Homelab Synology backup strategy

A while ago I finally had some attention for my much beloved data. I gave some thought on how my data would be safe if disaster would struck, like my Synology NAS catching fire. Or worse, my house…

So when I speak of  ‘my beloved data’, I am talking about:

  • Homelab data (VM’s etc.)
  • Personal documents
  • Photos & videos

I could live with my homelab data being lost. I would not be a happy man, but a complete homelab reinstall would be possible without any backup. However, if one can avoid the loss of data, one should. 🙂

More important however, are my personal documents and my photos/videos. Those are invaluable to me! I wanted to make sure that all this data is centralized on my Synology NAS and I have the requirement for an off-site backup. The off-site backup would have to be affordable while growing in GB’s. The RTO would not matter that much as long as I’m able to recover the data.
Also, I would like to reduce the number of cloud storage solutions (Google Drive, Onedrive, Dropbox) and their associated clients.

The diagram below shows the setup I came up with:



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Backing up the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA)


<update 13 november 2014>

VMware does not support backing up the individual components and restoring them to a newly deployed appliance. Use of image-based backup and restore is the only solution supported for performing a full, secondary appliance restore (KB2034505).

Thank you, Feidhlim O’Leary (VMware), for pointing this out in the comments.

</update 13 november 2014>

Last week I was upgrading an old ESX 4.1 environment to ESXi 5.5 and the vCenter server needed to be replaced by the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). The new limitations on the 5.5 release should suffice for a lot of environments, the only downsides being no Heartbeat, Linked Mode, VUM and IPv6.

After deploying and configuring the appliance, I soon realized there wasn’t a single article that listed all the necessary post-installation backup tasks. Someone not as smart as you will eventually break your appliance, so make sure to perform all following tasks.

1. Back up vPostgres database
Reference: KB2034505

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