FTPS for file and folder recovery - x360Recover

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at October 7th, 2021

Improve the bulk data recovery experience 

One of the major pain points reported with x360Recover backups is the relative inefficiency of recovering data using the classic File Browser mechanism. 

File Browser was originally built to download a few document files, or a couple of virtual disk images. More efficient iSCSI connections were meant to be used for any bulk data recovery or bare metal restores (BMR). Unfortunately, this means File Browser isn't ideal as the primary means for cloud recovery of endpoints. 

To improve this experience, release 10.9.0 introduces support for file and folder recovery over FTPS.

What is FTP? And what is FTPS?

  • FTP (File-Transfer-Protocol) predates the public internet and is actually older than the HTTP (Hyper-Text-Transport-Protocol) we are all familiar with in everyday web browsing. FTP is an internet protocol specifically designed for managing files on a remote server host. Most FTP clients look and act like the operating system file explorer which most users are familiar with.   
  • FTPS is essentially secure FTP. 
Note: Do not confuse FTPS with SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP.)  SFTP is a totally different protocol for transferring files based on SSH and is not related to FTP at all. x360Recover supports only FTPS.

What can FTP do?

FTP has attributes that make it superior to HTTP for managing remote file operations:

  • By default, FTP supports browsing and traversing a folder tree
  • FTP file transfers can be resumed when interrupted
  • FTP supports segmented multi-threaded file transfers for better performance
  • Native support for recursive download of entire folders

1. Enable FTPS in x360Recover

a.)  Log in to your x360Recover vault or appliance and navigate to the details page of any protected system.

b.) Select a snapshot and click Mount or Export to stage recovery data that you wish to download.  

c.) Navigate to the Network Sharing page from the left menu.  

d.) Ensure that Enable FTPS is checked to enable this feature. (See example below.)

e.) Locate the user entry in the table.

  • On an appliance, the user will always be the client account this device is registered to
  • On a vault, the user might be any client account that has data replicated to it.   

Note: When no snapshots are mounted or exported, no FTPS user accounts will exist, and the list will be empty.  

f.)  Click Show Password to unhide the FTP user account password.  (See illustration above)

  • Once the FTPS server is enabled, a Users name and Password will be presented for access.
  • Passwords are generated randomly, each time the user account is created when activating a snapshot for recovery.

Note: Whenever any snapshots are actively mounted or exported as virtual disks, the password is obscured by default for security. 


2. Install an FTP client

One advantage that File Browser has over FTPS is convenience. (Every modern desktop operating system ships bundled with a Web Browser client already installed.)

However, to use FTPS, you must first install an FTP client 

Here are some options:

Filezilla

Filezilla is probably the best known free open-source FTP client.  Filezilla is full-featured, cross-platform, user-friendly, and has a large open-source community supporting and maintaining it. 

  • You can download Filezilla for Windows here.
WinSCP

Another popular free open-source Windows client, WinSCP supports multiple protocols, including SSH, SFTP, FTPS, Google Cloud, and Amazon S3.  

  • You can download WinSCP here.

Download Files and Folders with Filezilla

To make a connection to the server, complete the Host, Username, and Password fields at the top of the window 

You may leave Port blank and accept the default.

Click on Quickconnect to continue.

NOTE: The host should be the IP address or FQDN of your vault or appliance.

Hint:   All Axcient-hosted vaults have an FQDN address in the following form:

rb-<partner><instance number>.rb.<datacenter>.efscloud.net 

For example:

rb-pmteam4.rb.atl.efscloud.net


Navigate in Filezilla

Once connected, the local and remote file system data will be presented in the user interface.

  1. Local file system items are located in the window on the left
  2. Remote filesystem items are located in the window on the right.   
  3. Command and control status and results will be shown in the top window
  4. File transfer activity will be displayed in the bottom window.

After connection, the right window pane will display the folders available for the client who is currently logged in.

  • Exported virtual disk images will be located in the ExportedVMs folder
  • Mounted snapshots will be located in the MountedVolumes folder.  

The folder structure is the same as that presented in the classic File Browser via the web interface.  

To navigate folders in Filezilla:

  • Double click a folder to traverse into it. 
  • Double click the ‘..’ folder to move back up a level
  • Click directly on a folder tree location in the upper window to move to that filesystem location.
  • You can also click directly on the desired local filesystem location (where you wish to recover files or folders)
  • Double click a file (or right-click and select Download on any file or folder) to add to the queue and begin downloading.  

Set multiple simultaneous (concurrent) downloads in Filezilla

Filezilla supports multi-threaded downloads (which means multiple files can be downloaded simultaneously.) By default, two simultaneous downloads are allowed, but you can change this setting to suit your preferences.   

  • Click Edit -> Settings
  • Select Transfers
  • Edit the Maximum simultaneous transfers setting to allow more or less concurrent downloads.  

Note: Within this window, you may also set bandwidth throttling limitations for uploads or downloads .

Download Files and Folders with WinSCP

 To make a connection to the server:

  • Click New Site
  • Select FTP as the File protocol
  • Choose TLS/SSL Explicit encryption as the Encryption method
  • Enter the Host name.
  • Accept the default value for Port number.
  • Enter the User name.
  • Enter the Password.
  • Click Login at the bottom of the window to connect.

NOTE: The host should be the IP address or FQDN of your vault or appliance.

Hint:   All Axcient-hosted vaults have an FQDN address in the following form:

rb-<partner><instance number>.rb.<datacenter>.efscloud.net 

For example:

rb-pmteam4.rb.atl.efscloud.net


Navigate in WinSCP

Once connected, local and remote filesystem data will be presented within the user interface.   

  • Local filesystem items are located in the window on the left.
  • Remote filesystem items are located in the window on the right.  

After connection, the right window pane will display the folders available for the client who is currently logged in.

  • Exported virtual disk images will be located in the ExportedVMs folder
  • Mounted snapshots will be located in the MountedVolumes folder.  

The folder structure is the same as that presented in the classic File Browser via the web interface. 


To navigate folders in WinSCP:

  • Double click a folder to traverse into it. 
  • Double click the ‘..’ folder to move back up a level
  • Use the folder tree dropdown in the toolbar to move to another filesystem location
  • Navigate to a desired local filesystem location (where you wish to recover files or folders) by using the folder tree dropdown selector in the toolbar.
  • Double-click a file, click to select a file and press <F5>, or right-click and select Download on any file or folder to queue it and begin downloading

 Specify your Transfer settings and click OK to start the download.  


To queue up multiple files or folders for download in WInSCP

Check the Transfer in background checkbox. This will add the selected files to the queue. 

You may also 

(a) hold down the <CTRL> key

(b) click to select multiple files and then

(c) press <F5> to queue them for download.

Download progress will be displayed in a popup dialog.

If you are transferring multiple files in the background, the background transfers window pane will be displayed on the bottom of the application window.

 


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