Applying backup policies and tracking their execution
To protect data on a single machine, you install on the machine an agent or multiple agents for various data types you want to protect. You connect the console to the machine and create a backup plan or multiple backup plans.
What if you have to manage hundreds of machines? It takes time to create a backup plan on each machine, while the plans may be quite similar – you need to back up, say, the system drive and the users’ documents. Tracking the plans’ execution on each machine separately is also time-consuming.
To be able to propagate the management operations to multiple machines, you install Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server and register the machines on the server. After that you can create groups of machines and thus manage multiple machines as a whole. You can protect all of them or your selection by setting up a common backup plan, which is called a backup policy.
Once you apply the policy to a group of machines, the management server deploys the policy to each of the machines. On each machine the agents find the items to back up and create corresponding centralized backup plans. You will be able to monitor the policies’ statuses on a single screen and navigate, if required, to each machine, plan or task to see their status and log entries. The management server also enables you to monitor and manage the agent’s locally originated activities.
Since you connect the console to the management server rather than to each machine and perform all management operations through the central management unit, this way of management is called centralized management.
Centralized management does not rule out the direct management of each machine. You can connect the console to each machine and perform any direct management operation. However, centralized backup plans can be managed through the management server only, since a well-thought out policy functions automatically and rarely requires human intervention.
Using the management server, you can create one or more centralized archive storages (centralized vaults), which will be shared by the registered machines. A centralized vault can be used by any backup policy as well as by any backup plan created on the registered machines using direct management.
Organizing a managed archive storage
What should the capacity of your centralized vault be? What if transferring sizeable backups to the vault will cause network congestion? Does backup of an online production server affect the server performance? To ensure that the centralized backup will not slow down business processes in your company and to minimize the resources required for the data protection, you install Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Storage Node and configure it to manage a centralized vault or multiple centralized vaults. Such vaults are called managed vaults.
The storage node helps the agent deduplicate backups before transferring them to managed vaults and deduplicates the backups already saved in the vaults. Deduplication results in reducing backup traffic and saving storage space. The storage node also undertakes operations with archives (such as validation and cleanup), which otherwise are performed by the agent, and thus relieves the managed machines from unnecessary computing load. Last but not least, Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Storage Node enables using a tape library as a centralized vault for storing backup archives.
More than one storage node, each managing a number of vaults, can be set up and controlled centrally from the Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Management Server.
For more detailed information about storage nodes please refer to Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Storage Node.