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Asigra backup guide?

danb35

FreeNAS Wizard
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#1
It seems that iX is really pimping the Asigra plugin (blog post), but I haven't seen a comprehensive guide anywhere on how to go from "basic FreeNAS system" to "Asigra installed, running, and backing up your data". Is there one that I'm missing?

From what I can see so far, the process looks like:
  • Install the plugin
  • Add storage to the plugin (where? Or does it matter?)
  • Register the plugin, requiring use of a company name, full address and phone, and a static IP. Note that, although iX makes a big point of being able to back up 10 devices for free, they somehow forget to mention that you can only use 1 TB of backup space, no matter how much space you have available on your FreeNAS box. I'm sure this is pure oversight and not a deliberate omission.
  • Once you register, you'll need to confirm your email address. Once you confirm it, you'll get an email with instructions on how to download the Asigra client software, a 2.1-GB ISO that will need to be installed in a separate VM or physical server.
  • Launch the management console, a Java Web Start thing called DS-Operator. Make whatever security exceptions, etc. are necessary to let it run.
  • In the DS-Operator, go to Setup -> Initialization, click Add next to Additional DS-Systems, enter your jail's IP address, check Use UDP, and click OK. Then in the left-hand panel, click Refresh
  • Check the box next to the "asigra" entry in the left-hand panel. Login as root/root. The root user can't do anything but manage user capabilities capabilities. Click "Add" at the bottom of this window.
  • Enter a user name, and check all the roles (you might not need all of them--not sure at this point). Click OK, then close the users window.
  • Go to the shell in the jail and run adduser. Add a user with the same username as you entered above, and set your desired password for that user.
  • Back in DS-Operator, uncheck "asigra" in the left-hand panel, and check it again. It will ask you to log in again, use the username and password you set above.
  • It will now complain that you don't have a license. Go to Setup -> License Server and enter the server name in your "registration is complete" email (mine said to use license.asigra.com), then click OK. You'll get a dialog box saying to disconnect and reconnect again, click OK on that too.
  • Once again, uncheck and recheck "asigra" in the left-hand panel, and log in again.
I think this gets the server plugin set up. Now for the client.
  • Install CentOS 7 including a GUI--AFAICT, the DS-client needs an apparently-local GUI; it doesn't use a web GUI. I'm sure you could use a different Linux distro though, but it doesn't appear the DS-client runs on FreeBSD (though it does on Windows if you have a Windows box to use). You'll probably want to set up a VNC server or other screen-sharing system as well. It calls for 4 GB of RAM as a minimum.
  • For CentOS, you'll also need to install boost-regex, boost-filesystem, boost-program-options, xerces-c, xmlrpc-c-c++, and xmlrpc-c-apps.
  • Mount the ISO you downloaded above to the machine and change to its mountpoint.
  • Run (as root) ./setup_lin.sh
  • Choose your language, choose to install DS-Client, run through the installer.
  • work in progress...
I'm really getting the idea that this product is intended for very large-scale deployment--put differently, any installation that would fall within the free license really doesn't have any business using this product. There seems to be a great deal of manual configuration required, it isn't in the least intuitive, and I haven't yet been able to find straightforward documentation. Maybe I'm missing something, but it doesn't look like something that's intended for home or small-scale use.
 
Last edited:

danb35

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#2
Anything on this?
 

jro

FreeNAS Aware
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#3
We're working on putting together some more comprehensive installation and deployment resources for the plugin. In the short-term, that blog post you linked is getting a minor update with some more detailed instructions on the Asigra setup side. Longer-term, we're going to work with Asigra to get some end-to-end guides written. Until that time, the post you've taken the time to write up is far more detailed than anything we've put together, so thank you for doing that! :)

I wasn't aware of the 1TB limit for the trail. This does seem more restrictive than the 10 client limit and I agree that it should have been mentioned in the post. I'm looking into this and will get back to you.

You're correct that Asigra's product is often deployed to back up very large petabyte-scale enterprise infrastructure. As you mentioned, products like these aren't typically as intuitive as those created for home and SOHO users. That being said, I do think that some home users will find this solution useful, especially if they have lots of machines they want to back up (and they have to patience to learn the admittedly cumbersome management interfaces). FreeNAS is also commonly deployed in enterprise infrastructure and these users can certainly find an application for the plugin.

I'm hoping that as Asigra gets some more small-scale users, they'll get some of the enterprise-y quirks ironed out of their platform. I know they've got some new web UIs for some of their management consoles but I don't know how you'd go about setting those up. The guides linked in the blog post might have more information. In any case, I certainly appreciate the feedback on the plugin and I'll make sure the rest of the team knows about your feelings.
 
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#4
Your guide seems very complete but I can't get past your 5th step - 'Launch the management console'. I'm a FreeNAS newbie and I'm trying to use the Asigra plugin for FreeNAS (v11.2-5). I followed the instructions at https://www.ixsystems.com/blog/asigra-plugin/ up to the point where it says click on Management. Then a new browser window opens with "404 Not Found / nginx/1.16.0" showing. The URL shows as http://192.168.15.27/asigra/DSOP.jnlp. I can ping 192.168.15.27 and a request for http://192.168.15.27/ shows 'Launch Asigra DS-Operator' as a link to the http://192.168.15.27/asigra/DSOP.jnlp. What did I miss?
 
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#5
A great write up. Enough to tell me Asigra is more pain than I want to go through. My Asigra installation has been deleted.
 
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