Data is not only the core of any business but also a significant asset for all users. Important files -like critical work documents or personal photos- deserve a great backup strategy for their protection against unexpected hardware failure or plain accidental deletion.
In the recent release of DSM 6.0, Synology introduced a tool, called Hyper Backup, which provides a multi-version backup and minimizes the storage required for backing up data in multiple versions. Through its wizard you can backup your data to a lot of external providers including Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and others.
Of course, there are many options to store your backup and some might argue that Microsoft Azure is not the cheapest one for long term backups, compared to Amazon Glacier for example. Actually, this is not quite accurate as, recently, a new service related to storage has been introduced, called Azure Cool Blob Storage.
Azure Cool Blob Storage
This service is a low-cost storage for cool object data. Example use cases of cool storage include backups, media content, scientific data, compliance and archival data. In general, any data which lives for a longer period of time and is accessed less than once a month is the perfect candidate for cool storage.
The main advantage of the new service is that it’s low cost; in fact, it can be as low as €0.0084 for a Locally Redundant Storage option (LRS), which replicates your data within the region in which you created your storage account. In addition, the new storage service is 100% API compatible with the existing Blob Storage. You can read more details on the capabilities of the new Blob Storage account here and on the pricing here.
Before we start backing up our data from our Synology we need to create a storage account to store this data.
Create new Azure Cool Blob Storage
In the Azure portal you can create a new storage account by pressing the New button link and then, from Data + Storage, you can select Storage Account. A new blade with the Create Storage Account option appears, where you select the Name, Account Kind, Replication and Access Tier.
- Name is the name of your storage account.
- For Account Kind, you have two options:
- General Purpose storage accounts provide storage for blobs, files, tables, and queues in a unified account.
- Blob Storage accounts are specialized for storing blob data and give you the option to select an Access Tier, which allows you to specify how frequently data in the account is accessed.
- Replication allows you to select the replication strategy that matches your durability requirements and can be either of:
- Locally redundant storage (LRS), which replicates your data within the region in which you created your storage account.
- Zone-redundant storage (ZRS), which replicates your data across two to three facilities, either within a single region or across two regions, providing higher durability than LRS.
- Geo-redundant storage (GRS), which replicates your data to a secondary region that is hundreds of miles away from the primary region.
- Read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS), which maximizes availability for your storage account, providing read-only access to the data in the secondary location, in addition to the replication across two regions provided by GRS.
Container for your backup
To backup your data, you need a container to put your data in.
The container groups sets of blobs. All blobs must be in a container. An account can contain an unlimited number of containers and can store an unlimited number of blobs.
To connect your Synology to your Azure Storage account you will need the storage account name and one of the generated keys.
Setup Synology to backup to Azure Cool Storage
Select Microsoft Azure and then follow the steps based on your backup strategy needs.