Synology’s Active Backup for Business
In this article, I’m going to show you how to install and use Synology’s Active Backup for Business. We’ll also walk through configuring our first backups and restoring from Active Backup for Business as well. Please join me!
What is Active Backup for Business?
Before we install, we must first answer the question – What is Active Backup for Business? This is Synology’s very own backup and recovery solution for Business. It runs as an add-on app installed as a package from the Synology Package Center and it’ll back up PCs, Macs, VMs, physical servers, and more! You can also restore backed-up devices.
Install the Active Backup for Business Package
The first thing we’re going to do is log in to our Synology and open Package Center.
Once in Package Center click on All Packages in the left-hand side menu. Right at the top, the very first package is Active Backup for Business. Now, there are several other apps, which include:
- Active Backup for Business Agent – this is for installation on another Synology device so that it can be backed up to your Synology running Active Backup for Business
- Active Backup for Google Workspace – This allows you to back up content from Google Workspace to your Synology device.
- Active Backup for Microsoft 365 – Like the previous, this lets you backup content from your Office 365 tenant onto your Synology device.
For the installation of Active Backup for Business there is one other dependency and that’s SMB. If you don’t already have that package installed when you install Active Backup for Business it will automatically install the dependencies.
Go ahead and click the install button and within a few minutes, it’ll be installed and running!
So, the first thing we need to do is activate the software and we do that by signing in with our Synology.
Go ahead and click activate and a new window will open and you’ll be redirected to the Active Backup for Business Activation page.
Review the Privacy Statement, check the box, and click next.
Another window will open where you’ll enter your Synology account credentials, or you can authenticate with your associate account. In this instance, I’m going to authenticate using my Google account. Once logged in the Active Backup for Business package is now activated!
When you click OK you’ll be dropped back to the Synology website and land at the Active Backup for Business overview page.
Before we start backup stuff up we need to first consider certificates. Depending on how we want our clients to reach the Active Backup service we may need to install a signed certificate, either from a known/trusted certificate vendor like GoDaddy, Cloudflare, or Digicert. Alternatively, you can use an Enterprise KMS service to provide a signed certificate.
If the client is going to reach the service by DNS then a signed certificate will be required.
If the client is going to reach the service directly by IP address then the self-signed certificate is just fine.
Configuration of the certificate is beyond the scope of this article. This article from the Synology Knowledge Base can walk you through that process.
For this article, I’m going to use the IP address to configure a client.
Configuring Client PC Backup
Back on the Active Backup for Business overview page, to start backup up a Client PC click on Personal Computer in the left-hand side.
Then, choose what the target client OS is – Windows or Mac, and then click the Add Device button at the bottom of the window.
When you click on the Add Device button you’ll get a prompt about the Certificates. Take the time to configure a certificate if you’re using DNS. Click OK to close that window and proceed with the client installation.
Download the agent for the version of the OS you’re installing. You can save the agent installation file to a file share and access the file remotely. Or login to the Synology GUI from the client and download the software there.
As with any backup software you need to have a schedule for when devices will get backed up. Backing up devices can usually be a resource-intensive process, and in particular, can hog a lot of network resources in order to speed up the backup process.
There are four default schedules built-in to Active Backup for Business. You can use those and modify them for your needs, or build your own custom backup schedules. To view them, click on Settings from the main menu of Active Backup for Business, and then click Template.
Agent Installation and Setup
Agent install and setup is super easy! It’s as easy as accepting a EULA and watching the loading bar.
After the agent is installed launch the agent for the first time. You’ll be prompted to enter in the IP Address/Hostname of your Synology NAS and credentials. If your Synology NAS is using a Self Signed Certificate you’ll likely get a warning about connecting to this Synology NAS device.
In the Dashboard
I’ve gone ahead and installed the Active Backup Agent on a Windows Laptop in my network.
I can now see it showing up in the dashboard. I can also view all the details about this device as well.
Part 2 is on the way!
I’m going to let Active Backup for Business backup this device and in my next article I’ll show you how to do some restores!
If you have any questions about this article please drop them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter! Cheers!