How To Take An Offsite Backup Using Synology NAS

In my previous post here I explained that while cloud backup options are both plentiful and diverse these days, there are still situations in which it might be more practical for people to take more “old school” offsite backups by simply copying a primary data source onto second storage media and keeping that in another physical location.

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The rationale for offsite backups is clear. But just to reiterate: it exists largely to protect against physical data destruction which might affect both a primary source and a copy stored onsite. Think things like fires, floods, and what not.

How far, you may be wondering, does offsite need to be in order to be considered physically separated enough from the primary data source? 15KM is commonly given as a recommendation although, in truth, I’m not sure there is any hard and fast rule.

Having briefly toyed with the idea of digging a backup media into a hole in the ground (yes, really), I have now decided to go with the more conventional approach of finding a “Backup Buddy” to keep my (encrypted) offsite backup.

My backup methodology with Synology is therefore now:

  • Use Cloud Sync to pull down backups of cloud storage. Store those on the NAS (onsite backup). Backup local sources, including computers, to NAS
  • Periodically copy NAS, in its entirety, to an external hard drive and store that copy offsite. Swap out repetitively. This creates an offsite backup.

Here’s how.

Set up Hyper Backup to Local Target

  1. Physically attach your USB external hard drive to the NAS.

2. In DSM, navigate to Hyper Backup

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3. Select your backup destination as local folder and USB. If you’re backing up to a local server than rsync would clearly be a better option.

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Typically the USB device will have its own “share” created in the format usbshareX

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4. Select which volumes on the NAS you wish to backup

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Alternatively just click on ‘Volume 1’ to back up the entire NAS.

You can also choose to include applications on the NAS itself in the backup.

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As I only plan on running this backup task periodically, I disabled the backup schedule.

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And I enabled client side encryption. If you’re storing this backup copy in somewhere you don’t have constant physical surveillance over then this is clearly important.

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Once everything has been set up you can run the backup.

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Move Backup Copy Offsite

Following the above process will write a backup of the NAS onto an external hard drive of your choosing. You can then move this to an offsite location and periodically refresh it with different storage media.

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