Configure ImageManager To Replicate To The Remote Vault – via Internet

The following are instructions on how to configure ImageManager to replicate to The Remote Vault via your Internet Connection.

Replicating base backup images to the Seeding Drive:

  1. Add the backup folder to Mange and replicate to ImageManager – Start Managing Folder…
  2. Then check your Retention settings… (Note Version 6 allows for Global settings under Agent Settings…). These settings are strictly for The Local Vault (image repository) and don;t affect The Remote Vault settings.
  3. Plugged in the seeding drive sent to you and create a new folder called ShadowProtect.
  4. Under Replication Targets we need to add the first target to the Seeding Drive, So click on Add new replication target…
  5. Select Type: Local Drive
  6. Select Location: <Add new location…> to add the Seeding drive with the Name called ExternalSeedingDrive and the Path to DriveLetter:\ShadowProtect, then click save.
  7.  Update Subdirectory: or leave the default entry (note some options below are only available on version 6 IM).
  8. Click on the Replication ModeTab and select the settings as per below:
  9. Once you click Save replication to the Seeding drive will begin. Once the base images have completed, you can delete this replication target and send the drive back to The Vault Corporation as per your instruction’s.

Replicating incremental images to The Remote Vault:

Using the details emailed to you follow the instructions below to configure ImageManager iFTP replication settings:

  1. Again select Add new replication target…
  2. Select Type: intelligentFTP
  3. Select Location: <Add new location…>
  4. Then click save and enter the Subdirectory: or leave the default entry.
  5. Select Don’t replicate Base image files
  6. On version 6 of IM select Start replicating incremental backup images immediately
  7. Click on the Replication Mode TAB and select the option as per below:
  8. Finally save the target.
  9. On Versions prior to version 6, please pause the replication until your base images have been uploaded to The Remote Vault.
  10. On Version 6 of IM, your incremental backup images will start replicating.


Do You Sleep Well At Night?

Recently I demonstrated our Recovery solution to an Insurance Broker who had just upgraded their Tape Backup system.

My question to them was

“When was the last time you tested your backups to see if you can recover your system and data?”

 His answer:

“I worry so much about the backups that I don’t get any sleep at nights!”

 That was until he saw how quickly I recovered their server into my laptop in a Virtualised environment.

Who do you know who doesn’t sleep at nights worrying about their systems and data?


Configuring Shadow Protect Optimising For The Remote Vault

The Remote Vault has automated functionality to verify backup images are received at the very least every 3 hours. If no images are received for any volume, then a red flag is triggered alerting support of a possible issue.

So to elimanate fals positives the following is the recommedend backup schedule for any given server/workstation that is replicated to The Remote Vault:

  • Mon-Fri 5.03am till 9pm at the most every 3hrs.


Although, every 30mins for 24hours 7 days a week is most ideal, the above schedule allows you to schedule other maitenance routines outside of the Shadow Protect backups, eg SQL Backups and maintenance plans, Windows defrags, etc.

(Fileservers data drive could be done every 15mins to accomodate user’s accidentally deleting files or overwriting).

Also, schedule backup jobs from different volumes and servers so that they don’t all run at the same time, and always start jobs a few minutes after the hour. Most windows and application tasks usualy start on the hour or half hour.

Also note that, where possible The Vault Corporation will endevour to schedule our maintenance after 6pm on Saturday and/or Sunday.


Configuring Servers For Incremental Image Based Backups

When you start using incremental image based backups like Shadow Protect, it is best to make some changes on your Servers to get the most out of your Image Repositry, especially expensive remote storage.

Install an additional disk or create an additional partition to relocate the following applicaitons/settings from your OS and Data drives:

  • Virus Protection
  • Install or Downloaded programs
  • WSUS source downloads
  • Page File
  • Temp Folders

Reconfigure the following applications to reduce the size and growth of log files:

  • IIS and SBS Logs
  • Exchange Logs
  • SQL Logs
  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
  • SharePoint Database Log files.
  • Set Certificate Service Logging options, also run a log clean up weekly or monthly –  Click here to download the script

Read more at:

Recovering Disk Space on the C: Drive in Small Business Server 2008

How to Change the Event Logging Level for Certificate Services



6 Things To Get Right In Your Online Backup System

Are you considering setting up an online backup system for your business? With the rapid evolution of cloud computing it is now much more efficient to do your backups on line.

Online backup is now becoming the best value solution, with easy to use backup software and much cheaper storage costs. The new backup software also provides the added advantages of providing much faster data recovery with much less data loss because the backup is running continuously.

We all know that there are lots of risks from storing your backups at your office or business premises. No one should risk having their backup in the same place as the source data.  The usual practice is to take a daily backup to a different location. This system works but if you lose your data (from human error, natural disasters, or cyber-attacks) you will have lost a day’s worth of work or transaction records.

If you are thinking about online backup here are six things that The Vault Corporation recommends you get the following things right:

1. The Right Capacity and Grade Hard Drive

Make sure your hard drive is well maintained and has the right capacity and grade for it’s use for your needs. Storage capacity is becoming cheaper so there is no reason not to upgrade.

2. The Right Backup Software

Install backup software that is safe, secure and easy to use to run your backup process. After considerable research and trials we currently recommend ShadowProtect.

3. A Recovery Environment

Have a recovery environment in place to host the backup. If your primary environment is damaged, lost or compromised you will need separate hardware and software to run the backup.

4. Get Regular Status Reports

Make sure you get regular status reports on the backup process. You should regularly check that there are no problems or gaps in the backup process.

5. Quality Technical Support

Make sure you are getting the right technical support so that you have a trouble-free and quality backup process in place. Good technical support soon pays for itself.

6. Good Management Support

Taking shortcuts in setting up your system can result in a failed process. Make sure you are getting the right advice about managing your data and information backup processes from IT professionals that specialise in online backup technology.

For more information about online backup software and systems contact us.

When Did You Last Check Your Backups?

Success BackupsAre you sure that your backup system is working effectively to protect your business from disaster?

How many people do you know who thought they had an effective backup system in place and when their system crashed they found that they had lost important information?

Sadly I know quite a few people who have lost a lot of information.

Recently a new client lost his whole system after plugging an external drive from his customer into his system. Thankfully we had already started backing his system and were able to fully restore his system (remomtely) within a couple hours with no loss of data.

There are six common reasons why backups fail.

1. Overly-complex backup solutions

One of the major challenges for IT professionals is making sure that the whole set of business applications they use can interface with each other. If your organisation is using a mix of non-standardised products from different providers there is a strong likelihood that the software integration put in place to make the packages “talk” to each other may not work. If the packages can’t talk to each other the backups may not be working or may be incomplete. Some figures suggest that only about 20% of backups fully succeed.

2. Partial backups lose important information

One of the common backup problems is that some organisations only back up part of their dataset. One published survey of businesses found that 31 percent don’t back up email, 21 percent don’t back up application data, and 17 percent don’t back up customer data (including invoices, amounts owing, contacts, etc.). Some large organisations only back up their network files and not their local files assuming that employees only use the network.

3. Remote locations have forgotten backups

Some organisations with multiple or regional offices have good infrastructure and data management in their head office (often where the IT department are based) but often overlook the backup and data management of remote offices or of field staff. Your IT staff may not be overseeing the data management processes at remote or regional sites as closely as they oversee your corporate office even though the data may be subject to the same compliance regulations.

4. Low frequency backups increases data loss risk

Most companies do a daily backup although there are others still doing weekly backups. If you have a lot of people working on a project there is a risk that if your backup frequency is too low, weeks of accumulated work could be lost only a few hours out from a deadline. Historic information can be archived and will not change very much over time but current project work is being updated in real time in response to demands on your business.

5. Memory device failures

Backup data and information are commonly stored using tape and disk storage devices. Tape and disk storage solutions rely on high quality media. However, if the media is not maintained, not stored properly and not replaced before the end of its effective life there is a strong risk that it will fail at a critical time.

6. Poor software backup processes

It is important to have strong IT management practices in place, for instance, to store information and data in the correct software version compatible with your current operating system. If a legacy system crashes there is a risk that the software environment cannot be recreated and the data is unrecoverable. Your backup processes need to be changed to match changes to the system infrastructure.

For more information about safe, secure and reliable backup software and systems contact us.

Cloud Computing – A New Years Resolution

As we leave 2012 behind us we look forward to a new year for our businesses. But what should we do in 2013 to improve our business?

One of the most important things we can do for our business and our customers is to improve our data management particularly backup and recovery processes. It gives us, and our customers, more piece of mind and significantly reduces our risks.


As cloud technology is developing it is now becoming the most cost-effective and practical way to manage your data, your backup and your recovery processes. We believe that cloud computing has now passed the tipping point where the advantages are now significantly greater than the disadvantages.

Over the New Year period while you are recharging your batteries and having some downtime we suggest you think about moving to the cloud in 2013. The cloud is ready for you. You should be ready for it. Here are some things to think about.

The benefits of cloud storage

Cloud backup has several major benefits. You have the ability to store and manipulate data in the cloud, higher performance, more scalability and cheaper storage. The technology is now matured and trustworthy.

A good time to invest

With lots of cloud computing vendors entering the market the value is there for your business. Vendors are competing for new customers and IT managers are getting excited about their ability to negotiate good deals.
 However, it is essential to select a cloud storage solution from an experienced vendor who can give you a solution that is appropriate to your business.

Security standards

Cloud-based services need to be operated at the same standards as enterprise systems. The data must be securely encrypted and the physical locations of the cloud-based service must be secure. Business processes must be in place and appropriate to the data and usage.

Moving to cloud based data management and backup is a good time to audit and review your data security processes and to make sure your quality management systems are compliant.

Data location

A major consideration for cloud storage is the location of your data. Obviously it needs to be away from your business so that it is independent of any physical disasters that your business location may suffer.

But it also needs to be accessible for you to be able to audit its security. We recommend Australian based storage because it is easy to get access to and to manage security compliance. It also gives you access to physical media for rapid recovery processes.

The importance of disaster recovery

For your disaster recovery the server location is critical as well as having in place a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

There are many cloud storage companies that will manage your data and backup but only a few offer expertise in disaster recovery. Make sure you chose a supplier that offers complete data and systems recovery services in their contract.

Growing your business

Once you have moved to the cloud you will find the processes much more streamlined and efficient. This will free you up to improve your systems and data management. Make sure the service you use for backup and storage can easily and affordably be expanded as your business grows.

Moving forward in 2013

We at The Vault Corporation wish you all the best for 2013 and hope that your New Years resolutions for data management, backup and disaster recovery are successful.


Merry Xmas And A Prosperous New Year In 2013

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

We would like to wish all of you a very Merry Xmas and a safe and prosperous 2013.


May your holiday season and the New Year be filled with much joy, happiness and success.



Please note that we will be on skeleton staffing during the Christmas and New Year period but will continue to monitor your backups.

We are available for any disasters whether they are minor or major, or any critical data restoration needs.

Happy holidays!
The Vault Corporation Team

What Will A Mini-Disaster Cost You?

Last week I talked about mini-disasters. Mini-disasters are local catastrophes that are much more likely to affect your business than the large-scale environmental disasters that scare us the most.

By a strange coincidence a few days after I posted the mini-disaster story I was called by one of my new clients. Late on Friday afternoon (why is it always the most inconvenient time) my client had plugged one of their customer’s external disk drives into their PC to start work on a job. The PC promptly shut down and could not be reopened.

What had happened? This was another form of mini-disaster. The external drive had drained too much power from the PC and had destroyed the hard drive. The computer was useless and the information on it not recoverable. The client had no information or tools to deliver their work.

The client was worried and called us right away. Had they lost all their information? Would they be able to finish the job for their customer as they said they would? Were they going to have to tell their customer they had a computer failure? Would they look foolish and perhaps lose the customer?

This story has a happy ending. This client’s backup was with The Vault Corporation so everything was available to restore their system. They had their PC urgently repaired (by a reputable and reliable provider I recommended) and we restored their data and operating systems by that Saturday afternoon.

They finished their customer’s job by Monday and their customer was happy. In fact their customer never even knew that a mini-disaster had happened!

The moral of the story is that you must have a good backup system in place or even a mini-disaster will lose you income and perhaps your reputation.


Not A Storm In A Teacup – How Mini Disasters Can Affect Your Business

When we think about the natural disasters that can affect our businesses we immediately think of bushfires, floods, earthquakes, blackouts, storms and lightning strikes, or strong winds. These can affect your business operations, computers and your information and data.

But it is not the large-scale disaster, that is most likely to affect your business, instead it will be the local catastrophe, a plumbing disaster, an equipment failure or a power outage.

Problems with humidity

Excess humidity in the air will cause oxidation of electronic circuits, conductors and connectors, and circuits will perform unpredictably. Lack of humidity increases the potential for sparking from static-electricity.

Water and electricity don’t mix

Water damage is a major cause of local computer catastrophes. Water and electricity don’t mix well and short-circuiting and damage occurs. Water ingress is commonly caused by ruptured water pipes. Other causes include:

»  excess vapour condensation within air-conditioners, and

»  sprinkler systems using water rather than Halon (often activated by over-heating, see below)

Overheating is a common failure

Overheating of the computer facility is the most commonly reported cause of computer failure. It can be caused by several events that often do not get noticed by personnel until there is a computer failure.

»  failure of room air-conditioning

»   failure of cooling fans in the computer chassis

»  blockage of air ducts

Excessive heat may damage recording media; it may cause immediate failure of computer electronics; and make some components fail.

Smoke and fire damage memory

Fire in an installation can destroy computer equipment and make the data unrecoverable. Smoke particles are particularly damaging to disk and tape surfaces where data is stored.

Interruption of a disk or tape-write cycle can destroy the contents of open files. Computer operators need to evacuate immediately and often computers are left active during emergencies.

Power spikes and interruptions

Electricity from the public distribution system fluctuates in voltage as well as suffering from unpredictable spikes and contamination from high-frequency noise. Power interruptions are not as dangerous as irregular power spikes that cause heat fluctuations rise and circuit degradation.

Uninterruptable power supplies not full answer

Most computer facilities have installed UPS, Uninterruptable Power Supplies. But it should be noted that valuable data records may be damaged in the switch-over from AC power to DC battery back-up if the files are not closed down properly.

Heat may become a problem if the computers are still operating but the air-conditioning is not.

So don’t overlook the risk of small disasters

You mustn’t overlook the local risks to your information and data. Don’t treat everyday problems as if they are a storm in your teacup. They will have the biggest impact on your business. Make sure you have backup for your information and data and disaster recovery plans in place. Even if you think you will not be affected by big disasters the small disasters will still affect your business.