page.
- Type a descriptive Display Name, something like MyHomeServer.
- Copy and Paste your Access Key and Secret Key in the spaces provided.
If you don’t already have your Access Key and Secret Key ready to go, you’ll need to access the Security Credentials for your account. Mid-way down the page, you’ll see Access Credentials (this is what it looks like):
- Create a Bucket Name by clicking the drop-down and clicking on <Create New Bucket> unless you already have a bucket defined. Buckets are containers for your data. You can have many of them.
NOTE: Bucket names need to be unique. A default bucket name is automatically provided with a unique string. If you don’t like it, you can change it to what ever you want.
- Choose the Bucket Location.
Choose a location that is central to your location. US is automatically selected.
- Click OK.
You’re back at the Amazon S3 account setup properties page.
- Click the Advanced text below the Bucket Name text field to type the Backup Prefix.
By default, the Backup Prefix is set to the name of your home server. The prefix helps distinguish multiple backups within the same bucket.
- Click Use SSL (to keep things secure).
- Finally, click Apply.
Assuming everything checks with service credentials you provided, you should return to the wizard with the Amazon S3 service selected and the name you specified for the service in step 3. You will not need to perform this configuration step going forward, unless you add a different cloud service.
4. Setting up your first Backup Plan
- Assuming your service setup is complete, you will be able to click Next to continue the wizard.
- Specify a name for your backup plan, then click Next.
One will be chosen for you, however, it’s not very creative or specific. I recommend you choose something that fits the actual backup you plan to perform, like Family Photo’s, Videos, etc.
- Select the backup mode: I recommend you click Simple, then Next.
- Choose the folder(s) you want to backup, then click Next.
You can drill into each folder. Keep in mind that the folder structure is of your top most shared folders according to WHS. When you check you the top most check box, all sub folders will be chosen automatically.
NOTE: You can view your system drives by checking the Show Physical Drives check box. I do not recommend backing up applications and system files to the cloud simply because it eats into your space and increase your costs.
- Specify any advanced criteria, then click Next.
Explore these features on your own. I recommend you take the defaults and click Next.
- Specify your compression and encryption options, then click Next.
Because we chose the SIMPLE mode in step 3, the only options available to you are compression and Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS).
- Set the purge options for this data, then click Next.
I recommend you leave them set to defaults. You can explore these features later and update the Backup Plan to suit your preferences.
- Set the frequency the backup plan will run AND set the duration you want the back plan not to exceed, then click Next.
IMPORTANT: If you decide to NOT specify a STOP to your backup plan, it will run until it completes. This can have an effect on other traffic on you network, such as VoIP. I recommend that you determine the day or night your network is used the least and set your backup plan to start within that time frame. Also set the backup plan to STOP after it exceeds a certain duration, four hours for example.
- Choose your notification options, then click Next.
CloudBerry Backup can send you an email confirming the backup plan has completed.I recommend you use this feature to know when your backup plans are stopping.
- Review your backup plan, then click Next to create the plan.
- Click Finished.
Your plan is now ready and will kick off according to the schedule you set. If you’d like to start it now, simply go to the Backup Plans and click RUN to the right of the plan name and it will start.
Good luck with your backups. I hope to have a guide that goes over recovering soon. For now, use the comments below to let us know what about your experiences using CloudBerry Backup for Windows Home Server.