6.4. Connecting Acronis Backup Cloud to Storage Backends via Acronis Backup Gateway

The Acronis Backup Gateway storage access point (also called “gateway”) is intended for service providers who use Acronis Backup Cloud and want to organize an on-premise storage for their clients’ backed-up data.

Acronis Backup Gateway enables a service provider to easily configure storage for the proprietary deduplication-friendly data format used by Acronis.

Acronis Backup Gateway supports the following storage backends:

  • Virtuozzo Storage clusters with software redundancy by means of erasure coding,
  • NFS shares,
  • public clouds, including a number of S3 solutions as well as Microsoft Azure and OpenStack Swift.

While your choice should depend on scenario and requirements, it is recommended to keep Acronis Backup Cloud backups in the local storage cluster. In this case, you can have the best performance due to WAN optimizations and data locality. Keeping backups in an NFS share or a public cloud implies the unavoidable data transfer and other overhead, which reduces overall performance.

Note

  1. When configuring Acronis Backup Gateway, you will need to provide the credentials of your administrator account in Acronis Backup Cloud.
  2. In cases when not local but external storage (e.g., NFS) is used with Acronis Backup Gateway, redundancy has to be provided by said external storage. Acronis Backup Gateway does not provide data redundancy or perform data deduplication itself.

6.4.1. Understanding the Infrastructure

The Acronis Backup Gateway storage access point runs as services on the Virtuozzo Storage nodes. It should be deployed on multiple Virtuozzo Storage nodes for high availability.

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6.4.2. Connecting to the Virtuozzo Storage Cluster via Acronis Backup Gateway

Before you proceed, make sure that the Virtuozzo Storage cluster has enough space for backups.

To connect Acronis Backup Cloud to the local Virtuozzo Storage cluster via Acronis Backup Gateway, do the following:

  1. Make sure that the Acronis Backup Gateway network is configured on each node that will run the gateway service.

  2. On the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > Nodes screen, select a check box next to each cluster node where you want the gateway services to run.

    ../_images/stor_image54.png
  3. Click Create Gateway then This Virtuozzo Storage cluster.

    ../_images/stor_image54_1.png
  4. For each node, select the network interface to which the Acronis Backup Gateway network role is assigned. The gateway service will listen on the IP address assigned to this interface.

    ../_images/stor_image55.png
  5. Click NEXT.

  6. On the Volume Parameters tab, select the desired tier, failure domain, and data redundancy mode.

    ../_images/stor_image56.png

    Note

    1. Redundancy by replication is not supported for Acronis Backup Gateway.
    2. You can later change the erasure coding mode on the Acronis Backup Gateway > Parameters panel.
  7. Click NEXT.

  8. On the DNS Configuration tab, specify the external DNS name for this gateway, e.g, backupgateway.example.com. Make sure that each node running the gateway service has a port open for outgoing Internet connections and incoming connections from Acronis Backup Cloud. Backup agents will use this address and port to upload the backed-up data.

    ../_images/stor_image56_4.png

    Important

    1. Configure your DNS server according to the example suggested in the management panel.
    2. Each time you add or remove a node to or from the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, adjust the DNS settings accordingly.
  9. Click NEXT.

  10. On the Registration in Acronis Backup Cloud tab, specify the following:

    • In Account Server Name, specify the Acronis Backup Cloud management server address that matches the account management console address (https://cloud.acronis.com/).
    • In Acronis Account, specify the credentials of your Acronis Backup Cloud administrator account.
    ../_images/stor_image56_5.png
  11. Click DONE.

6.4.3. Connecting to External NFS Shares via Acronis Backup Gateway

Note

  1. Virtuozzo Storage does not provide data redundancy on top of NFS volumes. Depending on the implementation, NFS shares may use their own hardware or software redundancy.
  2. In the current version of Virtuozzo Storage, only one cluster node may store backups on an NFS volume.

Before you proceed, make sure that:

  1. The NFS share has enough space for backups;
  2. Each NFS export is used by only one gateway. In particular, do not configure two Virtuozzo Storage installations to use the same NFS export for backup storage.

To connect Acronis Backup Cloud to an external NFS share via Acronis Backup Gateway, do the following:

  1. Make sure that the Acronis Backup Gateway network role is assigned on the node that will run the gateway service.

  2. On the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > Nodes screen, select a check box next to each cluster node where you want the gateway services to run.

  3. Click Create Gateway and Network File System.

    ../_images/stor_image56_1.png
  4. Make sure the network interface with the assigned Acronis Backup Gateway network role is selected. The gateway service will listen on the IP address assigned to this interface. Click NEXT.

    ../_images/stor_image56_2.png
  5. On the Volume Parameters tab, specify the hostname or IP address of the NFS share as well as the export name. Click NEXT.

    ../_images/stor_image56_3.png
  6. On the DNS Configuration tab, specify the external DNS name for this gateway, e.g, backupgateway.example.com. Make sure that each node running the gateway service has a port open for outgoing Internet connections and incoming connections from Acronis Backup Cloud. Backup agents will use this address and port to upload the backed-up data.

    ../_images/stor_image56_4.png

    Important

    1. Configure your DNS server according to the example suggested in the management panel.
    2. Each time you changes nodes in the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, adjust the DNS settings accordingly.
  7. Click NEXT.

  8. On the Registration in Acronis Backup Cloud tab, specify the following:

    • In Account Server Name, specify the Acronis Backup Cloud management server address that matches the account management console address (https://cloud.acronis.com/).
    • In Acronis Account, specify the credentials of your Acronis Backup Cloud administrator account.
    ../_images/stor_image56_5.png
  9. Click DONE.

6.4.4. Connecting to Public Cloud Storage via Acronis Backup Gateway

With Acronis Backup Gateway, you can have Acronis Cloud Backup store backups in a number of public clouds: Amazon S3, IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, IIJ, Cleversafe, Microsoft Azure, Swift object storage, Softlayer (Swift) as well as solutions using S3 with the older AuthV2-compatible authentication methods. However, compared to the local Virtuozzo Storage cluster, storing backup data in a public cloud increases the latency of all I/O requests to backups and reduces performance. For this reason, it is recommended to use the local Virtuozzo Storage cluster as storage backend.

Important

When working with public clouds, Acronis Backup Gateway uses the local storage as the staging area as well as to keep service information. It means that the data to be uploaded to a public cloud is first stored locally and only then sent to the destination. For this reason, it is vital that the local storage is persistent and redundant so the data does not get lost. There are multiple ways to ensure the persistence and redundancy of local storage. You can deploy Acronis Backup Gateway on multiple cluster nodes and select a good redundancy mode. If Virtuozzo Storage with the gateway is deployed on a single physical node, you can make the local storage redundant by replicating it among local disks. If Virtuozzo Storage with the gateway is deployed in a virtual machine, make sure it is made redundant by the virtualization solution it runs on.

Before you proceed, make sure that the public cloud storage has enough space for backups.

To connect Acronis Backup Cloud to a public cloud folder via Acronis Backup Gateway, do the following:

  1. On the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > Nodes screen, select a check box next to each cluster node where you want the gateway services to run.

  2. Click Create Gateway then Public Cloud.

    ../_images/stor_image56_11.png
  3. Make sure the network interface with the assigned Acronis Backup Gateway network role is selected. The gateway service will listen on the IP address assigned to this interface. Click NEXT.

    ../_images/stor_image56_2.png
  4. On the Public cloud parameters tab, do the following:

    1. Select a public cloud provider. If your provider is S3-compatible but not in the list, try AuthV2 compatible.
    2. Depending on the provider, specify Region, Authentication (keystone) URL, or Endpoint URL.
    3. In case of Swift object storage, specify the authentication protocol version and attributes required by it.
    4. Specify user credentials.
    5. Specify the folder (bucket, container) to store backups in. The folder must be writeable.
  5. Click NEXT.

  6. On the Registration in Acronis Backup Cloud tab, specify the following:

    • In Account Server Name, specify the Acronis Backup Cloud management server address that matches the account management console address (https://cloud.acronis.com/).
    • In Acronis Account, specify the credentials of your Acronis Backup Cloud administrator account.
  7. Click DONE.

6.4.5. Migrating Backups from Acronis Storage Gateways

By means of the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, you can migrate backups from Acronis Storage Gateway 1.6 or 1.7 to a storage backend of your choice: your Virtuozzo Storage cluster, external NFS, or public cloud.

The migration procedure can be described as follows:

  1. Root credentials for SSH access to the Acronis Storage Gateway (source storage) are provided to Acronis Backup Gateway.

  2. Acronis Backup Gateway sets up a proxy on the source storage that starts redirecting requests incoming from Acronis Backup Agents from the source storage to Acronis Backup Gateway.

  3. Acronis Backup Gateway starts relocating backups to the chosen storage backend (local cluster, NFS, or public cloud). The data that remains to be migrated is shown in the Migration Backlog section on the Acronis Backup Gateway Overview screen. When the backlog empties, all data has been migrated.

    After the migration has started, the data of new and incremental backups is stored on the destination storage. Backups from the source storage are pulled in the background. The entire process is transparent to backup agents, which continue working uninterrupted.

  4. To be able to dispose of the source storage after migration completes, requests from Acronis Backup Agents are directed straight to Acronis Backup Gateway, bypassing the proxy on the source storage. Steps that you need to take depend on how the source storage is registered in Acronis Backup Cloud: under the IP address or DNS name.

    • If the source storage is already registered under the DNS name, you need to change IP address behind it to those of the Acronis Backup Gateway nodes.

    • If the source storage is registered under the IP address, it is strongly recommended to re-register Acronis Backup Gateway in Acronis Backup Cloud under a DNS name that resolves into the IP addresses of Acronis Backup Gateway nodes. Using a DNS name will provide a smoother transition and you will not need to change Acronis Backup Cloud configuration even if you change nodes in the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster (you will still need to adjust the IP addresses behind the DNS name accordingly).

      Alternatively, if you do not want to use a DNS name, you need wait for the migration to complete, shut down both the source and destination machines, and reconfigure your network so that the public interface of the destination machine gets the IP address of the source machine.

The concrete steps that you need to perform in the management panel to initiate backup migration are as follows:

  1. On the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > Nodes screen, select one or more nodes and click Migrate.

  2. Select the source storage version and click NEXT.

  3. Specify the connection details for the source storage and click NEXT.

    ../_images/stor_image56_6.png
  4. Provide the credentials for the cloud management portal of the Acronis Backup installation that the source storage is registered in and click NEXT.

    ../_images/stor_image56_7.png
  5. If the source storage is registered in Acronis Backup Cloud under an IP address, you will see the DNS configuration screen. On it, click RE-REGISTER WITH DNS and specify the source storage DNS name (recommended, see above). Or, if you want to keep using the IP address, click PROCEED WITH IP.

    Important

    1. If you specified a DNS name, configure your DNS server according to the suggested example.
    2. Each time you change nodes in the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, adjust the DNS settings accordingly.
  6. Choose a destination storage type to create a gateway to:

    • local Virtuozzo Storage cluster,
    • external NFS, or
    • public cloud.
    ../_images/stor_image56_8.png
  7. Make sure a network interface with the Acronis Backup Gateway private role is selected in the drop-down list. The corresponding interfaces with the Acronis Backup Gateway public role will be selected automatically.

    Note

    If necessary, click the cogwheel icon and assign Acronis Backup Gateway roles on the Network Configuration screen.

  8. Click NEXT.

  9. Depending on the destination storage type you selected, configure the backup storage backend:

    • For an Virtuozzo Storage cluster, select the desired tier, failure domain, and redundancy mode.

    • For NFS, specify a hostname or IP address, an export name and path, and choose the NFS version.

      ../_images/stor_image56_9.png
    • For public cloud, select a public cloud provider, specify credentials, and the name of the folder (bucket, container).

      Important

      In addition, you must update your Acronis Backup Agents to version 12.0.4492 or newer.

      ../_images/stor_image56_10.png
  10. Click NEXT.

  11. On the Finalize migration panel, click START MIGRATION.

Depending on data size, migration may take as much as several days.

6.4.6. Monitoring the Acronis Backup Gateway Cluster

After you create the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, you can monitor them on the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > OVERVIEW screen. The charts show the following information:

  • the performance of Acronis Backup Gateway services,
  • the geo-replication speed and backlog (the amount of data waiting to be replicated),
  • migration speed and backlog (the amount of data waiting to be migrated),
  • object storage speed and backlog (the amount of data waiting to be uploaded to public cloud),
  • how many files are left in migration queue.

If backlogs do not decrease over time, it means the data cannot be replicated, migrated, or uploaded fast enough. The reason may be insufficient network transfer speed, and you may need to check or upgrade your network.

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6.4.7. Releasing Nodes from the Acronis Backup Gateway Cluster

The Acronis Backup Gateway cluster is meant to provide access to one specific storage backend. If you need to switch the backend, e.g., from public cloud to local Virtuozzo Storage cluster, you need to delete the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster by releasing all its nodes and create a new one.

Note

If you delete the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, Acronis Backup Cloud will lose access to the specified storage backend.

To release one or more nodes from the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster, select them on the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > NODES screen and click Release. The Acronis Backup Gateway cluster will remain operational until there is at least one node in it.

Releasing the last node is different as it means that the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster will be deleted and unregistered from Acronis Backup Cloud.

Do the following to release the last node:

  1. On the SERVICES > Acronis Backup Gateway > NODES screen, select the last node and click Release.

  2. On the Unregister Acronis Backup Gateway panel, choose one of the following:

    1. Graceful release (recommended, see note below). Releases the last node, deletes the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster and unregisters it from Acronis Backup Cloud.

      ../_images/stor_image56_13.png
    2. Force release. Releases the last node, deletes the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster but does not unregister it from Acronis Backup Cloud.

      Important

      Choose this option only if you are sure that the gateway has already been unregistered from Acronis Backup Cloud. Otherwise, you will need to register a new gateway in Acronis Backup Cloud and for that you will need to delete and recreate not just the Acronis Backup Gateway cluster but also the entire Virtuozzo Storage cluster.

  3. Specify the credentials of your administrator account in Acronis Backup Cloud and click NEXT. In case the release is forced, simply click NEXT.