QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

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pawhe955
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QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby pawhe955 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:27 am

Hi all,

I had been using a single External Disk for NAS backups - but when a Firmware update went wrong earlier this year, I decided to get a 2nd, identical, 4TB (Seagate Expansion Desk) disk for additional backups and rotate the disks, keeping 1 disk "off site" each time (yes, paranoid about data integrity!).

I named these initially in Windows, "Seagate_Expansion_4TB_01" and "Seagate_Expansion_4TB_02" respectively.
With a backup done to "01", which is at work, I went to do a backup to "02" today.

What I noticed was that:

1 - Even though Disk 01 wasn't connected to the NAS, all jobs for 01 were listed in the "Backup" app.
---- I didn't recall this being the case previously - I *thought* that the jobs were only shown/listed once the relevant backup disk was connected..??

2 - Although the list of jobs had "01" in their name (correctly, according to my job naming convention), the disk/device itself had the name "Seagate Expansion Desk 02" - which confused me enough to delete all the listed jobs, as I thought that it was listing them as if Disk 02 was connected, which it wasn't at the time (I hadn't notice at that point that they had "01" in the job name :( )...
I then connected Disk 02 (i.e. as named in Windows) and on the NAS, the disk was listed/named *exactly the same" as the disk for the Disk01 jobs, i.e. "Seagate Expansion Desk 02"...
---- Where does the NAS 'read' (and thereby display) the name of the attached external disk from (i.e. the "Target device" in the "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box)..?? It doesn't seem to be the Windows name for the disk, as they are definitely named "01" and "02".... Is it a generic name of the Disk Model, as decided by the NAS..?? - i.e. in which case 2 disks of the same model would of course appear to be "named" the same in "Backup to External Disk"...

I'm really confused...!! I've deleted all "Disk01" jobs and currently setting up new "Disk02" jobs (as that's the disk I have at hand and is connected) - but the listed Disk/Device Name is bugging me...!!

Is any one able to confirm what they see as their "Disk/Device Name" under "Target device" in the "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box, and how that compares with the NAS/Windows Disk name...??

OR - is there a way of changing the name of the Target Disk/Device in Backup...?? (can't see an obvious one.....)

Thanks,
--

NAS: TS-453 Pro | Firmware: 4.3.4.0644
4 x 4TB WD Red WD40EFRX / RAID 10

TCP/IP Networking is my speciality - not NAS - so please be gentle... :DD

P3R
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Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby P3R » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:42 am

pawhe955 wrote:I had been using a single External Disk for NAS backups - but when a Firmware update went wrong earlier this year, I decided to get a 2nd, identical, 4TB (Seagate Expansion Desk) disk for additional backups and rotate the disks, keeping 1 disk "off site" each time (yes, paranoid about data integrity!).
It's not paranoid, its' what I would always recommend as a very good minimum level of backup for data that have any value to the user.
1 - Even though Disk 01 wasn't connected to the NAS, all jobs for 01 were listed in the "Backup" app.
That's normal and expected.
---- I didn't recall this being the case previously - I *thought* that the jobs were only shown/listed once the relevant backup disk was connected..??
No. All backup jobs configure are always shown/listed untiol you delete them. The backup application doesn't know or care about what disk you have connected until you run the job (automatically scheduled or manually). If the disk isn't available at the time of the job running, it will fail and an error recorded in the logs.

I get lost reading and trying to understand the rest of your post so let's try this approach instead.

There are two ways to handle rotating backup disks:
  • Name the disks and setup your backup jobs to only work with a specific destination disk. This is great if you may have more than one external disk connected at the same time (if maybe you have a third external disk connected at the same time as either of the two backup disks) but also mean you need to setup all backup jobs duplicated, one for each backup destination disk.
  • Create the backup jobs but don't select a specific target disk. This mean that you only need one set of backup jobs but for backups to be working reliably you can't have multiple external disks connected at the same time.
Personally I very much prefer the latter approach but at the same time I know that i will always only have one external disk connected. This is usally the case when you have two rotating backup disks and have the very wise policy of always keeping at least one backup disk off-site.

Also I notice that you talk about multiple backup jobs for each disk. Are you aware that you can have multiple source-destination folder pairs in a single backup job? Maybe that could mean that you don't need to have multiple jobs?
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

pawhe955
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Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby pawhe955 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:06 pm

Thanks for clarifying the "jobs will always be listed, even if the disk isn't present" - I must have recalled that situation incorrectly - by bad.

I am indeed aware that you can add multiple folder pairs :) - I have approx. 18 shared folders, but only 14 jobs - one job has (the maximum?) 4 folder pairs, and one has 2 folder pairs. I keep the jobs primarily discrete, as data changes quite a lot in each shared folder, which means I can set off backups individually and sequentially, and thus keep load on the NAS quite low at all times...

Re: the 2nd part: Perhaps screenshots would have helped :)

1st Attachment "Capture2.jpg" shows the connected USB External Disk in FileStation, with the listed name being the one that was set for that disk in Windows, before being attached to the NAS... ("Seagate_Expansion_4TB_02" - and to confirm, when the "other" disk is attached, FS5 shows "Seagate_Expansion_4TB_01")

2nd Attachment "Capture1.jpg" shows the "Backup to external disk" window and the Target device "name" that I was referring to.... ("Seagate Expansion Desk 2" - which seems to be the same, whichever of the 2 identical model disks I attach)

I suppose in summary, what I was saying was that (I hadn't previously noticed that) it seems that the listed name of the "Target Device" in the "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box doesn't actually reflects what you've "named" the disk. I understood that the NAS uses the (unique) Volume ID to identify an individual Disk when connected (not the "name"), and thus can keep track of, and continue, the backups for the specified jobs for that disk (and, as pointed out, fail jobs that are started for a disk that's not connected, etc.) - which actually makes me wonder about your 2nd backup procedural option..?? I just tried, and with no external disk connected, I couldn't get past Step 2 of the "Create a job" wizard, presumably as I couldn't select an attached disk....?? And the text in that "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box/window states that "You can create a backup job and map it to a specific disk volume." - which seem to suggest you *have* to map to a concurrently connected Ext Disk in order to complete the job setup...?? Or are you creating jobs outside of the "Wizard"..??

Bottom line - I was surprised to notice that when/if I have 2 disk of the same manufacturer/type, that might be connected to the NAS at the same time, that the listed name of the "Target Device" (in the "Backup to External Disk") was the same - and that it didn't seem to reflect the set name of the Disk; and just wondered if this was confirmed behaviour, and whether there was any way of changing Target Device name in the "Backup to External Disk" listed Devices to match the actual name of the attached disk, just to make it easier to know (through the GUI) which external disk you have connected......

thanks,
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--

NAS: TS-453 Pro | Firmware: 4.3.4.0644
4 x 4TB WD Red WD40EFRX / RAID 10

TCP/IP Networking is my speciality - not NAS - so please be gentle... :DD

P3R
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden (UTC+01:00)

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby P3R » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:12 pm

pawhe955 wrote:I suppose in summary, what I was saying was that (I hadn't previously noticed that) it seems that the listed name of the "Target Device" in the "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box doesn't actually reflects what you've "named" the disk.
I'm sorry but I don't know the details of disk naming and what name shows up where. I'm pretty sure I read in the forum that disk label naming should be possible to use though. Search the forum. Senior forum user schumaku is very knowledgeable and have described it several times I think.

I've never bothered about the naming of my disks in a Qnap and I don't currently have access to any of them due to a VPN issue where I'm located for at least another week.
I just tried, and with no external disk connected, I couldn't get past Step 2 of the "Create a job" wizard, presumably as I couldn't select an attached disk....??
That's possible.
And the text in that "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box/window states that "You can create a backup job and map it to a specific disk volume." - which seem to suggest you *have* to map to a concurrently connected Ext Disk in order to complete the job setup...??
You don't have to, but as I don't have access to a system I can't describe exactly how it's done but I use the Wizard.

There may be other factors in play here though. We don't know what Qnap, what QTS firmware version or build you use. We also don't know which backup application you use; the old Backup Station that's integrated in QTS but is on it's way out or the new replacement Hybrid Backup Sync app.

I use Hybrid Backup Sync as that's the one more likely to be updated going forward. Also I don't use the External Drive option but create a local copy job as that give me more features (versioning for example) and definitely allow more folder pairs than 4.

This is a Qnap tutorial for HBS (it may be a bit outdated so it may not look exactly the same in the current version).
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

Mousetick
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Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:28 pm

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby Mousetick » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:05 pm

pawhe955 wrote:---- Where does the NAS 'read' (and thereby display) the name of the attached external disk from (i.e. the "Target device" in the "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box)..?? It doesn't seem to be the Windows name for the disk, as they are definitely named "01" and "02".... Is it a generic name of the Disk Model, as decided by the NAS..?? - i.e. in which case 2 disks of the same model would of course appear to be "named" the same in "Backup to External Disk"...

The NAS passively reads the device name directly from the chip inside the external disk, it doesn't generate it. The external disk can tell its Manufacturer, Model, Revision, Firmware, Serial Number and other bits of information, to the host to which it is attached. Not too sure about the suffix "2" in your case, but it's probably part of the model name. You cannot change this name since it's hardcoded in the external disk chip.

You can see the same device name being displayed in the external disk drop-down menu (top row of QTS UI):
QTS External Device Name.png

pawhe955 wrote:Is any one able to confirm what they see as their "Disk/Device Name" under "Target device" in the "Backup to External Disk" dialogue box, and how that compares with the NAS/Windows Disk name...??

I can't confirm for sure because I don't really use Backup Station, but playing with it a bit and based on the screenshot you provided, what you are seeing is "normal". It's a shortcoming of the QNAP UI, there's nothing wrong with your backup job or your volume names/ids. The Backup Station UI shows target device names instead of target volume names/ids in the "Backup to External Disk" job summary. It's quite stupid when you think about it, because backup jobs target specific volumes, not devices.

pawhe955 wrote:OR - is there a way of changing the name of the Target Disk/Device in Backup...?? (can't see an obvious one.....)

Not that I can see either, but as I said above, the device name itself cannot be changed.

As noted by P3R, Backup Station is deprecated. If your NAS model supports it, you should consider switching to Hybrid Backup Sync.
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P3R
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Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby P3R » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:11 pm

RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

Mousetick
Know my way around
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:28 pm

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby Mousetick » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:42 pm


Yes, thanks. What QNAP calls the "drive's label" is actually the volume name (or partition name, if you prefer, or what Windows calls the volume label).

That is not the hardware device name, which cannot be changed.

You can see, in my previous screenshot, "Seagate Expansion Desk" is the device name. And "Nasty-Backup" is the volume name aka "drive's label".

The original poster is rightfully complaining that when 2 identical external disks are hooked up to the NAS, they cannot be differentiated in the Backup UI because they are displayed by their hardware device names, even though they might each have a distinct, user-specified volume name to tell them apart. There is no apparent solution to this problem.

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Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby P3R » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:35 pm

Okay, when used I expected that to be carried over into the backup applications but as I never target jobs at specific physical disks myself I wouldn't know.
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

pawhe955
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:01 pm

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby pawhe955 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:22 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for all the responses.

I wasn't aware that "Backup Station" was deprecated - where would I find that sort of information, as I do(/would like to) try and keep on top of current functionality, and hadn't seen any announcements, etc......

I've installed "Hybrid Backup Sync" and interestingly, it's already listing the backup jobs that I had created under "Backup Station", so I presume I can simply connect up the External Drive that these jobs were created for, and continue to run them from within "Hybrid Backup Sync" straight away (i.e. not have to delete these jobs and re-create them)..?? If anyone suggests otherwise, I'd be interested to hear.

Thanks,
--

NAS: TS-453 Pro | Firmware: 4.3.4.0644
4 x 4TB WD Red WD40EFRX / RAID 10

TCP/IP Networking is my speciality - not NAS - so please be gentle... :DD

P3R
Ask me anything
Posts: 9889
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:39 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden (UTC+01:00)

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby P3R » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:14 pm

pawhe955 wrote:I wasn't aware that "Backup Station" was deprecated - where would I find that sort of information...
As far as I know it isn't an official Qnap recommendation yet so I guess it's in this forum or maybe informally from someone at Qnap support, should you contact them about Backup Station.

In some way or another I would expect it to be announced at the latest with the next major firmware release.
I've installed "Hybrid Backup Sync" and interestingly, it's already listing the backup jobs that I had created under "Backup Station", so I presume I can simply connect up the External Drive that these jobs were created for, and continue to run them from within "Hybrid Backup Sync" straight away (i.e. not have to delete these jobs and re-create them)..?? If anyone suggests otherwise, I'd be interested to hear.
Go ahead. It should work.
RAID have never ever been a replacement for backups. Without backups on a different system (preferably placed at another site), you will eventually lose data!

A non-RAID configuration (including RAID 0, which isn't really RAID) with a backup on a separate media protects your data far better than any RAID-volume without backup.

All data storage consists of both the primary storage and the backups. It's your money and your data, spend the storage budget wisely or pay with your data!

Mousetick
Know my way around
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:28 pm

Re: QNAP Backup External Disk/Device "naming"....

Postby Mousetick » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:41 pm

Sorry didn't mean to scare you off with the deprecated warning. Deprecated doesn't mean it's obsolete, you can safely continue to use Backup Station for the foreseeable future. It's still part of the firmware, and still fully supported by QNAP. However it is not fully maintained any more. It may receive security fixes, and the odd bug fix here and there, as part of firmware updates, but it doesn't receive improvements or new features.

This tech note explains that you can try Hybrid Backup Sync and then revert to Backup Station, but warns that some features may be missing:
https://www.qnap.com/en/how-to/faq/article/can-i-revert-to-the-previous-backup-station-from-hybrid-backup-sync
An indicator that while QNAP continues to update and add features to HBS, Backup Station is left behind.

As hinted by P3R, we can speculate that HBS will be the standard backup application in the next major fimware release, and Backup Station will then become obsolete. The transition should be painless since HBS appears to be fully backward-compatible with Backup Station (as you noticed with your existing jobs).

Hope this clarifies.


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