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Restore Files From Hyper Backup S3 Bucket (A Disaster Recovery Test)

The Synology Hyper Backup software is great for creating scheduled backup tasks, but there is basically no guide or documentation on how to do a DR test. Essentially, when doing a DR test, we want to know it’s out-of-band and not going to interrupt production system, and can simulate a catastrophic outage. Hence this article. We’re going to use the AWS “aws” CLI tool to download the entire S3 bucket (yes, that’s required… ) and then use the “Hyper Backup Explorer” to retrieve files from the backup set.

We are going to:

  • Confirm the backups are working without interrupting the production backups.
  • Confirm we can recover files without the original Synology NAS (we assume it was destroying in the disaster).
  • Download the complete backup set from S3 to our local system (this is the only way).

I’ve requested the feature to: Be able to browse an S3 backup using the Hyper Backup Explorer, created with Hyper Backup. I have a hard time understanding why this needs to be said, but to do a DR test (from another location/server/host) simulating the system failure of the Synology NAS requires a complete archive download.

Download the “aws” cli tool from the link below, and install it.

Download the “Hyper Backup Explorer” tool from the link below, and install it.

Open a “cmd” window (assuming you’re using Windows) and enter:

aws configure

… And enter the KEY and SECRET used to create the backups. They were originally needed for Hyper Backup to send backups to the S3 bucket. Enter the region and ignore the output format step.

Make sure you can list the bucket – and get the complete size prior to downloading. This confirms connectivity and access:

aws s3 ls s3://myorg-synology-backup --recursive --human-readable --summarize

Copy the backup files from S3 to your local system:

aws s3 cp s3://myorg-synology-backup ./restore --recursive

When the copy process completes, open the Hyper Backup Explorer, select “Browse Local Backup”, in the File Browser window that appears, enter the sub directory of the AWS copied folder (one step in), locate the “.bkpi” file and click Open. That file will be empty, but that’s normal.

TIP: The file would be somewhere like this: myorg-synology-backup\myorg-server_1.hbk\

If your backups were client-side (NAS) encrypted (which I honestly hope they were), you’ll be prompted for the secret key, enter that and click OK.

Conclusion: Regarding DR testing, I honestly think the Hyper Backup to S3 is a bad choice if you have large backups. It is difficult to validate them on a regular basis. However, if you periodically use the production Synology NAS to do the restorations (not a valid test, but might satisfy your boss) then it may be ok.

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