Synology Active Backup Can’t Restore on ESXi 6.7 Update 1

Update

Synology Fixed the Synology Active Backup ESXi 6.7 issue Finally!

Introduction

Just as an FYI. The other night I was messing around with side Linux VM and I was shotgun blasting 2+ years of updates to it. During the process I reached the point where I decided “Screw it, restore from backups and start over.” Then I found this gem. Synology Active Backup ESXi 6.7 issues….

Active Backup for Business Synology can backup ESXi 6.7 VMs but it can’t restore to its original state!

On the documentation site is states that is supports ESXi 6.7 but it looks like this issue was posted to their forums in January. It looks like ESXi 6.7 Support was added at the beginning of this month, but I can say it’s missing support for ESXi 6.7 Update 1 Support.

This leads me to my underlying issue/reservation with Synology or similar device companies. In this case Synology’s marketing campaign has been “We’re built for business” or ” replace your server with our fill in the blank product“. In either case it causes me to worry a little bit because ESXi 6.7 went GA in April of 2018 and it took 11 months for Synology to update their product to support it. ESXi 6.7 Update 1 was released on October of 2018 and Active Backup for Business is still not updated to support it.

Being built for Business and you having to wait almost a year for support are 2 things that should never be in the same sentence.

VMWare ESXi Builds

Comparing Products

I understand that different vendors can’t co term product releases but the lack of information and expectations is the more concerning issue. To compare this to Veeam, When ESXi 6.7 was released Veeam released Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3a roughly a month later to support it. Then when ESXi 6.7 Update 1 came out Veeam 9.5 update 4 was released in January. Then entire time the information was readily available on their web site so you could easily plan your maintenance around it. Also, between Veeam 9.5 Update 3a and Update 4 if you had accidentally upgraded to ESXi 6.7 Update 1. There was a work around to get the backups to work as long as you weren’t using all the advanced features of VMWare.

Business Theory

This is just my theory. So, I could be completely wrong but i believe Synology has hit the point where they need to develop a mechanism to determine how their customers are using their products, to determine where to prioritize their developers. This is generally done through a subscription model for software and/or support. Unfortunately, that is one of the selling points right now. They don’t have a subscription or add on licensing (except the camera stuff). So for both the consumer and the vendor it’s a onetime purchase and unless something unfortunate happens, it’s a onetime purchase once every 3-7 years. Even if it was a cheap subscription like $20 a year for service and support for Active Backup for each part or the whole thing. Synology would get increased revenue to help develop new products and have a real time metric to determine which features take the highest priority based on customer demand. In a Business environment $20 a year for service and support would be a steal.

Conclusion

Lastly, lets take this a step further. Lets say you used Active Backup for Business to back up your Office 365 based email. Microsoft is releasing new features all the time to their products (Graph API). Lets say Microsoft made a change to authentication which then in turn broke Active Backup for Business’s ability to backup email. In a business environment would it be acceptable to you not to have a backup work for 11 Months ?

I think not….

As far as the problem that got me to this point. I spend an extra hour of working through the linux command line and fixed the issue on the virutal machine. And I’ll be ordering more memory for the Lenovo Tiny so I can deploy a Veeam VM again.

ESXi Build History