Backup and Restore is functionally associated with every software and hardware device you work with today. Traditionally you would find this as key functionality in operating systems and file systems we work with and there are great use cases and value it brings on table.  Think of a networking device like NetScaler and the core use cases remain same.

So far we were working with the capability of backing up NetScaler configuration file manually or through Command Center. It works well and restoring the backed up configuration file is something NetScaler administrators use as rescue in different scenarios. NetScaler as a system has evolved over last several years and today the backup/restore operation is not limited to the configuration file alone. There are several files on the file system of NetScaler which are a must to bring back the system in previous known healthy state. If we continue to backup the configuration file only, then in cases of disk failure, it will be nearly impossible to get back to good known state. There are critical files like SSL certificate/key or other configuration files associated with key functional module like dynamic routing which is a must to bring back the system to known healthy state.

Thus for all practical purpose this newly released feature in NetScaler 10.1 Build 119.7 is of great use and we recommend it for all practical backup/restore use cases. The feature is broken down in 2 levels which cover your different use cases.

  • Basic – this level would backup all the important configuration files along with the key log files and downloaded objects used in functional features like Application Firewall and Responder.
  • Full – this level covers everything backed up using basic and adds other important files which are less frequently changed like SSL certificates/keys and license files.

Backed up image is stored as a single file in “/var/ns_sys_backup/” folder. Once created you can download and store it on a different repository.

If you want to restore NetScaler with the backed up file then you need to get the file to same directory and then restore command would trigger the operation of restoring every individual file at its respective location in file system. After restoring the files, reboot of the device is a must to ensure changes are applied and system is running at good known state.

One thing to remember is that backup and restore operation is supported for same device and we do not allow backing up from one device and restoring it on another device. With just one caution and so many exciting benefits it will be one of the key admin loved feature 🙂