I recently bought myself a good Synology NAS box. Shortly after setting it up I started looking at the offsite backup vendors on the market. In my role as a Infrastructure Lead I have designed and implemented the 3-2-1 Backup strategy for my company, so it was time to automate my valuable home files into something similar.
CrashPlan was recommended to me for being able to backup directly from the NAS box. The installation and setting up a remote client is easy enough for anyone that works within IT and the backup started rolling and it looked like I would be able to complete the backup set of my most important files (about 700GB) within the trial month. I was happy and went ahead and paid for the yearly subscription two weeks later.
Then 2-3 weeks after first installing the software, still on my first trial month CrashPlan upgraded their application that forced me to have to update the CrashPlan application running on my NAS box. After the update the application stopped running, the application log was full of ´Starting CrashPlan´, ´Stopping CrashPlan´. CrashPlan support wasn´t great, it was then I learnt that running CrashPlan on a Synolgoy NAS box was not supported:
“We do not design, build, nor test for running directly on NAS devices. Therefore, we do not support this configuration because NAS devices are not typically provisioned with sufficient hardware for CrashPlan to handle the large dataset they create.”
My dataset wasn´t that large and I had even increased my default memory allocation already. This can be done from your workstation with the client you use to connect to the NAS box (https://support.code42.com/CrashPlan/4/Troubleshooting/Adjusting_CrashPlan_Settings_For_Memory_Usage_With_Large_Backups)
Luckily there is a Unofficial CrashPlan Community out there that does their best to support CrashPlan on NAS devices, credit is due to this person for his support on the forum and this blog post
It did not work exactly like this for myself, after several retries I figured out I had to reboot my whole DSM before re-installing the new CrashPlan package and finally my backups where rolling again. The down side to this is that you have to “adopt” your backup set again and if you have a large set this might take some time. But you have no choose in the matter. Some serious amount of time had passed since my CrashPlan stopped working until I sat down to find this information and put it to action as I work 45-50 hours per week and once home the priorities are not necessary to get my home IT setup working so by September my first backup set hand not even completed. In fact I started noticing it getting allot slower as it got closer to the finish line. 82Kbps for my 6Mbps upload speed from my ISP. This was starting to get very frustrating.
Either the ISP was throttling traffic to the CrashPlan destination or CrashPlan Central was doing it. My ISP confirms no throttling and as I said before CrashPlan support is not the greatest. I explain to them my issue in great detail and the response I get is that perhaps I do not understand that my upload speed might be different to the download speed my ISP promises. But they confirmed and promised there was no throttling of incoming traffic on their end.
Only thing I could guess was data duplication or compression being done on my end before being sent over the wire. After searching for this kind of information credit is due to this guy who had spotted the configuration and how to override it.
It would have been great for CrashPlan support to point this out to me instead of insinuating that I was confused about upload vs download speeds provided by ISPs.
In short there is a file in your CrashPlan installation directly called my.service.xml that has this key
Stop your CrashPlan application, change this value to >1> and start it up again….
Booom….. Running on full upload speed now
For Synolgy users this file is found in /volume1/@appstore/CrashPlan/conf/ as you would have done before to get the UI token to use with the workstation client ssh into the device, raise to super-users and go to the above directory. Use VIM editor to edit the my.service.xml file (my preferred text editor Nano is not available on the DSM). List of the basic VIM editors commands are found here.
So finally my backup set has completed, I have even added more data to it that has also completed. To this date I am unsure if I can actually recommend CrashPlan but want to give a big shout out to the Unofficial CrashPlan Community that works tirelessly to get this running on DSMs and headless NAS boxes.
Here is to hoping CrashPlan start supporting their application on NAS boxes in the future as I am sure many of their client base bought the software with that intended usage