Categories: Backup, Replication, XenServer, Physical Systems, Hyper-V, Alike v3, Alike v4
Alike’s Q-Hybrid technology offers a unique and powerful way to protect your Windows systems. By combining the benefits of an agentless backup with the capabilities of an agent, Alike can fully protect both your virtual and physical systems.
Q-Hybrid backups leverage guest VSS snapshots on all Windows operating systems, ensuring that your critical applications are protected. Q-Hybrid backups never require any additional space in the hypervisor SR to perform, so even systems that are low on space can be fully protected.
The Q-Hybrid Approach
Alike’s Q-Hybrid system creates quiesced vss snapshots directly in the guest, then dynamically deploys a tiny, temporary agent to that system to perform the backup. Because Alike’s Q-Hybrid agent is dynamically deployed, it does not require a permanent installation, nor does it require installation on all machines or maintenance.
The Alike agent is cleaned out once the job is complete. Because Alike copies our agent to the guest, there’s no installation time or set up time, and Alike upgrades all the guests whenever there’s an upgrade.
Sounds Great. How Do I Use It?
To enable Q-Hybrid for your Backup, or Replication jobs, simply select it in the Job options:
After that box is checked, Alike will perform a Q-Hybrid based backup/replication for all VMs added to this job. It’s worth mentioning that your VMs must be Windows based, online, and accessible by Alike in order for a Q-Hybrid job to work.
If you want to ensure your VMs are protected even when they are turned off (or you include non-Windows VMs in this job), you can simply check the “Perform Enhanced backup if Q-Hybrid is unavailable” option. This will allow Alike to “fallback” to an agentless approach if needed.
Managing Your Credential Profiles
The Alike server will need to access your VMs in order to deploy and perform a backup job, so you will need to provide an account (or accounts) for Q-Hybrid jobs. Alike uses Credential Profiles to allow you to easily manage the user account/password that Alike uses when connecting to your VMs for a Q-Hybrid job.
You can add as many profiles you like to match your different Domain and work group authentication needs. By default, Alike chooses the “Alike Svc Account” profile, which is the same username you gave Alike during your installation process.
To add additional profiles, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings–>Backup Settings
- Under Manage Profiles, click on Credential Profiles (for Q-Hybrid Access)
- Click (New) Next to the Select Profile drop down
Once you’ve added your new Credential Profile, you can assign it a any system protected with Q-Hybrid backups. To do so, simply find the system you want in Alike’s System Explorer, click on it in the list, and then expand the “Show System Details,” and select your desired Credential Profiles from the list as shown.
- Fully “Quiesced” VSS based snapshot for your Windows based VMs (Exchange, SQL, Sharepoint aware)
- No hypervisor snapshots required, avoiding quiesced snapshots and SR storage limitations
- NTFS optimizations improve backup performance, sometimes drastically
- Non-native drives in the guest (e.g. iSCSI initiated drives) can be protected
- Fully compatible with Enhanced backup and replication jobs (See “Differences Between Alike’s Enhanced and Q-Hybrid Backups” for more details)
Q-Hybrid Target Requirements:
- Supported Operating System (see below)
- Administrative access to the remote (guest) system
- Routable/Accessible IP address
- WMI access to remote (guest) system
- Read/write access to “Admin” share (admin$) on remote (guest) system
-Can be discovered from Hypervisor Enlightenment tools
-Can be statically defined
Q-Hybrid Target Supported Operating Systems:
- Windows XP SP2 and above (32bit only)*
- Windows Vista -> 10, all editions (32 and 64 bit)
- Windows 2003 -> 2016 (32 and 64 bit)
Q-Hybrid Supported Platforms:
- Citrix XenServer 5.5 and up
- XCP (Xen Cloud Platform) 1.0-1.6
- Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 – 2016
- Physical Windows systems (see supported OS list above)
A Few Considerations for Q-Hybrid:
- Because Q-Hybrid utilizes Microsoft’s VSS technology, it only works with Windows guest operating systems (XP/2003 and up).
- The Alike server needs to be able to connect and log in to the guest to perform backups, which means that it will need security permissions.
- Q-Hybrid may not be an option in some environments with certain security restrictions.
For further information on configuring and managing Q-Hybrid Backups, please refer to the following KB article:
*Please Note: Desktop installations of Alike are not recommended for production backups.