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Getting Started

Getting Started Walk-through

Although we try our best to make Nimbus SG as simple to use as possible, a quick tour can always help.

This guide assumes you have successfully imported/installed/cloned your Nimbus based on your platform. If you’ve not gotten to this point, please follow the steps in the appropriate guide for your platform:

Initial installation of Nimbus Gateway:

  • Raspberry pi
  • Virtual Machine Installation (Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare/ESXi, Proxmox, VirtualBox, etc)
  • Bare Metal (Physical) Systems

Once you have your Nimbus up and running, the first thing you should do is hop on the console screen for a few basic configuration options:

Nimbus Console

The first thing you may wish to do is configure your networking/IP informaiton for your Nimbus gateway.  To do this, simply choose option 1, and follow the prompts.   By default, the Nimbus Gateway will use DHCP to acquire an IP address, but you can statically assign an address as needed.

The next important step to take is to check for software updates, to make sure you are running on the latest stable version of the Nimbus Storage Gateway.

After these inital steps, you can move to your web browser to complete your initial configuration, and choose your primary storage.

Author: Nimbus
Last update: 2018-07-12 03:47


Configure OpenStack Cinder backups with cloud storage using Nimbus Gateway

One of the most powerful features of Nimbus SG is the ability to synchronize your data to one, or more, cloud storage targets. On top of that, all data is automatically and seamlessly globally deduplicated, compressed, and encrypted providing you with effortless, powerful protection.

Because of its flexibility, the Nimbus can be added to many common situations as a simple plugin to provide site-level disaster protection. One excellent example is to enhance OpenStack’s Cinder backups. Cinder is OpenStack’s block storage component, powering countless cloud infrastructures. Cinder itself has an API to take snapshots and export these point in time snapshots to external storage, or tape. However, by sending your Cinder backups directly to CloudRay SG NFS or SMB/CIFS share, you can instantly gain the following benefits for all your backups:

  • Global Deduplication

    Everything stored on your Nimbus is automatically deduplicated inline as it is transferred. This allows you to store multiple copies of your backups while consuming the absolute minimum storage.

  • Automatic Compression

    In addition to the powerful benefits of global data deduplication, everything stored on your Nimbus is also compressed inline with powerful, high performance stream compression.

  • Military Grade Encryption

    Lastly, all data stored on your Nimbus is encrypted inline, in transit, and at rest. You can rest easy knowing your data is protected at all times.

  • Local and Cloud Storage

    Keep backups on local storage, one cloud storage platform, or many. Nimbus supports replicating your data to as many public/private clouds as you like

Saves Money:
Massively reduce I/O and bandwidth usage with your cloud storage. Public clouds (Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, BackBlaze B2, etc) all charge based on the amount of data stored, data transferred in/out of the cloud, as well as various “transactions”.

Insane data compression reduces storage “footprint” on your public cloud storage. Again, since you are charge by the GB stored in the cloud, Nimbus can slash the amount of actual data stored by up to 90%.

All of these benefits are provided seamlessly without compromising performance. Data transfers are performed at wire/disk speed, and often much faster, thanks to the deduplication and flexibly memory caching options.

Cinder ==> NAS Storage
Cinder ==> Nimbus ==> NAS Storage

Steps to Configure Cinder with Nimbus

  1. Setup your preferred cloud storage in your Nimbus
  2. Configure your Nimbus synchronization settings to send your backups to one or more clouds
  3. Edit your cinder.conf (usually in /etc/cinder/)
  4. Add the following lines (with your specific settings) to the cinder.conf:

    Using NFS

    backup_compression_algorithm=None
    backup_share=[Your CRSG IP]:/export/share/
    backup_mount_options=rw,nolock,hard,intr,nfsvers=4,tcp,rsize=131072,wsize=131072,bg

    Note: If you would like to use SMB3, you should add a mount to the Nimbus from the Cinder system(s), and add the backup path to your cinder.conf

    //[Your Nimbus IP]/Share/

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-02 18:22


Installing Nimbus Gateway

Please note: Raspberry Pi users should follow specific instructions found here.

This guide is for installing the Nimbus Storage Gateway on any virtual plaform, or directly to physical hardware.

Step 1.  Download the ISO installer.

Step 2.  Boot your system (VM or Physical) with the ISO file

Be sure that your system has at least 1GB of ram, and 8GB of disk space for the Nimbus SG operating system.

Step 3. Follow the prompts, and enter the device to install on (usually "/dev/sda")

Step 4.  Once the installation completes (it can take a while), be sure to eject the ISO and reboot the system

Step 5. (optional) Assign a static IP address.  By default the Nimbus SG will use DHCP.

Step 6.  Check for updates.  It is always a good idea to check for new updates right after installation.

Step 7.  Open a web browser and navigate to the IP address shown on your console screen.  From here you can choose your storage location, and complete any configuration tasks.

 

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-12 03:45


Use Case: Deduplicated NAS

The simplest possible use for Nimbus SG is as an inline, deduplicating NAS storage device.

In this setup, the Nimbus will automatically deduplicate (and optionally encrypt) all data stored to it.  It can be used just like any other network storage, but will provide significant storage savings, security, and potentially even read performance benfits.

In this use case, you would simply configure the Nimbus SG to utilize whatever backend storate you like (local, CIFS, NFS, etc).  Then, you point your client systems to use the \\<nimbus sg>\\Share directory for any and all storage requirements.

Any files save to that share will automatically be (globally) deduplicated, and saved to your defined backend storage location.  This can yield an enormous storage savings, as well as automatically encrypt your data with military grade AES-256 encryption.

As a side benefit, the Nimbus SG provides a caching layer to your NAS storage, so depending on your data access patterns and the size of your cache settings, the Nimbus SG can provide a minor to massive performance boost when reading your data.

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-11 05:52


Guides

Use Case: Deduplicated NAS

The simplest possible use for Nimbus SG is as an inline, deduplicating NAS storage device.

In this setup, the Nimbus will automatically deduplicate (and optionally encrypt) all data stored to it.  It can be used just like any other network storage, but will provide significant storage savings, security, and potentially even read performance benfits.

In this use case, you would simply configure the Nimbus SG to utilize whatever backend storate you like (local, CIFS, NFS, etc).  Then, you point your client systems to use the \\<nimbus sg>\\Share directory for any and all storage requirements.

Any files save to that share will automatically be (globally) deduplicated, and saved to your defined backend storage location.  This can yield an enormous storage savings, as well as automatically encrypt your data with military grade AES-256 encryption.

As a side benefit, the Nimbus SG provides a caching layer to your NAS storage, so depending on your data access patterns and the size of your cache settings, the Nimbus SG can provide a minor to massive performance boost when reading your data.

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-11 05:54


How to setup a DLNA Media Server

The CloudRay SG automatically provides a simple DNLA Media server for any media you place in the “dlna” folder on your device. This means you can store all of your music, pictures, and videos on your CRSG, and stream them to any TV or device you like. Furthermore, you can sync some/all of your media to secondary storage, or the cloud, however you like.

Files placed in the “dlna” folder (and its subfolders) are automatically rescanned periodically, and will show up to your client devices fairly quickly. If for some reason your media isn’t showing up, a rescan is forced upon reboot, so you can restart your appliance to force it to show up.

Author: Nimbus
Last update: 2018-07-02 18:19


Configuring Auto-Sync

<- Back

By default, any additional (ie. non-Primary) storage sites you add will not automatically synchronize your files and data. This ensures nothing will be transferred without you explicit choosing to.
However, in most cases, you probably want to have your data automatically synchronized to your other storage(s). Fortunately, this is very simple to accomplish. Data synchronization can be setup to include/exclude folders recursively for anything stored on the Nimbus share. Furthermore, if you have more than 1 additional storage location configured, you can setup a single, global set of rules, or configure auto-sync options on an individual basis for each site.

Configuring Auto-sync options
From the settings->System->Cloud Sync Settings page, you will see two text areas for Includes and Excludes. These two areas allow you to define folders that will be (recursively) included, or excluded.

So, for example, to auto-sync all files and sub-folders placed on your share, simply enter “/” in the Include path. Additionally, if you wanted to skip everything in the path “/never sync/” you could just add that to the “Exclude” list.

Please note the following rules:

  • All paths entered in either field will be matched recursively.
  • Excludes will override Includes
  • Local rules (to the site) override Global rules

So, with these simple rules you can select what to automatically synchronize, and what to skip, for any or all sites defined.

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-12 03:46


Installing Nimbus on Raspberry Pi

Installing Nimbus on your Raspberry Pi is as simple as, well pie.  You just download the image, extract it, and write it to your SD card.  If you've ever worked with an rpi before, the process will be very familiar.

Please Note:
Installing the Nimbus Gateway image on your rPi will convert it to a dedicated storage appliance. 

Installation Steps:
1. Download & Extract the Nimbus rPi Image
2. Write the .img file to your SD Card to use in your rPi
3. Configure your network and storage settings
4. Complete the Wizard to configure storage

Useful tips:
Configuring your networking setting is best done with a keyboard & monitor connected to your rPi. Alternatively, if you are connected via Ethernet, Nimbus will use DHCP by default, so you may SSH in to the console that way.

Default Console Login:
Username: admin
Password: nimbus

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-12 03:46


Use Case: Deduplicated Cloud only storage

In this use case, the Nimbus SG will be used only to transfer files to remote cloud storage.  The local storage is only used as a cache, and will be cleared as soon as the data is committied to one or more remote/cloud storage locations.

This configuration is useful when you only need a means to efficiently transfer your data to cloud storage.  The Nimbus SG will automatically reduce your costs for cloud storage by its incredibly powerful inline compression and global deduplication technology.  This means that your usage of cloud storage will be reduced significantly, saving you time and money.

To start, you will need to define some local (primary) storage for your Nimbus SG.  This storage will be used as a temporary holding area of all data copied to the Nimbus SG share, while it is being synced to our cloud storage.

For this use case, as soon as your data has been synced to your remote storage sites, the Nimbus will automatically purge the local data, freeing storage for future use.

To do this is quite simple: just adjust to your "Local Data Cache" option to a high value (upt to 100%) in your Settings/System/Cloud Sync Settings.

 

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-12 03:46


Use Case: Hyper-V backup

You can use the Nimbus SG to efficiently store your Hyper-v backups with global deduplication, and encryption enabled automatically.

Instead of paying for an unnecassary, over-priced solution like Altaro, Veeam, Unitrends, or Alike, you can simply perform Hyper-v "exports" directly to your Nimbus SG with the following steps:

1. Checkpoint your VM from the Microsoft Hyper-V manager

2. Export your checkpoint to the Nimbus SG share.

That's it!  Your Hyper-VM virtual machine has now been saved to your Nimbus SG.

To restore your VM, you simply perform an "Import" operation on the desired backup:

1. In the Hyper-v manager, select import virtual machine:

2. Navigate to the location of the version you would like to restore (from the Nimbus SG share)

 Once this is complete, you will have completely recovered your VM from the exact point in time that your original export was taken.

 Scripting/Automation

Alternatively, you can use the following powershell script example to automate your Hyper-V VM Backups:

$vm = "Your VM Name"
$ts = Get-Date -UFormat %m-%d-%y_%H-%m
$cp = "Temp_Nimbus_CP_$ts"
$path = "\\<your Nimbus SG>\Share\HyperV_Backups\$vm\$ts\"
Checkpoint-VM -Name $vm -SnapshotName $cp
Export-VMSnapshot -Name $cp -VMName $vm -Path $path
Get-VM $vm | Remove-VMSnapshot -Name $cp 

Running the scriptlet above will snapshot, then export your VM directly to your Nimbus SG.  Each snapshot will be given it's own folder name (with the date), so you can keep as many as you like.  Of course, thanks to the Nimbus SG global deduplication, you can store many more backups than you would be able to on "vanilla" storage.

This technique will provide you complete protection for Microsoft Hyper-v, at zero additional cost, and will compress your backups saving additional amounts in storage and time.

Author: Nimbus Admin
Last update: 2018-07-11 16:09