|Topics in this list:
Installation and Setup
Connectivity & Bandwidth
|Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions. CoreVault’s top priority is making your life easier. We do that by providing efficient, secure and cost-effective backup-and-recovery. We also do it by making our procedures clear and transparent.
Please scroll down for answers to the most common questions about our services. As you read, you’ll notice how much emphasis CoreVault places on making our services not just powerful, but also customer-friendly.
If you don’t find an answer to your specific question here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How is CoreVault different from other off-site backup services?
CoreVault’s computer backup system uses agentless technology, so software installation is only required once to protect the entire local area network (LAN). CoreVault’s online backup software is completely client-controlled. Our systems do not and cannot access our customers’ data. You control all backup schedules, files choices, and options. The data is compressed and encrypted BEFORE it is transferred offsite, and the client is the only one with an encryption key. For more information about how CoreVault stands out as a backup-and-recovery provider, read Why CoreVault.
My computer backup system uses tape, why should I use CoreVault™?
A tape backup system has the potential to be reliable. However, it requires a high level of ongoing maintenance to guarantee reliability. CoreVault’s online data backup uses completely redundant systems, meaning we maintain two separate backups of your data in geographically separated locations. With CoreVault 100% of your backups are stored on redundant, fault-tolerant servers.
The main risk of utilizing tape systems is malfunction. Although successful backup may be indicated, corruption may not be discovered until restoration is attempted. At a minimum, consider using offsite backup services as a secondary backup solution to your main backup system. Redundancy is key to data protection!
If you choose to continue using tape back-up, ensure tapes are working properly by implementing the following procedures:
- Clean each drive monthly
- Replace tape media regularly
- Rotate backup tapes off-site every night via a bonded vaulting provider, while keeping them close enough for easy accessibility
- Test and restore once a month
- Keep at least a 20 backup rotation
- Maintain easy access to backup software, as re-installation may be necessary
- Ensure data is fully encrypted before being written to tape
My company has mirrored/RAID hard drives. Will that protect against viruses or data loss?
No. Mirrored hardware only protects data from hardware failure. Since 90% of data loss is due to data corruption or user error, mirrored equipment offers no protection because corrupt data is just written as-is to the mirror equipment. The only way to protect data is by having a backlog of backups from which to restore.
Why is it important to retain an online data backup service?
One of the most basic rules when using a computer is backing up files routinely. Most users do not backup files as often as they should and even if they do, data is not stored offsite. Offsite services eliminate the hassle of backing up, because no additional hardware components are required. Backing up files offsite to CoreVault’s advanced facilities adds layers of security, as well.
It depends on the client and can range from simple one-time deployment to full-on managed services. CoreVault recommends contacting our customer service department via telephone or our website. You can also read more about our backup and recovery services.
If my company has one account, can it use CoreVault to protect data on two different computers?
Generally yes. CoreVault is designed so that each instance of client backup software can back up as many computers as needed.
Installation and Setup
What is the CoreVault Client?
The CoreVault Backup Client is backup software that resides on a client’s network and performs disk-to-disk backup and remote backup service.
Is software installed on any other machines?
CoreVault is totally agentless, requiring no additional software to initiate backup and recovery, be it Novell® NetWare, Microsoft® Windows®, Microsoft SQL or Exchange.
If CoreVault is agentless, how does it access data?
A username and password is required to connect to a server or work station when a new backup is created. This is done through an Administration Console, which fully integrates with Microsoft’s Active Directory, Trusts and Novell® NDS trees.
How does the customer control and monitor CoreVault?
At installation, the CoreVault Administrator Console software is installed on as many or as few workstations as necessary. Installation requires a valid logon to prohibit unauthorized access. The Administrator Console acts as the interface between the customer’s network and CoreVault, enabling the configuration of all backup and restoration. Additional installation may be required for Message Level Restore (MLR) of Outlook/Exchange.
Is it necessary to create a user for CoreVault on all servers?
No, but a dedicated user is recommended, and should be set for no password expiration for obvious reasons. In a domain or NDS environment, a user on each machine isn't necessary. A central user can be created for access to all machines that require backup. This both simplifies and centralizes control.
What access permissions does this user require?
This user is responsible for backing up and restoring all the data on the network. It is essential that the user have administrative permissions. CoreVault can only backup data that this user can access. A less privileged user may be restricted, causing data to be missed.
Who installs the CoreVault service?
CoreVault customer support personnel install the client software via a remote connection and provide the necessary training. If installation is particularly complex or remote sites are involved, additional on-site support is available at a daily rate.
Who is authorized to use the administration software console?
Only individuals with a user ID on the CoreVault Backup Client will be permitted to administer functions.
Can users administer backups for their own machines?
Multiple user accounts are created for use on the CoreVault Client and access permission can be established per backup set. Permission can be any combination of backup, restore, delete or modify. A specific user has access to backup and restore on their own machine.
What frequency of online backup can be set?
Online server backup is configured as often as every hour, or as infrequently as once a year. Advanced schedule options may include the last working day of the month or specific dates. Continuous Data Protection (CDP) is an option that monitors data in real time and then uploads the changes as they occur. This minimizes any loss of productivity by allowing for restoration from minutes ago rather than the close of business the previous day. A dedicated computer is recommended for this option due to resource requirements on the client machine.
What level of granularity is possible in setting up the backup, i.e. file level/individual database?
An online backup set can include a full system, share/volume, directory or even a single file. The backup set can include just one registry, should that function be needed.
Can one machine be prioritized over another?
Hundreds of different priority levels are available, ensuring maximum flexibility when organizing online backup schedules.
Can the online backup software be set to stop backing up after a certain time has elapsed?
Yes, CoreVault’s online backup software is custom designed to fit your specific work schedule. Backup service can be established before or after work hours, in the middle of the night, or any other time designated.
How long does the online backup take?
Backups are extremely fast. Our technology backs up only the changed portions of files during each backup session. Exactly how long that takes depends on the size of the backup, speed of internet connection, and amount of changed data.
Initial backup takes the longest amount of time, and may require multiple sessions to complete. After the initial backup is complete, nightly online server backups are significantly smaller and result in a faster backup. Should the customer’s initial data set be of sufficient size, CoreVault will ship a mobile vault to the customer’s location for seeding at LAN speeds with subsequent backups performed via the internet.
What tasks are required of the user on a daily basis to run online backup service?
None! Following the initial back-up at installation and your frequency schedule has been established, backup runs automatically. The possibility of human error in data protection strategy is eliminated.
How can I ensure online backup is successful?
CoreVault has several ways to ensure and notify customers of successful backup. Most of our clients prefer e-mail notification when remote backup is complete.
How often SHOULD online backup occur?
Most users back up data daily. If mission-critical applications are important, users can back up twice daily or utilize Continuous Data Protection (CDP) a preferred option. Each backup set will have its own schedule. CoreVault has the ability to perform online backups on a minute, hourly, daily, weekly or monthly schedule. (CDP allows the CoreVault service to immediately backup selected files as they change.)
How often CAN a personal computer be backed up?
As often as desired. The user has the ability to set up and administer online server backups for a schedule that works best for them.
How many versions of my backed up files are held off-site?
When the CoreVault Client is configured, a pre-determined default number of generations are established. Unlike a tape backup, where the tapes rotate in a cycle, CoreVault’s online data backup service will only backup a new version of a file when it has changed, guaranteeing that the customer is not wasting space backing up the same version more than once. This is called deduplication. For example, if a file only changes once a month and seven generations are retained, CoreVault will have seven generations / versions of that file. The number of generations stored is configured on an individual basis. Online backup sets can be configured to include just a single file if desired, giving you the ability to maximize the efficiency of the storage.
How many online backups does CoreVault retain?
As many as required. CoreVault’s clients can customize a retention scheme that works best for each company.
What if a transmission or local network connection failure occurs during the online backup?
If transmission is interrupted in the middle of a backup, the CoreVault Client will stop the backup, and if configured to do so, will notify the administrator that the backup failed. It will try again at the next scheduled time.
What happens if a server stops or crashes during backup, or if the online backup is interrupted for some other reason?
If the online backup is stopped, for whatever reason, it will simply continue at the next scheduled time. The failed backup will not be revisited, and the next scheduled time will pick up where the previous backup failed. If, however, the problem has been rectified and backup window allows, the backup can be restarted manually at any time.
What is common file elimination?
CoreVault employs Common File Elimination Technology, which eliminates the need to backup common operating systems and software application files that are already stored in our remote vaults. This is accomplished by assigning a digital signature unique to the contents of a particular file, comparing that signature with all the files in our Data Store and only transmitting unique files. This means that common files will not be counted against backup storage, which reduces backup account size, thereby saving money. These files will be available during a restore, if needed.
Do I need to back up my entire computer?
No. Online backup service can back up only the data files you designate. Select only the files, directories, or drives that require backup. Of course, CoreVault can only restore the data scheduled to backup. Backing up all critical files, and storing programs and operating systems offsite is critical. For online backup, full systems or data only, CoreVault is a reliable and cost effective way to protect data.
How much data can I back up?
As much as you want; you pay only for actual compressed data stored.
Are the backups incremental?
Not in the traditional sense. Every backup is in effect a full backup. Our computer backup system does this by cataloging all files prior to each backup session, then transmitting only the changed or new files. From a restoration standpoint, each backup is a full, complete image of the data selected at the time of each backup. If restoration is required, simply select the backup you want and restore the files you need.
What software do you use?
CoreVault uses a variety of software packages in the backup, monitoring and reporting functions of our service. These components are a compilation of internally developed software and assembled packages, both proprietary and non-proprietary, from industry-leading developers.
Can the online backup service backup permissions on files?
Yes, for Windows NT on NTFS volumes CoreVault can backup both Permissions and Streams. The Permissions and Extended NetWare Attributes can be backed up for NetWare. This is a configurable option in both NetWare and NT environments. For UNIX servers, ACL properties can be retained.
If the backup software is agentless, how are MS SQL and Exchange backed up?
Microsoft® developed SQL and Exchange with the backup requirement in mind. Both products can respond to API calls requesting the services to dump their data, while online, to an external destination. In CoreVault’s case the product simply asks the specified MS SQL or Exchange server to stream the data to the CoreVault Client where it is delta blocked and transmitted offsite. This process is a totally supported Microsoft function and guarantees compatibility with your existing MS systems. This adhesion to Microsoft standards does however prevent us from restoring individual Exchange mailboxes without additional software, as this is not a function Microsoft supports.
Can CoreVault run pre and post commands on servers?
Yes, even though CoreVault is an agentless solution, it is still capable of running commands on remote servers, be they Linux, NetWare or Microsoft Windows.
How does CoreVault handle open files?
Open files are an issue in most backup environments. If a file is open exclusively on a workstation, it is the server's responsibility to stop anyone else, including a backup package, accessing that file.
To help counteract these issues CoreVault has a range of options that attempt to handle open files. These options, combined with use of the Pre and Post commands, should enable the backup of almost any file. In environments where available, the use of the Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) service allows CoreVault to access files that are open during the backup.
What is the CoreVault Client's "local storage" feature?
In addition to transmitting data to our vaults, the CoreVault Backup Client can in effect keep the most recent backup stored locally, so that it can be restored at higher local area network (LAN) speeds, if needed. In the event of a restoration request, CoreVault Client first attempts to retrieve data from local storage, and if local storage is not available, requests the data transmission from our data vault. This methodology guarantees maximum speed, efficiency and responsiveness. Feel free to read more about our local storage service.
At what point is the data available for restoration?
The data is available for restoration immediately after the online backup has completed.
How do I restore data?
Restoration may involve anything from a single file to an entire system. The simple CoreVault user interface allows selection of individual files or complete folders for restoration. A search utility that scans entire catalogs using a file specification mask that may include wildcards is also available. If a catastrophic loss occurs and no operating system is available, the base operating system and network drivers must be installed first. Once installed, CoreVault Client initiates full system restoration to the state prior to system loss. Should the restored data be large or require quick restoration, CoreVault can load data to a mobile vault and overnight the vault for loading at LAN speeds. Mobile Vault for emergency restoration requires a separate fee.
Can you prioritize which data is restored in the event of a disaster?
Yes, the client can select which files/directories/servers require restoration. There is no need to restore non-essential data.
Is there a quicker way than online transfer to restore large volumes of data?
Yes. In the event that a restoration requires data that does not exist in CoreVault Client’s local storage, CoreVault can write data to DVD’s or USB drives, or for very large volumes, to a mobile vault for next day delivery.
Can the client conduct a "full" recovery including the System State and Active Directory?
Yes! If a decision is made to backup the System State, CoreVault’s software will restore all applicable System State and Active Directory information.
Can CoreVault perform bare-metal restoration?
Assuming that the machine in question has had a full backup of all files and registry, and the data restores to a machine of similar hardware, a full disaster recovery of that machine is very simple. After installing the operating system, there is no need to apply service packs, configure domain security or install additional software to the new machine, as all this information will be included in the restoration. Read more about bare-metal recovery.
Can I restore to an alternate location to avoid overwriting a file?
Can an entire backup set restore to a specific point in time, e.g. last Monday?
Yes, CoreVault will display all backed up files on any given day, providing the files have not been deleted by an administrator or overwritten by more recent versions. See also the question “How many versions of my backed up files are held off-site?”" under Backing Up above.
What is meant by online versus offline restores? How is this affected by the CoreVault Client’s local storage feature?
Data restored from CoreVault Client or data restored over the Internet from the vault is considered online restoration. Data recovery using removable physical media, which has been transported to the site, is considered offline restoration. Any restoration may be initiated online, but if the data does not exist in local storage and the quantity of data is such that the restoration time would be too great, clients have the option of having data placed on removable physical media and sent to them. Read more about emergency recovery.
Is there a charge to restore my data?
There is never a charge to restore data online. If CoreVault is required to generate physical media and courier or mail the media to you, additional charges may incur. Contact us for details.
Connectivity & Bandwidth
What type of connection do I need?
Off-site backup services require reliable, dedicated Internet connections. Connection options include cable modem, DSL, T1 or T3. The faster the connection, the faster online backups will transmit.
Does all data get transferred every day?
Only new and unique data backs up. Duplicate or unchanged files are not transmitted (see Deduplication).
At what point is the data deemed to be backed up and off-site?
Data backs up in real time, so when the Administration Console indicates that the backup completes, it is also an indication that the data has been stored off-site.
What is delta blocking? How does it work?
Delta blocking is an advanced logic that divides all files into 2K blocks. When a file change is detected, the Checksum of each 2K block is compared against the last known Checksum for the same block of the same file (stored in the database on CoreVault Client). Blocks that indicate difference extract for re-transmission. These delta blocks will also be compressed and encrypted before transmission.
What type of encryption is available?
Several encryption algorithms and key strengths up to 256-bit AES are available. The confidentiality and security of data is CoreVault’s top priority. That is why our automated offsite encryption backup service employs the top encryption algorithms.
What do I do if I lose my encryption password?
Lost passwords cannot be recovered, even by CoreVault. CoreVault strongly recommends that clients maintain multiple copies of encryption password(s) in safe, CoreVault remote locations, or in fire safes or bank safety deposit boxes. Clients have the option of forwarding an encryption key to CoreVault’s system database in an encrypted format. The key is resent in a configuration file for the CoreVault client’s setup routine.
Is data encrypted as it travels over the Internet?
Yes. All data is encrypted before it leaves the client’s site. The client is the only person with access to the key.
Is my data safe with CoreVault?
Yes. Data files are safe at every step of the backup process due to CoreVault’s state-of-the-art encryption and security methods. Only the client can access data. Read more about CoreVault security.
How does CoreVault Secure store and protect data?
CoreVault understands the value of high quality equipment. All of our equipment is state of the art, fully redundant, power-protected and fault-tolerant. CoreVault’s tier one data center facilities are equipped with high-level security systems, 7 days a week 365 days a year. Read more about CoreVault’s infrastructure.
How is my online backup protected?
The two primary security measures are (1) limiting access to data to authorized users by password authorization; and (2) encrypting data prior to transmission and storing it in an encrypted state.
What operating systems are supported for online backup and restore?
- Windows 2000 Professional
- Windows 2000 Server
- Windows 2000 Advanced Server
- Windows 2000 Data Server
- Windows XP
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Vista (all packages)
- Windows Small Business Server 2003
- Netware 6.0 & 6.5
- Red Hat Linux 9.0 / RHEL& AS / Fedora Core
- SUSE Linux SuSe 9 & 9.1
- AS400 OS/400 V5R1M0/V5R2M0/V5R3M0
- UNIX - File system backup and restore of UNIX derivatives with SSH daemon and Perl 5
What operating systems does the CoreVault Client run on?
- Windows XP Home & Professional
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Vista (all packages)
- Windows 2000 Data Server
- Red Hat RHEL & AS 3 & 4
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 & 10
- Mac OS X
What database and groupware systems does the CoreVault Client support?
- Microsoft SQL 7, 2000, 2005
- Oracle 9i, 10g
- DB2 8.1
- Microsoft Exchange 5.5, 2000 & 2003
- Lotus Domino 6.5
- Novell Groupwise 6.5
- MySQL - any version as long as OS supports mysqldump
- postgreSQL - any version as long as OS supports pg_dump
Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to make your life easier, and we’ll address any question promptly.