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nokuBT Backup Tools

Efficient management of redundant backup drives
For local and off-site backup drive storage locations



Features

nokuBT is designed to enhance the administration of backup systems with chained redundant backup drives.


Once the local backup system is designed and implemented, nokuBT eases overhead demands for creating and maintaining redundant off-site backups.



nokuBT has two primary variants used for a backup system. nokuBT WS manages backup drives at the Work Site, and nokuBT OS should be installed on the Off-Site computer.

By design, nokuBT is interactive, and functions through manual startup and results inspection by the user. This allows the user to be informed of expected and actual backup file transfer outcomes, ensuring that safe duplication and redundant backups storage is achieved. nokuBT function, by design, is not intended to be fully automated.

nokuBT is started by the user to transfer backup files from a source drive to a destination drive. If specified nokuBT criteria are met, nokuBT will automatically start the user's Drive Synchronization Application. It is up to the user to configure what the Drive Synchronization Application does automatically at startup, if anything. If pre-synchronization criteria are not met, nokuBT will block the startup of the Drive Synchronization Application, allowing the user to tend to any identified issues. nokuBT is a manual system, by design. Failures or issues are immediately presented to the user for remedial action, enhancing user confidence in the backup system and the quality, availability and reliability of stored backups.

nokuBT is a safe backup system management tool. It cannot create or delete backup files, and it cannot erase backup drives.


Available Drive Space Notifications

Most users are familiar with the dreaded "insufficient drive space" warning when either creating new backups, or when transferring backup files to off-site drives. Subsequently, insufficient drive space becomes a sudden crisis that interferes with normal tasks. Files may be lost or corrupted, and substantial and unanticipated time may be required to determine the transfer status of new backup files.

nokuBT notifies the user when available drive space will require attention in the near future, based on user-specified advisory and warning thresholds. It will block backup file transfers to destination drives if new backup files will not fit on the target drive.


Backup Tools Consolidation

Access to log files output by third-party Windows backup software is consolidated in one location for fast reviews of backup operations and troubleshooting. Quickly check available space on backup drives. One-key access is provided for Windows disk management tools and nokuBT configuration settings.


Dual Backups (Disk Images and File Backups)

Reliance on a single backup program is an open invitation to disappointment if, at a time of crisis, a backup fails to restore as needed. nokuBT accommodates the utilization of two third-party backup programs - a disk imaging program and file backup software. The combination of two backup programs optimizes the use of disk space on backup drives, while also ensuring that if one backup type (or file) becomes unusable, there is a second chance for recovery.


Ease of access to logs and emailed notifications

Quality backup programs allow for notifications and log files to be sent to a designated, and preferably dedicated, email address. Optionally, nokuBT WS (for the Work Site) provides one-key access to the emailed notifications and logs via webmail.


Backup file validation routine

Even the most secure backup systems may be vulnerable to malware, particularly at the primary backup computer. Perhaps the greatest threat is from zero-day exploits where the attacker easily bypasses anti-malware and operating system security safeguards. Malicious alteration and/or encryption of all backup files on an attached backup drive is a primary goal of ransomware attackers.

A purpose of redundant off-site backups is to protect the user from the total loss of backup files. However, if a user is initially unaware of a malware attack, or absent during an attack, automated backup systems may overwrite or delete original copies of backup files on the attached backup drive and replace them with altered or encrypted copies.

nokuBT is equipped with algorithms that search for and detect modifications or deletions of certain pre-existing backup files, notifies the user of a potential compromise, and blocks the initiation of synchronization across backup drives until the user resolves discrepancies.


Accommodation of multi-site backups consolidated at a single off-site location

nokuBT is designed to accommodate backup files from multiple work sites that are consolidated at a single Off-Site location. The backup file work flow can vary across Work Site locations while maintaining physical separation of the chained redundant backups at the Off-Site location and on alternative Safe-Site backup drives.


Requirements and Specifications

Please read the Requirements and Specifications in this Chapter 4 excerpt from the nokuBT Backup Tools Manual, including the section labeled "Special Features Requiring Third-Party Software".


Extensions

Extensions add useful features to nokuBT Backup Tools, and are available to subscribing members at the nokuBT Forum. Currently, one extension is available.


SendEmail

The SendEmail extension enables and implements the email send functions of nokuBT WS.

With the SendEmail extension, nokuBT WS may be configured to send email notifications when it is used to transfer backup files from the Work Site backup drive to the Transport drive, including highlighted notifications and warnings should available drive space become limited and require attention. nokuBT WS may then be configured to send notifications to one or more additional email accounts. Providing these notifications to more than one person may be useful for ensuring available disk space limitations are addressed before they become a problem.

This optional extension is the primary routine used to send nokuBT WS email notifications to user-specified recipients. Notifications include nokuBT session log files and flagged notifications when backup drive available space falls below user-configured thresholds. The SendEmail extension is also configured to provide a testing environment to ease email configuration and testing within nokuBT WS.

This extension is an optional download available to subscribing members at the nokuBT Forum. The installation of this extension is required to enable email send functionality in nokuBT WS on the Work Site backups computer. Separate installation and configuration of a command line email client is required. By default, nokuBT WS and the SendEmail extension are configured for use with the free email client blat. If desired, and as recommended, stunnel should also be installed and configured to provide for the sending of secure email when blat is called. Alternative email client command line utilities may be used by configuring nokuBT Backup Tools as needed.

Subscribers to the nokuBT Forum may refer to Chapter 19 of the nokuBT Backup Tools Manual for a detailed email configuration discussion.

Because the SendEmail extension is tightly integrated with other nokuBT email functions, all configurable user settings that drive SendEmail are located in the nokuBT settings file.





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