1 2 3 Previous Next 42 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2017 2:21 AM by sebastijan

    Windows Server offsite backups options


      I have some small filemaker files on a virtual server (2012 R2) and I want to back them up offsite.

      Does anyone have good ideas how to do this?


      This is what I have tried:

      I don't need to backup the whole server so I haven't paid for that service from the VPS provider - plus I want a truly offsite backup incase e.g. the VPS provider locks out my account or something similar.  The files are also small so I can use a free service like dropbox, one drive, google drive.

      So I tried to set up the following

      1) Added an FMS schedule to make a single backup (no need for 7 offsite backups)

      2) Downloaded dropbox

      3) Attempted to create a script to copy the backup folder to the dropbox folder.  This didn't work!! xcopy and robocopy both made an identical folder instead of copying into the dropbox folder!!!  E.g. I setup the sync folder E:/Dropbox, xcopy would then create another E:/Dropbox folder... So I did what is not recommended and made filemaker backup directly into the dropbox folder and this works!

      4) Then the last problem... the dropbox sync application doesn't run as a service, i.e. the administrator has to be logged in for the sync to work.


      Is there a backup service that is free that will run as a service in Windows?

        • 1. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

          Not quite free, but I can't recommend Amazon Web Services s3 highly enough for cost-effective (often just pennies a month) offsite backup. I will try to post more detailed instructions tomorrow, but you may be able to get a long way by just signing up for AWS, creating an s3 bucket and installing the AWS command line interface. The AWS guides are really good and there's a tonne of third-party documentation too.

          • 2. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

            Here are more detailed instructions for backing up to Amazon S3.


            1) Create an AWS account at Amazon Web Services (AWS) - Cloud Computing Services. It's essentially a regular amazon account with added AWS features


            2) Sign in to the AWS console


            3) Create an Identity and Access Management (IAM) user so you can access S3 remotely: Creating an IAM User in Your AWS Account - AWS Identity and Access Management


            4) Make sure you store the IAM user access credentials file in a secure location as you will need the information in it to run your backup schedule from the Windows Server

            5) In the AWS console list of products (accessible by clicking the orange cube in the top left-hand corner) select S3


            6) Create an S3 bucket: Creating a Bucket - Amazon Simple Storage Service


            7) Grant the IAM user you created in step 3 List and Upload/Delete permissions to your newly created bucket: Editing Bucket Permissions - Amazon Simple Storage Service


            8) Create a folder in the bucket. This is where you will store your backup

            9) On your Windows Server install the AWS Command Line Tools: Installing the AWS Command Line Interface - AWS Command Line Interface


            10) On your Windows Server, create a batch file along the lines of:



            set AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=the-region-where-you-created-your-s3-bucket

            aws s3 sync "C:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Data\Backups\" s3://yourbucketname/yourfoldername/

            The AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY can be found in the credential document you downloaded when creating the IAM user. The AWS_DEFAULT_REGION will need to match your bucket's region. To find out your bucket's region compare the region name in your bucket's Properties pane with the list of regions here: AWS Regions and Endpoints - Amazon Web Services. Adjust the file paths as required.


            11) Set up a FileMaker Server schedule (System Level Script) to run the batch file sometime after your FileMaker Server Backup schedule.

            4 of 4 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

              Wow thanks for the detailed instructions! I have set this up now. 

              I had to add permissions to the IAM user for S3 access, and to the bucket for the IAM user.  I used this resource to help Example 1: Bucket Owner Granting Its Users Bucket Permissions - Amazon Simple Storage Service but I added full privileges for the IAM user using the policy creator.

              Perhaps just logging in as the new user to AWS I could have added "ME" to the bucket, not sure if that works but looking back I could have done that.


              Also I still had problems with the batch so in the command line I ran:

              aws configure

              and entered the users credentials, then I ran :

              aws s3 ls

              To see what buckets I had permission to see. and then ran the sync command from the command line

              Also I removed the quotes from the source folder in the batch file

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                1: Acronis Backup and Restore (with Universal Restore)

                Acronis Backup and Restore (Figure A) is the backup tool I use the most. It's costly but well worth it. The newer version of Acronis does a great job of ensuring that there is room on your external drive for your latest backup. You can overwrite the old backup or go by the traditional cleanup rules established in Acronis Echo.

                2: Symantec Backup Exec

                Symantec Backup Exec (Figure B) is a powerful backup solution that does a great job of "just working." And with its at-a-glance calendar, it's easy to know when your backup has succeeded and when it has worked. If you're using Symantec Backup Exec across a network (to back up clients/hosts), you can feel safe because it uses SSL for all network backup connections. Like Acronis, Symantec offers solutions for Exchange and SQL.

                3: Carbonite

                Carbonite (Figure C) is primarily an online backup (although the Business and BusinessPremier plans allow you to back up to an external drive). It's meant to back up data only. Carbonite is probably one of the most reliable online backup tools and can back up email, documents, POS files, financial data, pictures and other multimedia, and more.

                4: Windows NT Backup

                Windows NT Backup (Figure D) is the free backup solution that comes with any Windows Server. Why do I include it here? Although it just does data backup and doesn't offer many of the bells and whistles of the other tools, it is one of the only truly reliable backup solutions that will clear the Exchange logs for you. I always set up an NT Backup to run once a week (or month, depending upon the needs), just to have it clear the Exchange logs.

                5: ShadowProtect 4 (Server)

                ShadowProtect 4 (Figure E) is probably the least-known product in this list. But it falls into place next to Acronis as a feature-rich tool that can do everything — including recover to dissimilar hardware. ShadowProtect 4 also includes an easy-to-use tool that allows you to consolidate backup image files and convert the backups to either .VHD or .VMDK virtual machines.

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                  I set it up this afternoon on my EC2 instance, as well.


                  IMPORTANT: I'm running FMS 14.0.4 on my AWS VM. On my system, this statement, as originally posted, needed to be modified.


                  aws s3 sync "C:\Program Files\FileMaker Server\Data\Backups\" s3://yourbucketname/yourfoldername/


                  aws s3 sync "C:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Data\Backups\" s3://yourbucketname/yourfoldername/

                  When I fixed that, I kept getting 154 errors saying "script not found" when I'd run the FMS script, thought the batch file ran fine. The key was to add ".\" to my username.


                  In FileMaker Server settings, I checked the option for: "Use a user account rather than the default account".


                  I used ".\myusernameformyEC2instance" as the User Name, and the password for that account.


                  Worked like a charm. The S3 bucket is synchronized with the AWS VM's backup folder in minutes. I have it set up to run 30 minutes after my scheduled backups. The net result is that I have a copy of my backups, synchronized to my server every night.

                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                    Great to see you have it working and thanks for pointing out the missing folder in the path, I have corrected that now.

                    • 7. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                      I'm delighted with this. Thank you very much for posting it.


                      I made one other modification to my batch file:


                      I added " --delete" to the end of the aws s3 sync command. My backups on server automatically keep backups of only the last 7 daily backups. By adding " --delete", my new s3 bucket will stay truly synchronized with the backups I have on my server.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                        Spot on about --delete, I use that in my backup scripts too. I didn't want to include it in the instructions because it can be dangerous if not handled properly. If you are attempting to back up from a local path that may be invalid (unplugged external drive or an out of date file path, for example) you could end up deleting everything on the remote backup location on S3!

                        • 9. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                          +1 I have added delete now also.  I have 7 on-server backups and 1 in the S3 bucket.  I'm still in the free tier for offsite backups.  It makes no sense for me to keep filling the bucket.

                          • 10. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                            I'll just add that I'm going to add a user to give the client access to the offsite backup.  That way I don't have to give access to the server as I don't want them playing with it, and if I fall off the perch they still have a recent backup to run with.

                            • 11. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                              I'm in the free tier, too. The S3 bucket is free for a year. I've downloaded backups from it to test them out, and it all seems to work wonderfully. I'm going add a weekly backup, too. Storage is so cheap.

                              • 12. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                                While these more traditional offerings are being listed, I'd also like to add AllSync, great product for €40 to €60

                                • 13. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options
                                  Mike Duncan

                                  +1 for AWS S3 backups


                                  You might also look into setting the bucket policy to backup to other regions, for disaster recovery if you are that paranoid. Also policies to move copies to lower cost long term storage (glacier) after a set period of time passes.



                                  • 14. Re: Windows Server offsite backups options

                                    We've just been through this as well and have found a few additions that will add to the information within this thread (which we found very helpful, thank you all).


                                    Running the batch file was different between FileMaker Server v15 and v14. The same batch file would run on v15 with 'use a user account' in the schedule wizard left empty using the default account. However, the only way we found to get the same file to run on v14 Server was to enter the server administrator in the format administrator@workgroupname (we don't usually set up Active Directory for our FileMaker Servers). All other options resulted in either 'Script is Missing' or 'Aborted by User' errors. We played with permissions, but only this naming convention worked for our servers.


                                    We've also tried various IAM policies and have one now that prevents IAM users from using the AWS console for S3 and therefore unable to see the listed buckets.


                                    To provide access to clients' backups we're using 'external buckets', which again allows clients to view the contents of their own buckets, but cannot see anyone else's. Unfortunately Cyberduck does not allow this (that we could find), but opted for:

                                    Windows - S3 Browser - setup external buckets

                                    Mac - either ExpanDrive or Transmit - which was our preference. Both allow default paths of the buckets/folder


                                    The setup now is exactly what we've been looking for, we're able to chose our regions, set these in the batch files and provide a convenient way for customers to download their backups without viewing any other clients' storage areas.



                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                    1 2 3 Previous Next