Our System Architects Answer your Questions about the AUVESY Image Service
“How do I create a restorable backup image for any PC?”
Before we dive deeper into AUVESY Image Service frequently asked questions, let’s walk through how to create and configure a restorable backup image for any PC.
In versiondog, create a new AUVESY Image Service component. Check this into the versiondog server using the “Check-in without base version” option because we don’t yet have any data for it. This creates a placeholder on the server.
Now, go to the versiondog AdminClient and choose the “Jobs” module. You’ll see the new component you’ve just created here.
Create a job. The upload type is correct by default. Select either “Scheduled” or “Unscheduled” in the “Execute” field. Scheduled jobs can be set to automatically run at a time of day and frequency that suits your needs. Then, put in the IP Address or static name of the target PC in the “Device” field. You may notice that global defaults are set for the username and password. We’ll go over global settings and defaults later on in this post. Choose what you’d like to save in the “What to save” field. Options include the Windows OS drive, all drives, or selected drives. When you click “selected drives,” this allows you to view and select partitions on the target PC. Next, choose a storage location. By default, we do not store the image on the versiondog Server itself. It will go to a network share that can be located anywhere within your network. Choose a default IP Address and a user with administrative rights who has permission to write to that folder. The password is pulled from “Global Settings.” Then, click “save.”
Execute the job by clicking “Execute selected job once” in the top panel.
After a successful upload, you’ll notice a warning saying “Not present, with warning.” This is expected for the first time you run any backup in versiondog, as it is warning you that there is not a previous backup with which to compare. In this case, you will also get a warning to notify you that there is not a backup available on the server. For images, creating a server version is not necessary, but it is possible.
In the “Job Configuration” panel on the right, you can also specify a “Save Policy” and a “Compare Policy.”
“What’s new in the AUVESY Image Service for versiondog 8.0?”
As of versiondog 8.0, there have been some improvements to the AUVESY Image Service. One improvement is the ability to save an image locally on the target PC. This allows you to create a duplicate of a drive on a local machine if you have multiple hard drives.
We have also added the ability to change the temporary storage location per job as opposed to having one global standard. This is helpful for any situation where a network share is the final storage location, but you do not want each target PC to have the permissions to write on the storage location. It’s also helpful if target PCs do not have a direct connection to the final storage location. If this permission level or connectivity does not exist, you can use a temporary file storage location. Then, the versiondog Server can export the image from this temporary storage location to the final storage location. We still recommend a direct connection from target PCs to the network share when possible to save the most time, particularly in environments with lower bandwidth.
Another improvement to the AUVESY Image Service is the new bootstick tool for recovery. This allows you to take a blank hard disk and restore to the version of Windows with all of your file structures, a very easy solution for destroyed PCs. In the future, we are developing an option for Linux systems as well. Customers can find this tool in my.versiondog.com under downloads.
“What is actually being compared in an AUVESY Image Service comparison?”
The AUVESY Image Service doesn’t compare actual images. When each image is created, a summary file is also created. This contains the hardware ID and some other configuration information. In the future, even more information will be included in these summary files. An AUVESY Image Service comparison compares these summary files instead of providing an in-depth comparison of the images themselves.
To view these summary files, go to your job history and job results. Right-click the job you are interested in and click “copy backup to directory” just like you would with any other backup job in versiondog. Then, if you open the file manager, you can see the summary file.
“Do I have to install anything on a target PCs in order to capture an image of it?”
Yes, it is necessary to install three services that will run in the background. These services amount to about 12 MB of data, so it is not a heavy installation. Installation can be done automatically as described in the process at the beginning of this post, or manually using our web installer.
“How do I set global credentials for the AUVESY Image Service?”
Go to “Global Settings” in the versiondog AdminClient. If you have one service account that is installed on all of your PCs that you will be backing up, you can plug that information in here one time so that you save time when configuring new jobs. You can also set a universal storage location. You can configure the storage location differently for each job, but creating a universal storage location ensures that you have a central location where all images will be stored. Here you can also enable the Web Installer. There is also a link to it in “Global Settings” as well.
“How do I use the Web Installer for the AUVESY Image Service?”
You can reach the Web Installer from the Global Settings panel in the versiondog Admin Client or on the target PC (as long as the port isn’t blocked from a firewall.) In the web installer, you simply need to enter the IP address of the target PC you want to create an image of and will initiate a download. This creates a zip file containing a very small installation package and is very simple and straightforward. This ensures that the AUVESY Image Service can be used even on older devices.
“Does the user performing the AUVESY Image Service installation need to be an admin?”
Yes, they need the permission to install any services or applications. They can be a domain or local admin user. For a local admin, you must add the IP address to the username.
“Our network is very restrictive. When a remote installation from the versiondog Server is not possible, can the AUVESY Image Service be installed from the target PC?”
Yes, using the Web Installer. The Web Installer must be activated in the Global Settings found in the Admin Client. You simply have to make sure that the address of the versiondog Server is accessible to the target PC and the port is not blocked so that you can use the internet browser on every target PC to create these install packages. Subnetworks can be accessed by versiondog Gateway or agent located on a network bridge.
Another way to centralize this process with a restrictive network is to create all of your install packages in the versiondog Web Installer. Then, transfer them to a USB stick and install the services manually. Each install package must be configured for a specific target PC. Part of the certification of an install package is tied to the IP address or static name of the target.
“Which port is the AUVESY Image Service using on a normal run?”
On the versiondog INFO page, you can see all of the system requirements for the AUVESY Image Service or any other versiondog Add-On. The remote installation and job execution use 64007. The web installer uses 64008. You may have to add some firewall rules depending on your network permissions and settings.
“Is there a way to create a backup of a PC that is offline?”
Not at the moment. In the future, we are developing a mobile AUVESY Image Service client that will account for PCs that are not on the network. The roadmap of what we’re currently developing is always available here.
“I have a question that wasn’t answered here. Who can I ask?”
If these AUVESY Image Service Frequently Asked Questions didn’t cover a topic that you’re wondering about, please contact us here. Our team would be happy to help.
AUVESY Image Service
Learn more about the AUVESY Image Service Add-On, a solution that supports the automatic creation of images for Windows PCs and servers.
Images can be used to quickly restore important data for disaster recovery.