(Draft) Asigra setup guide

Work in progress

It seems that iX is really pimping the Asigra plugin (blog post), but I haven’t seen a comprehensive guide anywhere on how to go from “basic FreeNAS system” to “Asigra installed, running, and backing up your data”. Is there one that I’m missing?

From what I can see so far, the process looks like:

  • Install the plugin
  • Add storage to the plugin (where? Or does it matter?)
  • Register the plugin, requiring use of a company name, full address and phone, and a static IP. Note that, although iX makes a big point of being able to back up 10 devices for free, they somehow forget to mention that you can only use 1 TB of backup space , no matter how much space you have available on your FreeNAS box. I’m sure this is pure oversight and not a deliberate omission.
  • Once you register, you’ll need to confirm your email address. Once you confirm it, you’ll get an email with instructions on how to download the Asigra client software, a 2.1-GB ISO that will need to be installed in a separate VM or physical server.
  • Launch the management console, a Java Web Start thing called DS-Operator. Make whatever security exceptions, etc. are necessary to let it run.
  • In the DS-Operator, go to Setup -> Initialization, click Add next to Additional DS-Systems, enter your jail’s IP address, check Use UDP, and click OK. Then in the left-hand panel, click Refresh
  • Check the box next to the “asigra” entry in the left-hand panel. Login as root/root. The root user can’t do anything but manage user capabilities capabilities. Click “Add” at the bottom of this window.
  • Enter a user name, and check all the roles (you might not need all of them–not sure at this point). Click OK, then close the users window.
  • Go to the shell in the jail and run adduser . Add a user with the same username as you entered above, and set your desired password for that user.
  • Back in DS-Operator, uncheck “asigra” in the left-hand panel, and check it again. It will ask you to log in again, use the username and password you set above.
  • It will now complain that you don’t have a license. Go to Setup -> License Server and enter the server name in your “registration is complete” email (mine said to use license.asigra.com), then click OK. You’ll get a dialog box saying to disconnect and reconnect again, click OK on that too.
  • Once again, uncheck and recheck “asigra” in the left-hand panel, and log in again.

I think this gets the server plugin set up. Now for the client.

  • Install CentOS 7 including a GUI --AFAICT, the DS-client needs an apparently-local GUI; it doesn’t use a web GUI. I’m sure you could use a different Linux distro though, but it doesn’t appear the DS-client runs on FreeBSD (though it does on Windows if you have a Windows box to use). You’ll probably want to set up a VNC server or other screen-sharing system as well. It calls for 4 GB of RAM as a minimum.
  • For CentOS, you’ll also need to install boost-regex, boost-filesystem, boost-program-options, xerces-c, xmlrpc-c-c++, and xmlrpc-c-apps.
  • Mount the ISO you downloaded above to the machine and change to its mountpoint.
  • Run (as root) ./setup_lin.sh
  • Choose your language, choose to install DS-Client, run through the installer.
  • work in progress…

I’m really getting the idea that this product is intended for very large-scale deployment–put differently, any installation that would fall within the free license really doesn’t have any business using this product. There seems to be a great deal of manual configuration required, it isn’t in the least intuitive, and I haven’t yet been able to find straightforward documentation. Maybe I’m missing something, but it doesn’t look like something that’s intended for home or small-scale use.