Backup Synology to cloud with Synology Azure Backup
Synology Azure Backup Overview
In this post I’ll take you step by step on how to configure your Synology NAS to backup to Microsoft Azure using Hyper Backup with Synology Azure backup.
There are a lot of ways to protect the data on your Synology NAS device. At a minimum you’re probably already using RAID, and hopefully also performing local backups to an external drive or another NAS unit. (Remember, Raid is not a backup)
That’s great, but there are several things that can occur where local backups won’t help you:
- Natural Disaster (earthquake / flood)
Cloud backups can ensure your data isn’t lost in these scenarios by storing a copy of your data in a different data center, often located in a separate geographic region.
Backing up to the cloud, Azure or otherwise, comes at a price premium over local backups. It’s up to you to determine the value of your data, and the risks associated with potential loss.
If you determine that your data is critical – a cloud backup solution can provide a level of data assurance not possible with local only backups.
A note on retrieving data from a Synology Azure Backup
Keep in mind that your Synology NAS device via Hyper Backup will be storing your data in the proprietary Synology backup format.
Synology offers the Hyper Backup Explorer which enables you to explore this format and view your files. Keep in mind, this tool doesn’t support browsing an Azure destination at this time.
This means that your data will not be “accessible” via your Azure Storage account unless you have a replacement Synology device to “retrieve” the data from Azure should the worse come to pass.
Alternatively, you could download the Synology backup from Azure to a computer and use the Hyper Backup Explorer to gain access to the data and then move it to a desired destination.
If you prefer video format over written documentation I demo how to configure your Synology NAS to backup to Microsoft Azure using Hyper Backup in the following Techthoughts video:
How much will Synology Azure Backup cost?
Cloud storage incurs ongoing charges primarily based around storage used.
In addition to storage costs there are Operations and data transfer prices to consider which include actions such as write, list, and read. These are typically billed in sets of 10,000 actions and don’t contribute significantly to the yearly total cost.
These pricing numbers are constantly changing as competition continues to drive prices down. So, the numbers below may not be 100% accurate depending on when you read this article.
Here is a breakdown of what it would cost you to cloud backup 1TB of data from your Synology device:
|Provider||Storage Tier||Price per GB per month||GBs of Data||Monthly charge||Yearly charge|
The Synology Disk Station manager supports all of these offerings either natively or via package except for Azure Archive.
So – which should you choose? It all boils down to what you’re trying to accomplish and your unique requirements. For example, if you are running your Synology in a production environment and your team is already familiar with Azure – it makes sense to go with a Microsoft based solution.
Each of these storage tiers provides different capabilities around performance and time to recovery. For the most part though, Azure Cool, Azure Archive, and Amazon Glacier are the most appropriate tier choices for the purpose of backing up your NAS.
If native integration and cost are your only points of consideration Amazon’s Glacier backup is the clear solution at this time. Get started with it here: Synology Glacier Backup
What about the new Azure Archive Storage?
It’s hard to ignore that Azure Archive is by far the most cost effective cloud backup solution here. Unfortunately it isn’t natively supported by Synology’s Hyper Backup at this time.
You could work around this by first backing up to Azure cool and then changing all your blob tiers to Archive – but this is something you would have to do manually, or via PowerShell.
I’ve discussed the limitations around Hyper Backup and Azure Archive in detail in the following reddit post:
If you’d like to see Azure Archive support added to Hyper Backup there is currently a feature request posted on the Synology forum:
Hyper Backup to support Azure Archive Storage
Make sure to leave a comment on that thread so that the Synology Developers see the demand!
Until we have native Azure Archive ability, Azure Cool is the most appropriate choice if you want to utilize Azure for your Synology cloud backup needs.
How to configure your Synology Disk station to use Microsoft Azure as a cloud backup destination
1. Create an Azure subscription
You will need to have an account setup and associated with an Azure subscription. If you don’t already have one you can get started here: https://account.windowsazure.com/Subscriptions
2. Create a new Storage account
Log in to your Azure account and initiate the process of creating a new storage account:
You’ll be prompted for several configuration settings on this new account:
Here’s a short explanation of each setting:
- Name: A unique name for the Storage Account
- Deployment model: Resource manager is appropriate (classic is for older version of Azure)
- Account kind: StorageV2 or Blob are fine for use for Synology backups – Microsoft recommends StorageV2 at this time
- Performance: Standard – this is for backups, premium is not required
- Replication: LRS – unless you have crazy backup requirements one cloud backup is more than sufficient, you don’t really need your data to be replicated across even more Azure datacenters
- Access tier: Cool – appropriate for backups
- Secure transfer required: Enabled – it’s just a good idea
- Subscription: Choose the one you want to have associated with your backups
- Resource group: If you are already using Azure resource groups – you can put your backups in an existing one or create a new one
- Location: Azure region you want to backup your data to
- Virtual networks: Disabled – not required for Synology backup use
Your deployment should now show in progress. This can take several minutes to complete.
Once completed you can select the new Storage Account and you will be presented with the overview section:
3. Add a new container
Once your storage account is created click on it and on the left side select Containers. This will open the containers section to the right where you can add a new container:
You will be prompted to enter a name for your new container. Also select Private as you likely don’t want to have your data publicly accessible:
Once completed your new container will show up:
4. Copy Access Key
Go back to the storage account overview and on the left select Access keys.
Copy key1 or key2 by clicking the copy button. You will need these key to configure your Synology Hyper Backup for an Azure destination.
5. Use Synology Hyper Backup to select Microsoft Azure as the backup destination service provider
Synology has a write-up on this if you want to reference it: Hyper Backup Destination
Launch Hyper Backup from your Disk Station manager and on the bottom left create a new Data backup task:
Select Microsoft Azure as your backup destination:
Configure your Synology Azure Backup settings by pasting your access key and providing your Storage account name
Note: With the Storage Account Name and Access Key provided the Container name should auto populate when you click the drop down arrow.
Configure your Synology Azure Backup settings to suite your needs on this screen. The only thing you need to ensure is checked is Enable transfer encryption if you previously setup your Azure storage account to use encryption:
thanks for your time and effort
is it possible to explore the data from the portal or to restore data to a windows computer it looks like you can only restore to the synology NAS
yes install windows version of hyperbackup explorer and you can pull files out
Nice article, you forgot to metion retrieval prices per TB in your table (i.e. what if you have to use the cloud for a complete disaster restore of everything).
You can use Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer to access the files in the storage account. Within Storage Explorer you can select specific files and folders to download.
Hi, It’s maybe a silly question, but If I do a rotation of the backup, does it count on Azure as early deletion? Do I need to put a 180 days rotation to avoid these fees?
Thanks for the write up.
I tested ‘Restore without NAS’
Download Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer and use it to restore the entire xxx.hbk folder
Download Synology HyperBackup Explorer
[On Windows] Open SynologyHyperBackup.bkpi file and files can be reviewed and copied.
This worked fine for my (small) test. Given that you would only need to do this if no NAS was available, the need to download the entire backup contents is probably not an issue. It would be nice if the Synology explorer could work with Azure so that in a disaster the most important files could be recovered quickly.
If you’re in Azure already, just have a Terraform or similar job ready to go to build a VM and install HyperBackup Explorer on it, mount the Storage Account container, then restore just what you want to the mounted Storage Account or somewhere else. You can use Azure Storage Explorer on your local machine to pull the directories restored home as needed. If you’re able to use the Archive storage type, you might want to setup a second Storage Account for restores so you’re using the storage types appropriately.
You can now set rules to make Azure automatically move your data to archive tier after a set time, which is actually preferred. So you can eliminate that as a problem and Azure becomes a clear winner.
I just started using them to backup my Synology as well and its great!