Offsite Backups

Overview

Otto v2+ can be configured for offsite backups to any S3-compatible (Simple Storage Service) storage provider (e.g., Amazon, DigitalOcean, Wasabi).

⚠️ Please note these warnings; careful attention to details here can save hours of headaches. 

Offsite backups are configured in three easy steps: configure an account with an S3 service provider, create a FileMaker Server schedule to backup the selected files, configure Otto to perform the transfer.

Configure your S3 storage

Before you begin, you need a working connection to an S3-compatible service. While S3 is similar to FTP—and many FTP clients can access S3—there are some key differences. An S3 connection requires:
  • Bucket Name
  • Region
  • Access Key
  • Secret Access Key
Here are some S3 storage configuration guides:
Notes:
  • Test your connection first with a S3 client first (e.g., Cyberduck, Transmit for Mac or S3Browser for Windows).
  • Create a new directory for this backup that does not contain hyphens (use underscores, if needed, i.e., "foo_bar" instead of "foo-bar"). The S3 directory name is case sensitive. Make note of this folder name; this will be entered as the Server Folder in your S3 settings (below). 
  • You can use one S3 bucket to backup multiple FileMaker servers by creating folders for each backup.

Create an FMS backup for Otto

Create a backup schedule using the FileMaker Server Admin Console and save the backup to the Otto offsite directory:

  • (macOS) filemac:/Macintosh HD/Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Backups/_Otto_/Offsite/
  • (Windows) filewin:/C:/Program Files/FileMaker/FileMaker Server/Data/Backups/_Otto_/Offsite/

⚠️ Do not use spaces in the schedule name! This will cause the S3 transfer to fail. For example, use "My_Offsite_Backup", not "My Offsite Backup". We suggest including "Offsite" in the schedule name.

⚠️ Make a note of the backup schedule time. You will need to know this when you are configuring Otto's backup schedule (below).

Example FileMaker Server backup schedule
In this example, we are keeping four local backup copies. Set the number of backups to to a value that makes sense for your system.
Run the schedule manually to verify that it works as intended.
⚠️ "Why is there no date information in my saved folder?" If your backup is named "Offsite" instead of "Offsite_2020-09-20_0200", then the backup schedule's "Number of Backups to Keep" is set to zero. Change it to a number greater than zero.

Otto Configuration

Access the configuration page from the Otto web interface.

Otto Configuration page link

Enter Connection Details

Under S3 Compatible Settings, click the Edit button to enter the connection information.

S3 Compatible Settings

Enter your S3 settings. The Server Folder is the backup folder you created earlier.

Edit S3 Settings 
⚠️ The Server Folder name is case sensitive!
The "Auto Delete" setting determines if you want files that are removed from the FileMaker server to be deleted automatically from the S3 Bucket. Leaving this set to "Off" maintains a full archive of the backups in S3 and only as many local backups as you have configured in your FileMaker Server backup schedule.
Once you have entered the required information, click Save Settings, then click the Test button to confirm your settings are correct.
⚠️ Please note that this does not test for the presence of the Server Folder and it will not create it if it does not exist.

Create the Otto S3 schedule

Next, create the Otto schedule by clicking the "Edit" button.

Otto S3 Schedule
⚠️ Schedule the S3 backup to occur at least two hours after the FileMaker Server backup to allow enough time for the backup to complete.
Enter the schedule details and save the schedule. We recommend enabling Zip backups and keeping three backups locally.

Otto S3 Schedule Details
When complete, the Otto Offsite Backups configuration should look something like this:

Otto Offsite Backup configuration

When you are done editing, click the "Run Now" Button. This process can take a long time depending on the size of your backup, and there is no progress bar in Otto. Use your S3 client (e.g., Cyberduck, Transmit, S3Browers) or the AWS Console to verify that it worked.
Please reach out if you have any questions.

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