Disk Image (Bare-Metal) Backup and Restores

Integrated Disk Image backups/restores, to local and remote storage, through OnyxSync’s Disk Imaging (Bare-Metal) solution.

We offer a completely integrated backup and disaster recovery solution through OnyxSync’s Disk Image (Bare-Metal) backup and restore solution. With this feature, you can restore an entire system from OnyxSync backups to new hardware without requiring a reinstall of the operating system or requiring initialized disks. Typical backup recovery approaches are fraught with challenges, such as:

  • Recovery of the backups can take longer than expected.
  • There is a need for restoring the operating system environment and configurations before the backup data restore function is performed.
  • Non-integrated bare-metal recovery steps (involving third party tools) can be complex and consume valuable time of your technical staff.

OnyxSync’s Disk Image backup (Bare-metal backup) solves all the problems listed above. You can completely recover your systems from your OnyxSync Disk Image backups. In case a backed up system loses its boot disk or suffers some other catastrophic failure, the Disk Image restore option will facilitate restoring it to the state that existed at the time of the latest backup. Also, you can recover to any point in time for which a valid backup disk image exists — either full or incremental.

OnyxSync uses the command line utility ‘Wbadmin’ and this is available in Windows 2008 Server, Windows 7 and Windows Vista’s Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions (not in Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium editions).

OnyxSync’s disk imaging solution adds a key capability and extends your backup service to provide complete system disaster recovery. The disk imaging feature eliminates complexity, saves administrator time, and provides you with complete confidence in your system’s disaster recovery capabilities.

MS Sharepoint Server Plugin Backup and Restore

Improve MS Sharepoint Server availability through OnyxSync’s integrated solution for Sharepoint servers!

Collaboration tools like MS Sharepoint Portal Server are now commonplace in most companies. With the OnyxSync Sharepoint plugin, you can backup and restore MS Sharepoint server data from the same intuitive console and the same backup servers and storage that are used for handling regular OnyxSync backups. The salient features of OnyxSync’s Sharepoint plugin are:

  • Listing of sites, documents, lists, contacts, web pages, Sharepoint databases and other items for backup / restore.
  • Single web console for managing backups of MS Sharepoint servers along with other backup items like Active Directory, MS Exchange, MSSQL etc.

OnyxSync supports a site-collection level backup of SharePoint versions Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010 [currently in beta when this article is written]

OnyxSync uses internal SharePoint utility (STSADM.EXE, offering a full fidelity backup) to take a copy of the SharePoint site-collection(s) and then uploads the locally dumped file(s) to the backup server. During a full backup, the entire site-collection(s) is taken and then is transferred to the backup server. During an incremental backup, only the modified content since the previous full backup is transferred to the backup server.

You can completely recover your MS Sharepoint from your OnyxSync backups. OnyxSync’s MS Sharepoint backup/restore solution adds a key capability and extends your backup service to provide a complete BU/DR solution for your customers. Using OnyxSync, MS Sharepoint servers can be completely protected eliminating complexity and saving administrator time.

Open File Backup (Windows OS)

OnyxSync supports Volume Shadow Copy (VSS service)

  • Effortless backup of open files
  • No plug-in required for backing up open files for Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

Volume Shadow Copy Service is a Microsoft Windows service that coordinates various components to create consistent shadow copies of one or more volumes.

In Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Operating Systems, Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provides a mechanism for creating consistent point-in-time copies of data known as ‘shadow copies’.

With VSS you can back up files even if they are in use at the time of backup. If VSS is enabled (from the advanced options menu while creating a new backup schedule), OnyxSync will create a snapshot (read only copy) of the volume(s) corresponding to the configured folders/files and will then backup the snapshot of the volume. The Volume Shadow copy helps OnyxSync create consistent backups, ensuring that the contents do not change while the backup is underway. This helps avoid problems typically associated with file locking; since OnyxSync uses a ‘read-only’ copy of the volume, it is able to access every file without conflicting with other programs writing to those same files.

This feature is especially useful in backing up exclusively locked files (of specific applications), such as the Outlook “pst” file in case of Outlook backups. Please note that you do not need VSS functionality to backup databases (like SQL & Exchange) – OnyxSync includes powerful support for SQL Backup & Exchange Backup!

There is no extra charge for the Volume Shadow Copy functionality.


  • OnyxSync uses Microsoft’s ‘Volume Shadow Copy’ Service (typically installed by default with the operating system) to create the ‘snapshot’ for backup. Hence, OnyxSync needs the ‘Volume Shadow Copy’ Service to be configured with the service start type set to ‘Automatic’ or ‘Manual’.
  • The Volume Shadow Copy Service needs at least 100 MB of free disk space.

If you’re using an operating system that supports Volume Shadow Copy (e.g. Windows XP, Vista and Windows Server 2003), you simply need to enable the VSS option in your backup schedules (from the advanced options screen) There is no extra charge for the Volume Shadow Copy functionality.

If you don’t have Volume Shadow Copy, OnyxSync helps you to perform the Open File backups with a help of the Plug-in. The plug-in is pre-configured to allow OnyxSync access to open files, and with it you needn’t worry about files not being backed up because they happened to be in use at the time of backup. Please note that the:

  • Plug-in needs to run on the machines backing up their data, NOT on the backup server receiving backup data.
  • You should NOT use the open file plugin to backup databases (like SQL & Exchange) – OnyxSync includes powerful support for SQL Backup & Exchange Backup.

If you’re sure you really need the open file plugin, and you are using a system such as Windows Home versions please contact us for the additional plug-in

Byte-level Incremental backup.

Conserve bandwidth with Intelli-Delta Technology for Incremental Backups

  • Intelligently backups only the incremental changes
  • Conserve bandwidth and reduce operational costs for your business
  • Reduces storage required for your maintaining backups

IntelliDelta is a powerful and proven technology that performs backups for only the incremental changes in files. Instead of handling incremental changes in the block level (e.g. 4KB blocks), OnyxSync’s Intelli-Delta technology goes one, actually, two steps further. OnyxSync does not implement pre determined block sizes as this is not often optimal. For a small file, the block size may be too large and hence translate to a larger amount of data being sent than what’s required. For very large files, a small block size translates to performance degradation. OnyxSync decides on individually optimal block sizes for every single file after taking into account the original file size. This ensures that for each file, changes are examined at an ‘optimized byte level’.

Additionally, OnyxSync also leverages RSYNC’s powerful ROLLING CHECKSUM feature – going one more step ahead of conventional approaches to incremental backups.For more on the RSYNC algorithm, please visit http://samba.anu.edu.au/rsync.

Microsoft Exchange Server Backup

OnyxSync’s comprehensive approach to backup management now allows you to execute your Exchange Server backups right down to the ‘Mailbox level’.

OnyxSync’s Exchange Server Backup plugin uses the ESE API to backup Storage Groups and Mail Stores.

Features include:

  • Optimal use of dump files for local storage: the dump file is compressed and automatically purged after use
  • Support for Storage Group level and Mail Store Level backup
  • Straight through Restore of Exchange Server backup.
  • Comprehensive Backup & Restore report of Exchange Server backup is available
  • Detailed Exchange Server Backup & Restore email reports available

Besides OnyxSync’s refreshing user interface, a comprehensive approach also enables us to leverage powerful components of OnyxSync’s core solution and apply them to Exchange Server backups. For example, data compression with the powerful ZLIB algorithm provides excellent compression ratios, military strength encryption (up to 448 bits) with the Blowfish algorithm ensures your data is always protected, and incremental backups capture byte level changes in your databases using our Intelli-Delta technology based on the proven and powerful RSYNC algorithm.

OnyxSync supports MS Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 backups in Windows 2000 Server, 2003 Server & Small Business Server, 2008 Server, 2008 Small Business Server & Essential Business Server.

MS SQL Server Backup

OnyxSync’s comprehensive approach to backup management now allows you to execute your SQL Server backups & restores from one intuitive interface.

OnyxSync supports SQL Server backups for SQL Server 2000 and all higher versions.

OnyxSync’s SQL Server Backup Plugin uses the VDI API to backup database(s) before uploading them to the backup server.

Features in the SQL Server plug-in include:

  • Optimal use of dump files for local storage: the dump file is compressed and automatically purged after use.
  • Straight through Restore of SQL Server backup (as opposed to a 2 step process in Basic plug-in)
  • Comprehensive Backup & Restore report of SQL Server backup is available
  • Detailed SQL Server Backup & Restore email reports available

VMware Server Backup

OnyxSync provides a simplified, very affordable and centralized solution to backup multiple Virtual Machines. Unlike other Online Backup Solutions, OnyxSync doesn’t require the client agent to be installed in every Virtual Machine that needs to be backed up. A single instance of OnyxSync client installation either in a standalone machine or in one of the Virtual Machines can be used to configure and backup the Virtual Machines running in multiple Host Machines.

OnyxSync supports backing up of ESX 3.0, ESX 3.5, ESXi 3.5, ESX 4.x and ESXi 4.x and VMware Server 2.0 Virtual Machines. OnyxSync uses VMWare APIs to create the snapshots of the Virtual Machines for backup. OnyxSync can then directly stream the snapshot files to the Online Backup Server. This eliminates the delay of first dumping the backup data in the client machine before backing it up, making it highly scalable and robust.

With OnyxSync’s Intelli-Delta technology, only the changed blocks are backed up during the incremental backups and not the entire snapshot image file, thereby saving bandwidth and time.

MySQL Server Backup

MySQL is clearly one of the more popular databases today. OnyxSync’s comprehensive approach to backup management now allows you to execute your MySQL backups & restores from one familiar interface.

IT managers will no longer need to have an array of application specific backup tools, especially since OnyxSync additionally supports Exchange Server backups, Active Directory / System State backups and a lot more. This is of course, over and above OnyxSync’s ability to handle any other form of Disk to Disk data backup.It’s all about flexibility!

A comprehensive approach also enables us to leverage powerful components of OnyxSync’s core solution and apply them to MySQL backups. For example, data compression with the powerful ZLIB algorithm can provide fantastic compression ratios and military strength encryption (up to 448 bits) with the Blowfish or Triple DES algorithm ensures your data is always secure.

MySQL Server backups are supported in all flavors of Linux and Windows environments.

Active Directory / System State backup

  • OnyxSync performs single click backups for Active Directory/system state
  • No need for application specific backup tools

Backup Alerts and Reports

Comprehensive alert engine – reliable monitoring of customer backup schedules

  • Highly configurable alert mechanisms to suit your needs
  • Alert emails can be configured to monitor backups and restores

OnyxSync comes with a sophisticated alert management engine which keeps you informed about what you need to know about the backup schedules. Missed backup alerts, disk space alerts and restoration alerts to name a few – help you effectively monitor the backups in your business.

Flexible Web Console Administration

OnyxSync’s installations have a simple browser based client interface that also supports secure remote access.

The simple to use web based interface adds enormous flexibility for the technicians managing the backup service. You can remotely login into your client installation simply by accessing the web browser interface. The client installations of OnyxSync have a simple ‘light-weight’ browser based GUI – reducing the memory footprint and other resources consumed on your user desktops. OnyxSync’s intuitive web interface supports all major web browsers and reduces the complexity of using the service.

Security and Encryption

  • Encrypt your backups with up to 448-bit military level encryption
  • Added security with secure communication between OnyxSync server and client installations
  • Industry standard Blowfish and triple DES Encryption algorithms protect your data

OnyxSync comes with a robust security management features which includes the facility to encrypt and send backups to the OnyxSync backup server. OnyxSync supports industry standard Blowfish and Triple DES encryption algorithms to secure your business data. These secure encryption techniques have never been broken before. In addition, OnyxSync client and server installations communicate using a TCP/IP based secure connection which reduces the risk of your valuable data being stolen.

Backup to External Drives

Create backups on the fly to External Disk drives connected to your network!

  • Create and store off-site copies by taking backups to external drives
  • Create backups from all OnyxSync clients connected the network containing the external drive

With the fast data transfer speeds supported by external storage devices and with the upcoming USB 3.0 standard, you can exploit the power of external storages to create backups from your client networks and create copies that can be stored on external devices.

Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail & Outlook Express Email backup

  • Easy to backup Outlook items.
  • Emails, notes, schedules etc.
  • Schedule Outlook backup from a directory listing of your Outlook account

The first things that need to be backed up are the critical data that reside in the form of emails and scheduling items – typically in the form of Outlook. OnyxSync supports Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail (on Vista) and Outlook Express backups.

On-Site initial Backups and Data Delivery

If you have a very large amount of data an Onyx technician will come out and perform an initial backup using the OnyxSync software to a local external hard drive or array. Once the first full backup is complete the data will be physically transported to the OnyxSync servers and “seeded” to your account. Following this, your backups will continue incrementally (only the changed files) using the retention period of your choice. Additionally, if you have a large amount of data to restore, we can restore your data locally within our data center and delivery the data to you on an external storage device for fast and easy restoration.

Custom Installations

OnyxSync can be customized to fit your business’ needs in order to maximize your backup efficiency and reliability. OnyxSync can be installed on and on-premise server and configured to replicate from your office to our data centers allowing you have to incredibily fast local backups and your data replicated off-site to a secure facility. More custom installation options are available. If you have questions about custom OnyxSync installs please contact Onyx Consulting to setup a consultation.