Acronis Active Restore
The Acronis proprietary technology that brings a system online immediately after the system recovery is started. The system boots from the backup and the machine becomes operational and ready to provide necessary services. The data required to serve incoming requests is recovered with the highest priority; everything else is recovered in the background. Limitations:
Acronis Plug-in for WinPE
A modification of Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Agent for Windows that can run in the preinstallation environment. The plug-in can be added to a WinPE image using Bootable Media Builder. The resulting bootable media can be used to boot any PC-compatible machine and perform, with certain limitations, most of the direct management operations without help of an operating system. Operations can be configured and controlled either locally through the GUI or remotely using the console.
Acronis Secure Zone
Limitations: Acronis Secure Zone cannot be organized on a dynamic disk or a disk using the GPT partitioning style. Backup to Acronis Secure Zone is not possible when working under bootable media or Acronis Startup Recovery Manager.
Acronis Secure Zone is considered as a personal vault.
Acronis Startup Recovery Manager (ASRM)
A modification of the bootable agent, residing on the system disk and configured to start at boot time when F11 is pressed. Acronis Startup Recovery Manager eliminates the need for rescue media or network connection to start the bootable rescue utility.
Acronis Startup Recovery Manager is especially useful for mobile users. If a failure occurs, the user reboots the machine, hits F11 on prompt “Press F11 for Acronis Startup Recovery Manager…” and performs data recovery in the same way as with ordinary bootable media.
Limitation: requires re-activation of loaders other than Windows loaders and GRUB.
Agent (Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Agent)
An application that performs data backup and recovery and enables other management operations on the machine, such as task management and operations with hard disks.
The type of data that can be backed up depends on the agent type. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 includes the agents for backing up disks and files and the agents for backing up virtual machines residing on virtualization servers.
See Backup archive.
The result of a single backup operation. Physically, it is a file or a tape record that contains a copy of the backed up data as of specific date and time. Backup files created by Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 have a TIB extension. The TIB files resulting from backup consolidation are also called backups.
Backup archive (Archive)
A set of backups created and managed by a backup plan. An archive can contain multiple full backups as well as incremental and differential backups. Backups belonging to the same archive are always stored in the same location. Multiple backup plans can back up the same source to the same archive, but the mainstream scenario is “one plan – one archive”.
Backups in an archive are entirely managed by the backup plan. Manual operations with archives (validation, viewing contents, mounting and deleting backups) should be performed using Acronis Backup & Recovery 10. Do not modify your archives using non-Acronis tools such as Windows Explorer or third-party file managers.
An operation that creates a copy of the data that exists on a machine’s hard disk for the purpose of recovering or reverting the data to a specified date and time.
Configuration parameters of a backup operation, such as pre/post backup commands, maximum network bandwidth allotted for the backup stream or data compression level. Backup options are a part of a backup plan.
Backup plan (Plan)
A set of rules that specify how the given data will be protected on a given machine. A backup plan specifies:
For example, a backup plan can contain the following information:
Backup policy (Policy)
A backup plan template created by the management server administrator and stored on the management server. A backup policy contains the same rules as a backup plan, but might not explicitly specify what data items to back up. Instead, selection rules, such as environment variables, can be used. Because of this flexible selection, a backup policy can be centrally applied to multiple machines. If a data item is specified explicitly (e.g. /dev/sda or C:\Windows), the policy will back up this item on each machine where this exact path is found.
By applying a policy to a group of machines, the administrator deploys multiple backup plans with a single action.
The workflow when using policies is as follows.
A part of t
A bootable rescue utility that includes most of the functionality of the Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Agent. Bootable agent is based on Linux kernel. A machine can be booted into a bootable agent using either bootable media or Acronis PXE Server. Operations can be configured and controlled either locally through the GUI or remotely using the console.
A physical media (CD, DVD, USB flash drive or other media supported by a machine BIOS as a boot device) that contains the bootable agent or Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) with the Acronis Plug-in for WinPE. A machine can also be booted into the above environments using the network boot from Acronis PXE Server or Microsoft Remote Installation Service (RIS). These servers with uploaded bootable components can also be thought of as a kind of bootable media.
Bootable media is most often used to:
A group of machines that always exists on a management server.
Built-in groups cannot be deleted, moved to other groups or manually modified. Custom groups cannot be created within built-in groups. There is no way to remove a physical machine from the built-in group except for removing the machine from the management server. Virtual machines are removed as a result of their host server removal.
A backup policy can be applied to a built-in group.
Centralized backup plan
Management of the Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 infrastructure through a central management unit known as Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server. The centralized management operations include:
A task belonging to a centralized backup plan. Such task appears on the managed machine as a result of deploying a backup policy from the management server and can be modified only by editing the backup policy.
A networked location allotted by the management server administrator to serve as storage for the backup archives. A centralized vault can be managed by a storage node or be unmanaged. The total number and size of archives stored in a centralized vault are limited by the storage size only.
As soon as the management server administrator creates a centralized vault, the vault name and path to the vault are distributed to all machines registered on the server. The shortcut to the vault appears on the machines in the Centralized vaults list. Any backup plan existing on the machines, including local plans, can use the centralized vault.
On a machine that is not registered on the management server, a user having the privilege to back up to the centralized vault can do so by specifying the full path to the vault. If the vault is managed, the user’s archives will be managed by the storage node as well as other archives stored in the vault.
Cleanup consists in applying to an archive the retention rules set by the backup plan that produces the archive. This operation checks if the archive has exceeded its maximum size and/or for expired backups. This may or may not result in deleting backups depending on whether the retention rules are violated or not.
For more information please refer to Retention rules.
Console (Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Console)
Having connected the console to the management server, the administrator sets up and manages backup policies and accesses other management server functionality, that is, performs centralized management. Using the direct console-agent connection, the administrator performs direct management.
Consolidation might be needed when deleting backups, either manually or during cleanup. For example, the retention rules require to delete a full backup that has expired but retain the next incremental one. The backups will be combined into a single full backup which will be dated with the incremental backup’s date. Since consolidation may take a lot of time and system resources, retention rules provide an option to not delete backups with dependencies. In our example, the full backup will be retained until the incremental one also becomes obsolete. Then both backups will be deleted.
A method of storing different duplicates of the same information only once.
Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 can apply the deduplication technology to backup archives stored on storage nodes. This minimizes storage space taken by the archives, backup traffic and network usage during backup.
A differential backup stores changes to the data against the latest full backup. You need access to the corresponding full backup to recover the data from a differential backup.
Any management operation that is performed on a managed machine using the direct console-agent connection (as opposed to centralized management when the operations are configured on the management server and propagated by the server to the managed machines).
The direct management operations include:
A kind of direct management is performed when using bootable media. Some of the direct management operations can also be performed via the management server GUI. This presumes, however, either an explicit or an implicit direct connection to the selected machine.
Disk backup (Image)
A backup that contains a sector-based copy of a disk or a volume in a packaged form. Normally, only sectors that contain data are copied. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 provides an option to take a raw image, that is, copy all the disk sectors, which enables imaging of unsupported file systems.
A number of dynamic disks that store the common configuration data in their LDM databases and therefore can be managed as a whole. Normally, all dynamic disks created within the same machine are members of the same disk group.
As soon as the first dynamic disk is created by the LDM or another disk management tool, the disk group name can be found in the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\dmio\Boot Info\Primary Disk Group\Name.
The next created or imported disks are added to the same disk group. The group exists until at least one of its members exists. Once the last dynamic disk is disconnected or converted to basic, the group is discontinued, though its name is kept in the above registry key. In case a dynamic disk is created or connected again, a disk group with an incremental name is created.
When moved to another machine, a disk group is considered as ‘foreign’ and cannot be used until imported into the existing disk group. The import updates the configuration data on both the local and the foreign disks so that they form a single entity. A foreign group is imported as is (will have the original name) if no disk group exists on the machine.
For more information about disk groups please refer to the following Microsoft knowledge base article:
222189 Description of Disk Groups in Windows Disk Management http://support.microsoft.com/kb/222189/EN-US/
A hard disk managed by Logical Disk Manager (LDM) that is available in Windows starting with Windows 2000. LDM helps flexibly allocate volumes on a storage device for better fault tolerance, better performance or larger volume size.
A dynamic disk can use either the master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT) partition style. In addition to MBR or GPT, each dynamic disk has a hidden database where the LDM stores the dynamic volumes’ configuration. Each dynamic disk holds the complete information about all dynamic volumes existing in the disk group which makes for better storage reliability. The database occupies the last 1MB of an MBR disk. On a GPT disk, Windows creates the dedicated LDM Metadata partition, taking space from the Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR.)
Dynamic disks organized on MBR (Disk 1) and GPT (Disk 2) disks.
For more information about dynamic disks please refer to the following Microsoft knowledge base articles:
Disk Management (Windows XP Professional Resource Kit) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457110.aspx
816307 Best practices for using dynamic disks on Windows Server 2003-based computers http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816307
A group of machines which is populated automatically by the management server according to membership criteria specified by the administrator. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 offers the following membership criteria:
A machine remains in a dynamic group as long as the machine meets the group’s criteria. The machine is removed from the group automatically as soon as
There is no way to remove a machine from a dynamic group manually except for deleting the machine from the management server.
A backup archive encrypted according to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). When the encryption option and a password for the archive are set in the backup options, each backup belonging to the archive is encrypted by the agent before saving the backup to its destination.
The AES cryptographic algorithm operates in the Cipher-block chaining (CBC) mode and uses a randomly generated key with a user-defined size of 128, 192 or 256 bits. The encryption key is then encrypted with AES-256 using a SHA-256 hash of the password as a key. The password itself is not stored anywhere on the disk or in the backup file; the password hash is used for verification purposes. With this two-level security, the backup data is protected from any unauthorized access, but recovering a lost password is not possible.
A managed vault to which anything written is encrypted and anything read is decrypted transparently by the storage node, using a vault-specific encryption key stored on the node. In case the storage medium is stolen or accessed by an unauthorized person, the malefactor will not be able to decrypt the vault contents without access to the storage node. Encrypted archives will be encrypted over the encryption performed by the agent.
An operation that creates a copy of an archive or a self-sufficient part copy of an archive in the location you specify. The export operation can be applied to a single archive, a single backup or to your choice of backups belonging to the same archive. An entire vault can be exported by using the command line interface.
A self-sufficient backup containing all data chosen for backup. You do not need access to any other backup to recover the data from a full backup.
A popular backup scheme aimed to maintain the optimal balance between a backup archive size and the number of recovery points available from the archive. GFS enables recovering with daily resolution for the last several days, weekly resolution for the last several weeks and monthly resolution for any time in the past.
For more information please refer to GFS backup scheme.
The same as Disk backup.
Local backup plan
A task belonging to a local backup plan or a task that does not belong to any plan, such as a recovery task. A local task belonging to a backup plan can be modified by editing the plan only; other local tasks can be modified directly.
A physical or virtual computer uniquely identified by an operating system installation. Machines with multiple operating systems (multi-boot systems) are considered as multiple machines.
Physically, managed vaults can reside on a network share, SAN, NAS, on a hard drive local to the storage node or on a tape library locally attached to the storage node. The storage node performs storage node-side cleanup and storage node-side validation for each archive stored in the managed vault. An administrator can specify additional operations that the storage node will perform (deduplication, encryption).
Any managed vault is self-contained, that is, contains all metadata the storage node needs to manage the vault. In case the storage node is lost or its database is corrupted, the new storage node retrieves the metadata and re-creates the database. When the vault is attached to another storage node, the same procedure takes place.
Management server (Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server)
A central server that drives data protection within the enterprise network. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server provides the administrator with:
If there are multiple management servers on the network, they operate independently, manage different machines and use different centralized vaults for storing archives.
A dedicated tool for creating bootable media.
A local or networked vault created using direct management. Once a personal vault is created, a shortcut to it appears under the Personal vaults item of the Navigation pane. Multiple machines can use the same physical location; for example, a network share; as a personal vault.
On Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server, a physical machine is the same as a registered machine. A virtual machine is considered physical if an Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 agent is installed on the machine and the machine is registered on the management server.
See Backup plan.
See Backup policy.
Date and time to which the backed up data can be reverted to.
Registration sets up a trust relationship between the agent residing on the machine and the server. During registration, the console retrieves the management server’s client certificate and passes it to the agent which uses it later to authenticate clients attempting to connect. This helps prevent any attempts by network attackers from establishing a fake connection on behalf of a trusted principal (the management server).
A group of machines which a management server administrator populates by manually adding machines to the group. A machine remains in a static group until the administrator removes it from the group or from the management server.
Storage node (Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Storage Node)
A server aimed to optimize usage of various resources required for protection of enterprise data. This goal is achieved by organizing managed vaults. Storage node enables the administrator to:
Storage node-side cleanup
Cleanup performed by a storage node according to the backup plans that produce the archives stored in a managed vault. Being an alternative to the agent-side cleanup, the cleanup on the storage node side relieves the production servers of unnecessary CPU load.
Since the cleanup schedule exists on the machine the agent resides on, and therefore uses the machine’s time and events, the agent has to initiate the storage node-side cleanup every time the scheduled time or event comes. To do so, the agent must be online.
The following table summarizes the cleanup types used in Acronis Backup & Recovery 10.
Storage node-side validation
Validation performed by a storage node according to the backup plans that produce the archives stored in a managed location. Being an alternative to the agent-side validation, the validation on the storage node side relieves the production servers of unnecessary CPU load.
In Acronis Backup & Recovery 10, a task is a set of sequential actions to be performed on a managed machine when a certain time comes or a certain event occurs. The actions are described in an xml script file. The start condition (schedule) exists in the protected registry keys.
Tower of Hanoi
A popular backup scheme aimed to maintain the optimal balance between a backup archive size and the number of recovery points available from the archive. Unlike the GFS scheme that has only three levels of recovery resolution (daily, weekly, monthly resolution), the Tower of Hanoi scheme continuously reduces the time interval between recovery points as the backup age increases. This allows for very efficient usage of the backup storage.
For more information please refer to “Tower of Hanoi backup scheme“.
Universal Restore (Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Universal Restore)
The Acronis proprietary technology that helps boot up Windows on dissimilar hardware or a virtual machine. The Universal Restore handles differences in devices that are critical for the operating system start-up, such as storage controllers, motherboard or chipset.
The Universal Restore is not available:
because these features are primarily meant for instant data recovery on the same machine.
Universal Restore is not available when recovering Linux.
An operation that checks the possibility of data recovery from a backup.
Validation of a file backup imitates recovery of all files from the backup to a dummy destination. The previous product versions considered a file backup valid when the metadata contained in its header was consistent. The current method is time-consuming but much
While the successful validation means a high probability of successful recovery, it does not check all factors that influence the recovery process. If you back up the operating system, only a test recovery under the bootable media to a spare hard drive can guarantee successful recovery in the future.
A place for storing backup archives. A vault can be organized on a local or networked drive or detachable media, such as an external USB drive. There are no settings for limiting a vault size or the number of backups in a vault. You can limit the size of each archive using cleanup, but the total size of archives stored in the vault is limited by the storage size only.
On Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server, a machine is considered virtual if it can be backed up from the virtualization host without installing an agent on the machine. A virtual machine appears on the management server after registration of the virtualization server that hosts the machine, provided that Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 agent for virtual machines is installed on that server.
WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment)
A minimal Windows system based on any of the following kernels:
WinPE is commonly used by OEMs and corporations for deployment, test, diagnostic and system repair purposes. A machine can be booted into WinPE via PXE, CD-ROM, USB flash drive or hard disk. The Acronis Plug-in for WinPE enables running the Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Agent in the preinstallation environment.