File-Level Backup

Managed Backup provides a feature of backing up specific files and folders on your users' computers using remote management tools.

This chapter covers the following topics:

File Backup Overview

Features:

  • Local and network files
  • Block-level backup
  • Back up NTFS permissions (Windows only)
  • Advanced file filter
  • Compression and Encryption
  • Retention Policy
  • Filename encryption
  • Pre/post actions (Windows only)

File backup is supported for:

  • Windows: Windows Server 2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2/2016/2019, Windows 7/8/10
  • Linux: Ubuntu 12/14/16/17/18, Debian 7.11/8.10/9.3, SUSE Enterprise 11/12, openSUSE 42.2/42.3, Red Hat 6.x/7.x, Fedora 25/26/27, CentOS 6.x/7.x, Oracle Linux 6.x/7.x, Amazon Linux 2
  • macOSc: macOS 10.8 or later

Required License: Any (To learn more, refer to Backup Agent Editions)

Create New File-Level Backup Plan

  1. In the RMM menu, select the Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. In the side panel, click +.
  5. In the drop-down menu, select Files.
  6. Once you are finished with the plan settings, click Save.

Plan Name

Name the backup plan and specify if you want the backup plan configuration to be saved on backup storage. This may be needed in case you want to restore the backup plan configuration on another instance. If having the configuration on the user computer and in the Management Console is enough, leave the Save backup plan configuration to the backup storage check box unselected.

Click Next to proceed.

Where to Backup

At first, select the backup plan type:

  • To back up files and folders directly to the backup storage (local or cloud), select the Local or Cloud Backup option
  • To back up files and folders first to local storage with the subsequent backup to cloud storage, select the Hybrid Backup option

Select a target backup storage for the backup plan. If no storage accounts are available, create a new one. Refer to Add New Storage Account to learn how to do it.

In case you selected local storage for this backup plan or hybrid backup type, make sure if there is enough free space on the target storage

Once you selected backup storage, click Next.

Advanced Options

Specify advanced options for the backup plan.

  • Backup NTFS permissions. Select this check box to include current NTFS permissions in the backup plan
  • Mark objects deleted in a backup source. Select this check box to track object deletion on a target computer for this backup plan
  • If you want to use block-level backup, select the Block-level backup check box. To learn more about the block-level backup, refer to the Block-Level Backup chapter

To learn more about NTFS permissions, refer to the NTFS permissions article

  • Use fast NTFS scan. Select this check box to enable MSP360 proprietary file scanning and search mechanism. This mechanism is based on a file tree generation which allows faster data reading and faster backup procedure. It is not recommended to enable this feature for small amounts of files and folders to back up

Note that the Force Using VSS option is mandatory for fast NTFS scanning and will be enabled automatically

  • Force using VSS. Select this check box to back up objects from a snapshot in order to avoid any access conflicts. This option is useful for forcible backup of files that are used by other processes at the moment of the backup plan run

To learn more about VSS, refer to the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) article

Consider the following restrictions that apply to VSS:

VSS cannot be used to back up network files, such as network shares and mapped network drives

VSS cannot make snapshots of data stored in FAT32-partitioned volumes

  • Use system VSS provider. Select this check box in case you experience issues with a third-party VSS provider. Once the backup plan is run, the Backup Agent will use the system VSS provider forcibly.

Particular Options for Amazon S3

If your backup storage destination is Amazon S3, the following particular options are available in this step.

  • Use S3 Transfer Acceleration. Use this option to accelerate file transfer for an extra fee. The target bucket must have this feature enabled

Using different storage classes for different backup needs helps you optimizing your storage costs.

Learn more about Amazon S3 storage classes here

Particular Options for Microsoft Azure

If your backup storage destination is Microsoft Azure, select the required Azure Blob Storage.

The following options are available:

  • Archive Blob Storage. This is a low-cost storage option for infrequently accessed data. As opposed to hot and cool storage tiers, retrieving data from an Archive Blob Storage may take up to several hours
  • Cool Blob Storage. The cool storage tier has lower storage costs and higher access costs compared to hot storage. This tier is intended for data that will remain in the cool tier for at least 30 days.

Note that this feature is only supported for General Purpose v2 Azure accounts. If you are using another kind of account, you need to upgrade your account to be able to use this feature

Be aware of the additional charges and increased blob access rates after your Azure account upgrade

To learn more about the difference between Azure storage tiers, refer to the Azure Blob Storage - Hot, cool, and archive storage tiers article at docs.microsoft.com.

What to Backup

Specify files and folders to be included in the backup plan.

Click Next.

Advanced Filter

Specify the advanced backup settings. The following settings are available:

  • Backup all files in selected folders. Select this option to back all files in folders, specified in the Backup Source section
  • Backup files of these types. Select this option to back up files of certain types. The file type is detected by file extension. In the field below, specify the required file extensions
  • Do not backup files of these types. Select this option to exclude files of certain types from the backup plan. The file type is detected by file extension. In the field below, specify the required file extensions
  • Backup empty folders. Select this check box to include empty folders in the backup plan
  • Skip folders. In this field, specify folders to be excluded from the backup plan. Separate them with semicolons
  • Backup files modified (days ago). Select this check box, if you want to back up files, modified on a specific day. In the field below, specify the number of days from the last modification
  • Backup files modified since. Select this check box if you want to include in the backup plan all files that have been modified after a point in time. In the fields below, specify the date and the time of files modification
  • Do not backup files larger than (MB). Select this check box to limit the size of files for the backup plan. In the field below, specify the maximum file size
  • Do not backup system and hidden files. Select this option to exclude files that have 'system' and/or 'hidden' attributes from the backup plan. Refer to System and Hidden Files Backup for details
  • Do not backup locked files (exclusively opened by other applications). Select this check box, if you want to exclude from the backup plan files that will be opened at the moment of the backup plan run.
  • Do not backup locked files (exclusively opened by other applications). Select this check box, if you want to exclude from the backup plan files that will be opened at the moment of the backup plan run
  • Do not backup On-Demand files (selected by default). Select this check box to exclude On-Demand files from the backup plan

To learn more about On-Demand files, refer to the OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise article at techcommunity.microsoft.com

Click Next.

Compression and Encryption Options

Specify compression and encryption options for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Select Enable compression check box to compress backup contents to reduce the backup size on storage

  • To protect your backup contents with encryption, select Enable encryption check box. The following AES encryption bite key lengths are supported: 128, 192, and 256. Select the appropriate key length in the Algorithm drop-down menu

  • Specify the strong encryption password in the Password field, then confirm the password in the Confirm field.

  • Select the Encrypt filenames check box to encrypt your backup source filenames along with their contents

  • Use Server Side Encryption. Select this check box to enable encryption of your backup content if you use Amazon cloud storage. Note that the user should have enough permissions to access backup data.

Note that the encryption password will NOT be stored in the backup plan configuration for security reasons. Keep this password in a safe place to be able to restore the backup contents afterward

Click Next.

Retention Policy

Specify the retention policy for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Use default options specified for the whole product. Select this option to apply the default retention policy settings. You can see them below, but cannot edit if this option is selected
  • Specify custom retention policy for backup plan. Select this option if you want to customize the retention policy settings for this backup plan
  • Delete versions older than. Select this check box if you want to keep the restricted number of file versions on backup storage. In the fields below, specify the criteria for the deletion of old file versions
  • Always keep the last version. Select this check box if you want to keep the last file version in backup storage regardless if it is deleted in a backup source. It is highly recommended to keep this check box selected for backup plans with sensitive data
  • Keep number of versions (for each file). Select this check box to specify the number of file versions to be kept in backup storage, then specify the number of versions
  • Delay purge for. Select this option if you want to keep in a backup storage object that you delete in a backup source, then specify the delay period
  • Delete files that have been deleted locally. Select this option if you want to delete an object from backup storage after deletion of them in a backup source. Then specify the period after which objects will be deleted automatically.
  • Do not show warning for files to be deleted. Select this option to avoid file deletion warnings

If your backup plan is a hybrid one, you can specify the custom retention policy setting for the local backup. To do this, select the Use different retention policy for local backup check box

Note that in case you specify Delete versions older than and Keep number of versions (for each file) in one retention policy, file versions will be deleted according to any of the specified conditions.

Thus, if a file version is outdated by the file age criteria, this will overcome the Keep number of versions (for each file) setting and will be deleted even if there are fewer file versions than specified in this field.

In case the file version is not outdated by the file age criteria, but there are more versions than specified in the Keep number of versions (for each file) field, a file will be deleted as well

To learn more about the retention policy, refer to the Retention Policy chapter.

Click Next.

Schedule Options

Specify the backup plan schedule settings.

The following options are available:

  • If you intend to run the backup plan manually, select No schedule option
  • If you intend the backup plan to run on a particular date and time, select the Specific date option, then specify the date and time you want your backup plan to be run
  • If you want the backup plan to run on a constant periodic basis, select Recurring (predefined templates) option or Recurring (advanced)
  • To stop the backup plan in case if it continues suspiciously long, select Stop the plan if it runs for check box, then specify the backup plan maximum duration
  • To alert plan as overdue if the backup plan takes more time than the last successful backup, select Alert plan as overdue after check box, then specify the time interval.
  • Select Run missed scheduled plan immediately when computer starts up option to run the plan that was not executed while the computer was down

Click Next.

Simple Schedule Options

The Simple Recurring Options step helps you to configure backup frequency:

.

Click Next.

Advanced Schedule Options

The Advanced Schedule step helps you to customize backup frequency flexibly:

  • Enable the frequency for the selected backup type and configure the schedule. You can use the predefined settings or change them.

Click Next.

Pre / Post Actions

Specify pre and post-actions for your backup plan. Usually, these are scripts that perform particular jobs before or after your data is backed up. The following settings are available:

  • Select Synchronize local repository with backup storage before plan runs check box to To learn more about the repository and how to manage it, refer to the Repository and Consistency chapter
  • To specify the action that will be performed before the backup plan starts, select Execute this command before backup runs: check box.
  • Specify the path to the script to be run as a pre-backup action.
  • Specify the conditions of pre-action run:
    • Exit backup if pre-backup action failed option if you do not want the backup plan to be launched if the pre-backup action fails.
    • Select Continue backup plan if pre-backup action failed option if you want the backup plan to launched regardless of the pre-backup action result.
  • To specify the action that will be performed after the backup is completed, select Execute the command after backup completes: check box.
    • Select Execute post-backup action if backup has been successfully completed option if you want to run it only if the backup was executed without any errors or warnings.
    • Select Execute post-backup action in any case (regardless of the backup result) option if you want the post-action to be launched regardless of the backup termination results.
  • To chain the backup plan with another plan, select Execute the specified plan after the plan completes: check box, then select the plan name in the drop-down menu.
    • Select Execute only if the plan has been successfully completed option if you want to run the specified plan only if the backup plan was executed without any errors or warnings.
    • Select Execute regardless of the plan result option if you want the chained backup plan to be launched regardless of the backup termination results.

Click Next.

Notification (MacOs, Linux)

Specify notification settings. You can use the default settings or customize them.

Select Specified Email check box to add stakeholder notification details. You can specify one or more email recipients. Separate them by a semicolon or a comma, the recipient name (one for all of them). The email subject can also contain any of the following variables:

  • %COMPUTER_NAME%. Displays the instance name on which the backup plan was executed
  • %RESULT%. Displays the result of the backup plan. Possible values: Success, Finished with warnings, Failed
  • %PLAN_NAME%. Displays the name of the backup plan.

If you want the backup plan record to be added to Windows Event Log, select Add entry to Windows Event Log when backup completes check box

  • Select When backup fails option if you want to receive the notification message in case of the backup plan failure
  • Select In all cases option if you want the entry to be put in Windows Event Log in any case.

You are about to create a file backup plan. You can return to review the configuration of the backup plan, if necessary. Click Next.

Notifications (Windows)

Specify notification settings. You can use the default settings or customize them.

Select User receives a notification email when backup completes if you want to notify your users about backup process. You can select whether users will be notified about backup failure or about any backup result.

You are about to create file backup plan. You can return to review the configuration of the backup plan, if necessary.

If you want the backup plan record to be added to Windows Event Log, select Add entry to Windows Event Log when backup completes check box

  • Select When backup fails option if you want to receive the notification message in case of the backup plan failure
  • Select In all cases option if you want the entry to be put in Windows Event Log in any case.

If you want the backup plan record to be added to Windows Event Log, select Add entry to Windows Event Log when backup completes check box

  • Select When backup fails option if you want to receive the notification message in case of the backup plan failure
  • Select In all cases option if you want the entry to be put in Windows Event Log in any case.

Click the Next.

Finishing the Wizard

Click Save to finish the wizard.

This backup plan will be started automatically if scheduled, or you can start it manually. The backup agent service can work in the background, but the machine where the agent is installed should be running. Not necessary to run the backup agent to execute the backup job as scheduled.

Run Backup Plan

To Run the Existing Backup Plan

  1. Select the Remote Management in the RMM menu.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Find the plan to run, then click on it.
  5. Click the play button.

Edit Backup Plan

To Edit the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the RMM menu, select the Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Expand the plan you want to edit, then click Edit.
  5. Once you made the required changes, click Save.

Clone Backup Plan

To Clone the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the RMM menu, select the Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Expand the plan you want to edit, then click Clone.
  5. In the field below, specify the name of the plan clone.
  6. Click Save.

Delete Backup Plan

To Delete the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the RMM menu, select the Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Expand the plan you want to delete, then click Delete.
  5. In the dialog box, click OK to confirm the deletion.