How to conduct Network Backups to rsync-compatible servers

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This article will guide administrators into conducting Network Backup between from one DiskStation to a rsync-compatible server. This article was written from DSM 2.2-0942

What is Network Backup to a rsync-compatible server?

Network Backup is a function of the DiskStation where data from one DiskStation can be backed up to another to a rysnc-compatible server, using a LAN or WAN connection.
Please note that this guide assumes that a rsync-server is available, and all user, group, permissions, file paths, modules, etc, have been created and properly configured.

Create a Network Backup Task

From the "Source" DiskStation, the following guide will instruct administrators into creating Network Backup Task, to backup data to a "Destination" rsync-compatible server

Step 1: Logging in

  • Login to the Synology DiskStation Manager as administrator

Step 2:

  • Proceed to Backup -> Backup and click on Create

Step 3:

  • Enter a name for this Backup Task
  • Click on Next to proceed

Step 4:

  • Select Network Backup (rsync-compatible server) as the Destination Type

Step 5:

  • Enter the IP Address of the rsync-server.
  • Enter the module name to use on the destination rsync-server.
  • Enter a user name to use with the associated module.
  • Enter a password to use with the associated username and module
  • Optional
    • Enable Backup Encryption to encrypt the data during transmission towards the destination DiskStation.
      • Note: this will increase the backup time as it requires more time to encrypt/decrypt data.
    • Enable Block Level Backup to submit only data which was changed on a file, instead of the entire file.
      • Note: this will increase the backup time as it requires more time to analyze the file for changes
    • Enable Incremental Backup will leave files at the destination if it is deleted at the source DiskStation.

Step 6:

  • Select which shares to be backed up on the source DiskStation
  • Click Next to proceed.

Step 7:

  • If needed, backup the internal MySQL Database, Photo Station Database, and the Synology Blog database.
    • Note: the root password of the MySQL database is required to be used to backup all user created MySQL databases.
  • Click Next to proceed

Step 8:

  • Set a schedule for when the Network Backup should operate.
  • Click Next to proceed.

Step 9:

  • Review and confirm the Network Backup Settings
  • Click Next to proceed.

Step 10:

  • The Network Backup Task has been successfully created
  • Click Next to proceed.

Step 11:

  • Here, the Network Backup Task will state the status of the current Task


File path limit

Within the Synology DiskStation

  • Files with a path name exceeding 996 characters will not be backed up, this is a limitation of Linux. An error will be recorded in the Network Backup Log.
  • Files with a path name exceeding 190 characters will be backed up, however a warning will be displayed in the Network Backup Log. This warning message is recorded as not all network communication protocols cannot address longer file paths.

Backup Behavior

The first network backup will be a Full backup, and subsequent backups will be incremental backups.

Where are the files located at the Destination?

At the destination rsync server, all of the files are located under the programed module share, with individual folders for each source DiskStation sending data to the destination rsync server.

Conducting Off-site backups

For conducting off-site backups, please be aware how much data is being changed between backup intervals, and that the upload bandwidth at the source DiskStation can finish the job within a reasonable amount of time. Also, be aware if the backups do not exceed a monthly bandwidth usage cap, as dictated by ISPs.

Suggested strategy for deploying an off-site backup

Assuming a DiskStation, labeled DS-A and a rsync-server, labeled RS-1; and two locations are used, labeled as Loc-A and Loc-B, perform the following procedure to deploy an off-site backup.

  1. At Loc-A, have both the DS-A and RS-1 on the network.
  2. Backup data to DS-A.
  3. Conduct a Network Backup from DS-A to RS-1 within the same network as Loc-A.
    • Conducting a Network Backup within the same network (ie, LAN) allows for maximum performance to be used to get the first backup finished. The first backup will require the most amount of time as it contains the most amount of data.
  4. After the Network Backup is completed, move RS-1 to Loc-B.
  5. At Loc-B, enable port forwarding of port 873 for the data channel (and optionally, port 22 for encryption channel, if used).
  6. At Loc-A edit the Backup Task of DS-A to reflect the WAN IP Address of Loc-B. Now, the Backup Task of DS-A will start sending backups to RS-1, which is located at Loc-B.

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