Manual Chapter : Backup File Management

Applies To:

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BIG-IQ Centralized Management

  • 7.0.0
Manual Chapter

Backup File Management

How do I manage backups for BIG-IP configurations?

The configuration details of managed devices (including the BIG-IQ system itself) are kept in a compressed user configuration set (UCS) file. The UCS file has all of the information you need to restore a device's configuration, including:
  • System-specific configuration files
  • License
  • User account and password information
  • SSL certificates and keys
You can create a backup of a device's UCS file so that you can easily recover a configuration for a managed device. You can also compare configuration files within a UCS backup between the same (or different) BIG-IP® devices, for troubleshooting or to mirror certain configuration options.

Backing up a device's current configuration

Creating a backup (in the form of a UCS file) for all devices in your network, including the BIG-IQ system itself, on a regular basis allows you to easily restore a configuration if a system becomes unstable. It's a good idea to create a backup of a system immediately before performing a software upgrade or before you make significant configuration changes.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    BIG-IP DEVICES
    .
  3. Select the check box next to each device you want to create a backup for, click the
    More
    button and select
    Back Up Now
    .
  4. Click the
    More
    button and select
    Back Up Now
  5. Type a name to identify this backup, and an optional description for it.
  6. If you want to include the SSL private keys in the backup file, select the
    Include Private Keys
    check box.
    If you save a copy of the SSL private key, you can reinstall it if the original one becomes corrupt.
  7. To encrypt the backup file, select the
    Encrypt Backup Files
    check box, and type and verify the passphrase.
  8. Use the
    Local Retention Policy
    setting to specify how long you want to keep the backup file on BIG-IQ.
    • To delete the copies of the backup after a certain number of days, select
      Delete local backup copy
      and specify the number of days to keep the backup copy before deleting it.
    • To keep copies of the backups indefinitely, select
      Never Delete
      .
  9. To keep copies of backups remotely on a SCP or SFTP server:
    1. For the
      Archive
      setting, select the
      Store archive copy of backup
      check box.
    2. For the
      Location
      setting, select
      SCP
      or
      SFTP
      .
    3. In the
      IP Address
      field, type the IP address of the remote server where you want to store the archives.
    4. In the
      User Name
      and
      Password
      fields, type the credentials to access this server.
    5. In the
      Directory
      field, type the name of the directory where you want to store the archives on the remote server.
    Storing a backup remotely means you can restore data to a BIG-IP device even if you can't access the archive in the BIG-IQ system directory.
    If you configure BIG-IQ to save backup files to a remote server and that server is unavailable during a scheduled backup, BIG-IQ ignores the local retention policy and retains the local copy of the backup file. This ensures that a backup is always available. To remove those local backups, you must delete them.
    Archived copies of backups are kept permanently on the remote server you specify. If you want to clear space on the remote server, you have to manually delete the backups.
  10. Click the
    Start
    button at the bottom of the screen.
After the backup is created, it appears in the Backup Files list and you can restore a managed BIG-IP device. When BIG-IQ creates a backup, it saves it in the following format:
backup name_device name_time of backup.ucs

Setting up a UCS backup schedule

It is important to create a UCS backup for your managed devices on a regularly scheduled basis, so that you can easily restore a recent configuration if necessary.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    BIG-IP DEVICES
    BACKUP & RESTORE
    Backup Schedules
    .
  3. Near the top of the screen, click the
    Create
    button.
  4. Type a name to identify this backup, and an optional description for it.
  5. If you want to include the SSL private keys in the backup file, select the
    Include Private Keys
    check box.
    If you save a copy of the SSL private key, you can reinstall it if the original one becomes corrupt.
  6. To encrypt the backup file, select the
    Encrypt Backup Files
    check box, and type and verify the passphrase.
  7. Use the
    Local Retention Policy
    setting to specify how long you want to keep the backup file on BIG-IQ.
    • To delete the copies of the backup after a certain number of days, select
      Delete local backup copy
      and specify the number of days to keep the backup copy before deleting it.
    • To keep copies of the backups indefinitely, select
      Never Delete
      .
  8. For the
    Backup Frequency
    setting, select
    Daily
    ,
    Weekly
    , or
    Monthly
    for the
    Schedule Backup
    to specify how often backups are created. Based on the frequency, you can then specify the days and time you want to create the backups..
  9. For the
    Start Date
    setting, click the calendar and select the date you want BIG-IQ to start creating backups.
  10. Select the
    Groups
    or
    Individuals
    option.
  11. If you selected
    Individuals
    , from the
    Available
    list, click the individual devices you want to back up and
    ->
    to move it to the
    Selected
    list.
  12. To keep copies of backups remotely on a SCP or SFTP server:
    1. For the
      Archive
      setting, select the
      Store archive copy of backup
      check box.
    2. For the
      Location
      setting, select
      SCP
      or
      SFTP
      .
    3. In the
      IP Address
      field, type the IP address of the remote server where you want to store the archives.
    4. In the
      User Name
      and
      Password
      fields, type the credentials to access this server.
    5. In the
      Directory
      field, type the name of the directory where you want to store the archives on the remote server.
    Storing a backup remotely means you can restore data to a BIG-IP device even if you can't access the archive in the BIG-IQ system directory.
    If you configure BIG-IQ to save backup files to a remote server and that server is unavailable during a scheduled backup, BIG-IQ ignores the local retention policy and retains the local copy of the backup file. This ensures that a backup is always available. To remove those local backups, you must delete them.
    Archived copies of backups are kept permanently on the remote server you specify. If you want to clear space on the remote server, you have to manually delete the backups.
  13. Click the
    Save
    button
After the backup is created, it appears in the Backup Files list and you can restore a managed BIG-IP device. When BIG-IQ creates a backup, it saves it in the following format:
backup name_device name_time of backup.ucs
.

Pausing and restarting a UCS backup schedule

If you need to make a change to a BIG-IP device's configuration during a scheduled UCS backup, you can suspend the scheduled backup and restart it when you are finished changing the configuration.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    BIG-IP DEVICES
    BACKUP & RESTORE
    Backup Files
    .
  3. Select the check box next to the schedule you want to suspend.
  4. Click the
    Suspend Schedule
    button.
BIG-IQ suspends the UCS backup schedule until you restart the schedule.
To restart the scheduled UCS backup, select the device and click the
Restart Schedule
button.

Compare two UCS backup files

You must have created two or more UCS backup files for one or more BIG-IP devices, before you can compare them.
You can compare BIG-IP UCS files of two different devices, or the same device. The device(s) can be running the same or different version of software. Comparing these files allows you to precisely pinpoint differences between configurations and other backup data files. You can use the list of differences to troubleshoot potential issues (such as those that might have been introduced during a configuration change), or use the differences to locate changes you can make to a device to mirror certain configuration details of another device.
The further apart the software versions are for the files you are comparing, the more differences you'll likely see because of new features and changes made in later versions.
By default, BIG-IQ compares the following files in the UCS backup:
  • /config/ZebOS.conf
  • /config/bigip.conf
  • /config/bigip_base.conf
  • /config/bigip_gtm.conf
  • /config/bigip_local.conf
  • /config/bigip_user.conf
  • /config/user_alert.conf
You also have the option to add custom files to this list.
If you want to save this setting to use for all of your file comparison tasks (not just this one), click the back button and then click the
Settings
button to specify the files to compare for all UCS comparison tasks.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    BACK UP & RESTORE
    Backup Files
    .
  3. Select the check boxes next to two UCS backup files that you want to examine, and click the
    Compare
    button.
  4. In the
    Name
    field, type a new name to identify this compare task.
  5. To add an optional description to this compare task, type it in the
    Description
    field.
  6. To remove a default configuration file from this comparison task, clear the check box next to it.
  7. To add a custom file to this comparison task, type its name in the
    Custom Files
    field.
    If you add a custom file, be sure to use the full path format like the ones for the default configuration files.
  8. Click the
    Compare
    button at the bottom of the screen.
  9. On the left, click
    BACK UP & RESTORE
    Backup Compare History
    .
  10. Click the name of the backup compare you created.
  11. Click
    View Differences
    to view the differences between the configurations.
BIG-IQ displays the differences between the files you selected.

Restoring a device with a UCS backup file

You must create a backup UCS file before you can restore it to a device.
You restore a device's UCS configuration to reinstall, or to roll back to a previous version of the device's configuration, without having to recreate it.
  1. At the top of the screen, click
    Devices
    .
  2. On the left, click
    BACKUP & RESTORE
    Backup Files
    .
  3. Select the check box next to the UCS backup file you want to restore.
  4. Click the
    Restore
    button.
The BIG-IQ system restores the saved UCS backup file to the device.
If you restore a BIG-IP device with a backup that is older than its current configuration, any existing backups that are more recent no longer appear in the Backup Files list. Those files, however, are still stored in the
/shared/ucs_backups
directory until you delete them.