INTRODUCING SOLARWINDS BACKUP

February 6, 2018 is a historic day. 

After months of planning, collaboration, and late night efforts, the journey of SolarWinds Backup is ready for primetime!  We are pleased to announce that SolarWinds Backup is officially launching and Generally Available today to our core market of IT professionals.  This launch is one more way we’re driving even more innovation in our Orion portfolio of products, and backup is a natural fit with our existing systems management capabilities.  You rely on SolarWinds for comprehensive monitoring of your servers and applications, for remote control and administration of these assets, and now, we can help you solve your backup and recovery challenges as well.

 

While most in-house IT departments have some type of backup solution, there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the options they currently use.  In November, we conducted a survey on THWACK, and heard from our customer base that:

  • Backups are too expensive, and managing them is too complex
  • Reliability of backups is an issue, requiring time-consuming manual checking
  • Managing and forecasting local storage requirements for backups is painful

 

You can read more on the full survey results here: Is Unnecessary Complexity Making Backups a Headache For You?

 

SolarWinds Backup changes the game by bringing a simple, powerful, and affordable alternative to the market.  It’s a modern, fully managed, cloud-first backup service, already chosen by thousands of managed service providers, now packaged for the enterprise and direct use by IT professionals.

 

It's tough to consume an entire product in a single blog post, so this inaugural posting will provide the highlights of our new hotness!  In future posts, we'll follow up with more "How-To" guidance on specific topics and get you rapidly backing up your IT environment in minutes.  If you are chomping at the bit, feel free to browse our new SolarWinds Backup forum on THWACK with the latest in release notes, documentation and step-by-step training videos.

 

THE ARCHITECTURE

There are two primary interfaces you'll find when you start your journey with SolarWinds Backup, and generally you should be able to use them without training or instruction.  As you move into more advanced topics, we will provide you with the resources you need.   On day 1, two parts are all you need to know to get started.

Part 1: The Console: http://backup.management

Deploy, monitor, report, manage users, create profiles, and remotely control all your backups from this unified, self-service console.

the best console in backup

Part 2: Backup Manager (the agent)

The Backup Manager agent does all the heavy lifting on protected end-points (i.e., devices, servers, instances).  The key functions of the agent are to scan data, find block level changes, deduplicate, compress, encrypt, optimize data file size for speed, and much more all behind the scenes.

 

 

UNDER THE HOOD

TrueDelta technology

SolarWinds Backup includes a unique TrueDelta technology that tracks block-level changes between backups, so you only back up (or restore) what has changed – not the entire file. This keeps backup windows short, only transmits the minimal amount of changed data to be backed up over the network, and improves performance overall.

 

Direct-to-cloud backup

The SolarWinds Backup services were designed from the ground up for fast, efficient, remote backups. You can skip the hassles of configuring local and remote backups, storage provisioning, and storage capacity planning. Instead, your backups go safely to our global purpose-built private cloud, with backup windows measured typically in minutes, not hours.  Manage your storage pool and capacity intuitively from the Console.

 

End-to-end security

Encryption is built into our backup process. Backup data is encrypted at the source, stays encrypted while in transit, and while at rest.

 

Single, unified management console

Protect physical, virtual, and cloud servers, including all major operating systems and hypervisors, with a single product. One unified web-based dashboard shows you backup status at a glance, and frees you to check systems, and even do restores, from any location – even from your mobile device.  Do you have the need for backing up workstations, laptops or just certain documents?  Not a problem, as our solution covers these capabilities also!

 

Recovery options

Whether you need to recover an entire server or VM, an application, or just a portion of a file, SolarWinds Backup handles it.

  • Recover at WAN speed or LAN speed, using the optional Local SpeedVault™ 
  • Physical-to-virtual and virtual-to-virtual recovery automates a full system restore to VMware vSphere® or Microsoft® Hyper-V®

  • Bare-metal recovery simplifies and reduces recovery time for Windows® servers, and can be used for migration to new hardware
  • Cloud recovery targets provide even more flexibility by allowing recovery to Microsoft® Azure®, or to any other virtual environment of your choice

 

Secure remote storage for your backup data, worldwide

SolarWinds Backup provides world-class storage for your backup data with around-the-clock security in our data centers located on four continents. For the Backup Services, our data centers’ certifications meet requirements for HIPAA compliance and similar legal and regulatory standards. The Backup Services are scalable and can grow with your business.

 

LICENSING AND ROI

Pricing for SolarWinds Backup is straightforward and based on an annual subscription with tiers based on the number of operating system instances (servers) being protected. Each tier includes a block of cloud storage, so there are no extra charges or hidden costs.

SolarWinds Backup is the simple, powerful, affordable option.  The product’s simplicity and ease of management translate to even greater savings, as personnel do not need extensive training or certification. There is no need to buy expensive local storage to support backups, or even to pay for a separate contract for cloud provided storage.  It’s all included.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

BACKUP

 

File System / System State (Microsoft)

Windows Server® 2008/ 2008 R2/ 2012/ 2012 R2 & Windows SBS 2011, Windows Server 2016.  Windows Vista/ 7/ 8.x/ 10

File System (GNU/Linux)

CentOS® 5/ 6/ 7, Debian® 5/6/ 7, OpenSUSE® 11/ 12

File System (Apple)

Mac® OS X® 10.9 Mavericks/ 10.10 Yosemite®/ 10.11 EL Capitan

Network Shares

Remotely protect network shares and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices

Application Protection

Microsoft Exchange 2007/ 2010/ 2013/ 2016, MS SharePoint® 2007/ 2010/ 2013

Database Protection

Microsoft SQL Server® 2005/ 2008/ 2012/ 2014/ 2016, MySQL 5.0/ 5.1/ 5.5/ 5.6, Oracle® Database Standard Edition 11g for Windows

Open File Protection

Leverage Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Services (VSS) for open file and application aware backups

Pre/ Post Backup Scripts

Back up third-party application and databases through custom scripting

Backup Filters & Exclusions

Exclude specific extensions, files, paths, or volumes from File System and Network Share backups

Backup Scheduling

Automate protection with multiple recurring backup schedules

 

 

RECOVERY

 

Search and Restore

Individual files across all recovery points from Backup Manager (excluding VSS plugin)

Self Service Restores

Use Virtual Drive technology to present historic backup sessions as a browseable file system

Application Restores

Full application- and database-level restores

Continuous Restore

Use the Recovery Console to automatically create / update standby images or remote recovery copies of selected data

Physical to Virtual (Source)

Windows Vista®/ 7/ 8.x/ 10, Windows Server 2008/ 2008 R2/ 2012/ 2012 R2/ 2016 & Windows SBS 2011

Physical to Virtual (Virtual Disk Target)

Create (.VHD/X or .VMDK) files for use in the virtual environment of your choice

Physical to Virtual (Hypervisor Target)

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2/ 2012/ 2012 R2 (Hyper-V 2.0 and 3.0) VMware vSphere (ESXi) versions: 4.1, 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0.

Physical to Virtual (Cloud Target)

Microsoft Azure is supported

Recovery Testing

Automated recovery with email confirmation and screenshots (VMware and Hyper-V)

 

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR)

Create bootable CD or USB media to recover systems without a reliable OS. Supports dissimilar hardware, dissimilar drives, single pass application recovery (VSS) and granular file / volume selections

 

 

MANAGEMENT

 

Web-based Management Console

Single view to monitor and manage all resources from anywhere

User Defined Roles

Multiple roles with defined permissions

Reports / Alerts

Custom views, Daily dashboards, consolidated backup reports, real-time alerts, and disaster recovery

testing

Audit Logs

User-accessible log of changes made on protected device

Remote Management & Control

Remotely launch the Backup Manager directly from the management console

Automated Deployment

Silent install, command-line options, and/or use your favorite software deployment tool.  A single command is good for the unlimited number of installations.

Remote Commands

Allows for remote operating commands for a device or a group of devices

API / Command Line

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

Automatic Updates

Monthly scheduled updates with version control

File Versioning & Retention

Three (3) versions minimum; 90-day retention.

Data Archiving

Extend beyond the standard retention model and help ensure compliance with multiple data archiving policies

Password Protection

Password protection for backup data to restrict changes or limit functions to restore only

Industry Compliance

Helps you meet compliance requirements, such as HIPAA, SOX, PCI-DSS and others, in regard to encryption  through our SSL for backup data - in-motion and at-rest

Encryption Key Length

AES 256-bit encryption 

Data Center Security

Backup data stored in one of (7) SSAE16 SOC-1 Type II and ISO-27001 certified private data centers worldwide

Data Center Locations

USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, France, Spain, Australia, and South Africa.

 

 

WHAT ELSE?

Don't see what you are looking for here?

 

Visit the SolarWinds Backup Forum

Check out the What We're Working On for SolarWinds Backup post for what our dedicated team of backup developers and code jockeys are already looking at. 

If you don't see everything you've been wishing for there, add it to the SolarWinds Backup Feature Requests.

Greetings! And welcome to the second in our series of primers on customising the Orion® Platform. Today’s post will focus on first installing and then navigating through SWQL Studio. This free utility is simple to use, but can drastically lower the barrier to creating and editing SWQL queries.

Help Resources

Before we go any further, it’s worth highlighting two key resources for using the SDK.

  • The GitHub®
  • And the THWACK®

 

The GitHub site is the main resource, where you can download the installer, browse code samples, and review the schema and wiki for the SDK itself. It’s also where issues are tracked, so if you do find a bug you can flag it as an issue there.

The other main resource is the Orion SDK forum here on THWACK. SolarWinds does not provide pre- or post-sales support on any customisations, including code using the Orion SDK. However, that does not mean you are alone. You can often find code samples that may address your use case by simply searching the forum. And the site is also frequented by not just SolarWinds staff and THWACK MVPs, but other users who can also provide feedback and guidance on code that you may be working on.

Installing SWQL Studio

SWQL Studio is a Windows®-based utility, and is included with the Orion SDK. The installation is simple. Just navigate to the “releases” area of the GitHub site (https://github.com/solarwinds/OrionSDK/releases) and download and install “OrionSDK.msi” on your Windows workstation.

Once installed, connect it to your Orion server (of course, you will be working on your special dev server).

 

   SWQL Studio

 

Navigating through SWQL Studio

The connection itself is made to SWIS on the server (the same Information Service covered in the previous post). By accessing via SWIS, instead of SWQL itself:

  • Separate logins to the actual SQL database itself are not needed
  • Account limitations are still applied
  • Any changes to the database schema are abstracted from the user

Once connected, you will see the server you connected to, as well the credentials you used, and if you expand on this connection icon, you will see the various data sources represented. Note, the list of objects will vary depending on the modules installed and the versions of those modules.

 

 

To the right of the object list you will see an editor screen. From here, you can type in SWQL, and execute the query to see the results. Running the query is very simple:

  • You can click Query-> Execute in the menu
  • Or simply hit F5 or Ctrl-E

In the below example, I typed out a simple query. We will talk more in the next post about how to write queries. I just want to draw your attention to the fact that in this latest version of SWQL Studio (2.3.0.123), autocompletion is also possible.

 

A lot of the power of SWQL Studio however, lies in the fact that the necessary data can be viewed graphically.

Let’s expand on the Orion item in the list:

 

 

Then scroll down to Orion.Nodes, where we will see the resource referenced in the hand-written SWQL statement I used previously. If I expand this resources I will then see all of the properties of this Orion.Nodes object, two of which I had referenced in the aforementioned SWQL statement (caption, and IP_Address).

 

 

A key difference between SQL and SWQL is that there is no equivalent to select* in SWQL. However, just by right-clicking on the entity within SWQL studio, you can “Generate Select Statement,” which will populate the editor window, with all the fields populated.

 

 

Another useful aspect is the ability to identify the property type by its icon. To explain a bit further, let’s refer to Orion.Syslog as an example.

 

 

 

First up, we have the keys, which are indicated by the golden key icon. These are essentially the unique IDs used to reference each individual record in the data source.

 

 

The most common properties are the standard fields, indicated as blue rectangular prisms:

 

 

 

Whereas properties that are inherited are display as green cubes:

 

 

 

A very interesting aspect here is that related entities (depicted with the chain icon below) are also shown here. That means you can see which of these can be used to implicitly join data, without having to write an explicit join.

 

 

And as a final point, verbs (represented as pink prisms) that can be used in scripts are listed here, as well the parameters needed for each verb. We will cover this very cool feature in a future post.

 

 

 

Wrap Up

  Now that we have taken a solid look at SWQL studio, you should be in an excellent position to dive in and look at the data available within Orion, for use in reports and scripts. Not only does it allow you to easily create SWQL that you can use for various purposes, it also allows you to parse the entities within the database, including related objects.  With the next post, we will actually work with SWQL queries, and some of the constructs that differentiate SWQL from SQL. And in follow-up posts, we will see how the verbs can be used to provide management capabilities from

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