Planning for disaster recovery

Contents

Planning for disaster recovery

The Nexthink Appliance provides you with different backup techniques that allow you to recover from either a partial or a full disaster:

  • A partial disaster is a failure that affects one or several of the server components of Nexthink (Web Console, Engine or Portal), while the Appliance is still accessible.
  • A full disaster is a complete system failure that prevents any further access to the Appliance.

The mechanisms for partial disaster recovery are automatically put in place after the installation of the Appliance. Each one of the server components in the Appliance generates a daily backup of its data for its own recovery. In this way, if any of the components crashes, you can at least get the component back to the state it had the day before the crash.

Full disaster recovery, on the other hand, requires you to save the backups to an external storage device outside the Appliance before total breakdown. You can automate this process by activating the provided mechanism to save backup files externally. If you want to install your own backup tool, first read and follow the recommendations of the article on installing third-party software in the Appliance. Beware that a serious hardware issue in your Appliance can make your data unrecoverable if you do not save it elsewhere.

Partial disaster recovery

In case of a server component malfunction, use its daily backup files for recovery. In addition to the daily backups, the server components make an automatic backup of their data before migration as well. That is useful in the case that the software upgrade process goes wrong.

To learn about the information that is saved during the backup process and how to recover from a partial disaster, read the corresponding documentation for each component:

Full disaster recovery

In case of a total failure of the Appliance, you need to be ready to start from anew. As a prerequisite, you must have previously saved the backups of all the server components in the Appliance to an external storage device. Remember that you can automate this process by activating external backups from the Web Console.

It is also recommended that you manually save the license file that is stored in the appliance that hosts the Portal once you activate the product. You must save it only when you receive a new license, so it is not included in the automatic external backups.

To perform full recovery:

  1. Download an Appliance ISO with the same version of the Appliance that failed.
  2. Install the Appliance following the steps described in Installing the Appliance.
  3. Choose to install either the Portal or the Engine as described in Engine & Portal Installation, depending on the main server component that your Appliance was running.
  4. Copy the backups to the new Appliance using any SCP client.
  5. Restore the Web Console first as described in Restoring the Web Console to set the general parameters of the Appliance.
  6. Restore the installed server component: Engine or Portal, as documented in Restoring the Engine or Restoring the Portal.
  7. In the case of a complete failure of the appliance that hosts the Portal, restore the license file.

Activating external backups

The Appliance provides a mechanism to automate the saving of backup files to an external SMB share. This mechanism makes a copy of the daily backup of every server component (Web Console, Engine or Portal, Console) to the SMB share right after the backup file is created.

Before activating external backups, you must set up the SMB share:

  1. Configure the user account
  2. Set the permissions on the destination folder
  3. Share the folder

To activate

  1. Log in to the Web Console as admin from a web browser:
    https://<IP_address_of_Appliance>:99
  2. Select the External backup section in the Appliance tab.
  3. Tick the Active box
  4. Fill in the rest of the fields in the form as shown in the screenshot below, according to the settings of your SMB share:

External backup.png

The files saved in the SMB share for the different components have the following format:

  • Web Console:
    console-<timestamp>.tgz
  • Engine:
    nxengine-<instance>-<hostname>-<timestamp>.tgz
  • Portal:
    portal-<hostname>-<timestamp>.tgz