How to back up QNAP system and configuration

Backup, Restore, Netbak Replicator, Cloud Storage Services
DarfNader
Getting the hang of things
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:13 am

How to back up QNAP system and configuration

Postby DarfNader » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:14 am

Hello,

While I am presently backing up my NAS folder data, including VM images, using Hybrid Backup by way of a RealTime backup to external USB drives, I am wondering how to back up the QNAP system and application configuration itself. I realize that a backup of the raw filesystems that contain system configuration data, installed qpkgs, and the attendant config files, actually having that on a backup would probably not be very useful on its own as the complexity of the QNAP platform is such that trying to stitch together config files on a fresh system that were scraped from an old system does not sound like it would yield a good result. In lieu of that, I really would like to be able to backup the system configuration of the QNAP system itself as well as the configuration of its core applications in some other way that has some intelligence to be able to restore at least some of the configuration in a manner that won't cause more harm than good.

Anything that would reduce the work needed to rebuild a NAS from a previous configuration state would be a welcome utility. For example, if system and application configuration settings could be exported in the form of a single or set of JSON, YML, or XML files which define some or all of the configuration and package installation that could then be imported onto a clean QNAP NAS to restore most or all of that other NAS' configuration. Since I have not seen anything that resembles that in QNAPs feature set, I assume that such a tool doesn't exist in any form, so I am wondering how other people back up their systems, if at all. I have taken OK notes on my configuration so that I have a loose idea of how I set things up in case I had to recreate it, but I know I missed noting a lot of stuff as I don't always remember to log my configurations or additions. While I am not worried about losing my NAS data (though I really need to backup my NAS data offsite as well as to a local drive) if I had to build my system from scratch I would be pretty ding-dang unhappy and it would take quite a while. Also, I can be nearly certain that I would end up with a different result, for better or for worse. Therefore, if there was the QNAP equivalent of TimeMachine, at least to capture the functional portion of what's saved to disk but not the data portion, that would be pretty fantastic. However, were I to think that functionality exists, I imagine I could rightfully be accused of being very very high.

In light of there not being a tool that automates the export and import of QNAP system and application configuration, the next best thing would be a tool that audits the NAS which produces a full report of the QNAP system configuration along with configuration and versions of all application software. This report could then be used as a reference for anyone who has to rebuild a NAS from scratch to try and match a previous build. I realize that this is probably fantasy as well, but if someone is aware of any way that I might approximate this functionality I'd be grateful to hear your ideas. Finally, assuming that nothing like this exists and that trying to parse configuration files to collect this information is probably a losing proposition, perhaps I could write a web crawler script that collects screen grabs from all of the pages that are navigable in the administration console so that I have a complete set of static replicas of the NAS's configuration in the form static HTML source which I could refer to if I had to rebuild everything by hand, if need be. I know that I probably could repurpose some web crawler tools that are designed to capture dynamic content and either produce rudimentary HTML that approximates the rendered page in a browser, or at worst, just takes a screen shot of each page as an image.

Anyway, I realize I am throwing a lot of ideas at this problem, but I do that feel out whether anyone else has come up with anything that resembles what I am talking about as it would be nice if I didn't have to reinvent the wheel. Thanks!
"Everything I know I've learned from eating the brains of other people." - anon.

TVS-473
• FW v 4.3.4.0370
• 32 GB RAM
• 4 x 6TB SATA , RAID 5
• 2 x 1 TB m2.SSD, RAID 1 (QTier)

DarfNader
Getting the hang of things
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:13 am

Re: How to back up QNAP system and configuration

Postby DarfNader » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:28 am

Okay, clearly I am a little dense as it would appear that the Q'Center app performs at least some of this. I am looking to see how much it actually saves. Does anyone know if these backups can be automatically restored or are they just for reference purposes?
"Everything I know I've learned from eating the brains of other people." - anon.

TVS-473
• FW v 4.3.4.0370
• 32 GB RAM
• 4 x 6TB SATA , RAID 5
• 2 x 1 TB m2.SSD, RAID 1 (QTier)


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