Zmanda Overview

This guide is to demonstrate the moving elements involved in Zmanda. Please refer to specific links added inline to learn the detailed steps.
Zmanda protects more servers than any other enterprise open source backup solution. Zmanda Enterprise combines the benefits of open source backup with enterprise-level support, strong vaulting with tape, and the ability to run seamlessly in air-gapped configurations.
To understand Zmanda, let's start with the data movement pattern. In the below diagram, data moves from left to right when a backup is ongoing, and data transfers from right to left when a restore is ongoing. The backup server orchestrates the data movement, and the ZMC control plane controls the configurations of the backup server.
This guide will give you an overview of Zmanda in 10 minutes. Now is probably the right time to brew a cup of hot coffee to give you company while you read through Zmanda. To make the flow easy, we broke the document down into five sections:
  1. 1.
    Building a backup architecture
  2. 2.
    Downloading the installation files
  3. 3.
    Configuring one backup server to backup one Windows client
  4. 4.
    Creating a backup set to perform a backup run
  5. 5.
    Running a directory-level restore to recover a deleted file

Step 1: Backup Architecture

The most effortless backup architecture is one where the backup server and ZMC control plane are running on the same machine. To build this setup, choose the appropriate binary distribution from the Zmanda network downloads page, install 4.1 Backup Server and Zmanda Management Console using the respective installers *run file, then download the license key from Network Zmanda and then upload it on the license section under Settings on ZMC. With this, your backup architecture is implemented and running.
Simple backup architecture, where backup server and ZMC control plane are running on the same server
For a comprehensive example, we built our backup architecture where the backup server is running on Fedora 31 and is backing up data from a Windows server. The backup agent installed on the Windows Server sends data to the backup server at set intervals.
Backup architecture of the setup being configured.
Now that we have a backup architecture in place, we move to install the backup server and backup agent on the respective machine.

Step 2: Installing Zmanda

  1. 1.
    The free trial experience is the best way to try out Zmanda. Please fill in the details on the free trial form to have a 14-day trial mapped to your work email id.
  2. 2.
    You should receive two emails from Zmanda. Please look for one which has your login credentials.
  3. 3.
    Your login credentials help you authenticate at Network Zmanda, which is Zmanda’s licensing portal. It lets you download licenses, backup binaries, and raise support tickets, among other product lifecycle-related actions.
  4. 4.
    Once you log in to Network Zmanda, look for the Downloads tab on the left to download the Backup Server and Backup Clients on the operating system of your choice. In this guide, we will install the backup server using the VM image installation and install a backup agent on Windows Server 2019.
Zmanda installation consists of 2 components, the ZMC control plane and the backup server.
If you install Zmanda using the VM image or AWS Marketplace process, both components are autoconfigured on the Linux server without user intervention. For the Docker or manual Linux installation, you must install both components and bind the ZMC control plane and the backup servers using the backup server's mac address.

Installing the Backup Server

Please note: For a detailed guide on installing the backup server, please refer to the backup server installation guide.
Zmanda Backup Server packages are available from the network Zmanda download page. To simplify installation, we proceed with Zmanda Backup Appliance, which has the backup server and ZMC control plane packaged as one.
Steps to download the Backup Server installation file
With the .ova file downloaded, log in to your VMWare ESXi dashboard and build a new VM using the .ova file you just downloaded. Once the VM is running, try reaching https://<IP address of the VM>:8008, and you should be greeted with the login screen of ZMC control plane. Please refer to building the server via Zmanda Backup Appliance for detailed installation.
To enable a geo-separated cluster, where one control plane can control multiple backup servers, the backup server and ZMC control plane run on two independent REST servers. This allows multiple backup servers to be linked to one ZMC control plane.
Port details: The backup server runs on port 8002, and the ZMC control plane runs on port 8008.

Installing the Backup Agent

Please note: For a detailed guide on installing the backup agent, please refer to the doc on installing a backup agent.
You can configure a backup client in one of two ways, agent or agentless installations. In an agent-based configuration, we install an agent on the system we seek to back up. Given that the agent has dedicated system resources, it enables file backups to happen at higher speeds and offers confidence in restoring scenarios.
Agentless backup builds on the benefits of agent-based backup without the expense of per-server agents. Instead of installing a backup agent on each VM, the backup intelligence is at the hypervisor layer or, in situations of network disk backups, using the backup server as a mount location. This process reduces costs while simplifying administration.
For this guide, we will proceed with installing the backup agent on Windows Server 2019 and download the installation binaries from Network Zmanda.
Steps to download the Windows binary from Network Zmanda
Once you have extracted the *zip files on the target system, run the setup as an administrator, and follow the onscreen instructions. While installing the backup client, you notice that Microsoft Windows is creating a new account named 'amandabackup.' Separating accounts allows the backup admins to manage the backup client centrally.
Given the backup server and backup agent are running in the needed architecture, we now look at how to run a backup.

Step 3: Backup Run

To run a backup in Zmanda, we need to introduce you to a backup set. It's a grouping mechanism that simplifies the backups of different systems, each with different backup requirements. All operations, such as backup, restore, reporting, monitoring, etc., are performed within the context of a backup set.
Given we are backing up only one Windows Server, one backup set will suffice. We bring together sources, storage sets, and a schedule plan to build a backup set.
  1. 1.
    What file/directory we want to backup is defined by a source. This tab is where we discover the Amanda agent running on the Windows Server, and we link it to the backup server from the ZMC control plane.
  2. 2.
    Storage specifies where the data generated from the backups will be stored for short or long-term retention. This section is where we will connect our AWS Cloud Storage Bucket.
  3. 3.
    A schedules plan helps define the backup or vault windows and helps define the backup frequency.
Prerequisites to be completed, in sequence, before building our backup set
Once we finish creating our sources, storage, and schedule plans, we build our backup set by clicking on the ‘Add Backup Set’ button from the screen of the backup set. Here, we link the storage and the schedule plans we just created.
The first step in creating your backup set.
We have now successfully created our backup set. The next part is configuring it to our requirements via Zmanda’s iconic what, where, how, when, now, backup flow. Click on the configure icon on the backup set to begin the configuration.
Configuring your backup.
Once you have created a backup set, click activate on the final screen to start the backup. This will run a backup on all the sources in your backup set, which in this instance would be the Windows Server. To monitor the progress on the backup run, you can head over to the monitor page on the ZMC control plane, and once the backup is completed, the corresponding status row will display Success.
The monitor page on the ZMC control plane lets you check the status of your backups.

Step 4: Restore Run

This section will guide you through the high-level steps to restore your files or folders.
Restoring in Zmanda is a 4 step process, allowing you to rebuild the server from the backup image or restore an individual directory/file to a server of your choice.
Building on the architecture, let's run a scenario where we restore a file from the Windows Server. You select the restore tab from the side menu, and on the top right of the screen, select the backup set you just created. ZMC will load the process to recover your files/folder, and in the below four steps, we will guide you through it. For a more detailed overview, please read our restore documentation.
Step 1: Restore What allows you to select the file/folder you want to restore from backup data.
Step 1: Define what you want to restore.
Step 2: Restore Where specifies where you want to restore the file to be loaded. In this instance, we have selected a local host to simplify the demo.
Step 2: Define where the restore file should be created.
Step 3: Restore How allows you to configure the conflict resolution policies when files or directories have the same names during a restore. It's best to keep this as default.
Step 3: Configure how ZMC control plane should handle conflicts.
Step 4: Restore Now helps you review your restore configurations and trigger the process to restore the file to your local host.
Step 4: Review the restore configurations before starting the restore.
ZMC control plane will redirect you to the monitor page on starting the restore, where you can check the status of your restore.
This guide walked you through the Zmanda flow from a 30,000 ft perspective, and the intention was to show you all the moving elements of Zmanda. In the following guide, we go into the details of installing the Backup Server across all supported Linux environments.
Last modified 12d ago