Protect Your Entire System Configuration with Self-Backup

NAKIVO Backup & Replication can protect virtual machines (VMs) against failures caused by disasters, software issues, or hardware failures. However, the software that performs backup also needs to be backed up. Only then can the data protection system be restored in the shortest amount of time and resume protecting your VMs. Among other exciting new features, NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.4 includes Self-Backup, which backs up and recovers the product’s own settings. This blog post explores this new feature in depth.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be run on a physical or virtual machine. There are many things that could cause either type of machine to go down (hardware failure, system failure, virus attack, natural disaster, etc.). If this happens to the machine running NAKIVO Backup & Replication, a new installation of the product can be completed in a few minutes – however, reconfiguring all the settings from scratch would take significantly more time. This is especially true for large environments with high numbers of VMs. NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s new Self-Backup feature helps you restore the product’s configuration in a matter of minutes.

When Is Self-Backup Used?

Self-Backup can be used in the following situations:

  • Rolling back to undo unwanted changes. If somebody accidentally applied undesired changes, you can easily “roll back” by restoring the correct configuration from the Self-Backup.
  • Configuring a new instance after a crash. If the machine running the product fails, you can install a fresh instance of NAKIVO Backup & Replication on another healthy machine and restore the entire configuration from a Self-Backup.

How Does Self-Backup Work?

The following system data is backed up when the Self-Backup feature is active:

  • Inventory (including all VMware/Hyper-V/AWS virtual environments, managed credentials, network mappings, and Re-IP rules)
  • Backup repositories
  • Created Backup, Backup Copy, and Replication jobs (including data on past jobs run as well as future scheduled jobs)
  • Information about Transporters

Self-Backup is enabled and performed once a day by default. You can change the scheduling settings or run a Self-Backup job manually on demand. The default retention settings (which you can edit) are to store last 5 recovery points.

Self-backups are stored in backup repositories that are added to your Inventory. You can choose to use all accessible repositories for Self-Backup storage or select particular repositories. By default, the Self-backup feature saves backups to the first five repositories available.

Configuring Self-Backup

Note that Self-Backup does not require configuration to be active; the feature works out of the box with default settings. The default self-backup configuration:

  • Runs once per day, at 02:00 am
  • Stores the last five recovery points
  • Uses the first five available repositories

These default settings are likely to suit most users. If you would like to customize your Self-Backup settings, use the following walkthrough.


You can access the settings of the Self-Backup feature under Configuration > General (click to expand Self-backup and see a preview of the settings). Click Edit to configure the Self-Backup features.

General configuration page in NAKIVO Backup & Replication

A new window opens, displaying the settings. You can see the following options:

Destination. In this section, you can select which repositories to use for storage of Self-Backups.

Schedule. In this section, you can select your time zone, the time the Self-Backup job is initiated, and the days of the week a Self-Backup is performed. Just input the time, select the time zone from the dropdown menu, and select/deselect the appropriate checkboxes for days of the week.

Retention. These settings allow you to define the number of recovery points that are kept in the backup repositories. New Self-Backups replace older recovery points.

Self-Backup settings interface in NAKIVO Backup & Replication

Let’s walk through adding and removing repositories to be used for storing Self-Backup. If you uncheck the Back up system configuration to all repositories box, you can manually remove particular repositories. Simply select the repository you don’t want to hold Self-Backups and click Remove.

How to remove a repository used for Self-Backup in NAKIVO Backup & Replication

A confirmation message is displayed.

The confirmation message for the removal of a repository for Self-Backup

In this example, all repositories have been removed from the Self-Backup list. Thus, there are no longer any items available in the Destination section.

No repositories available in the Self-Backup destination settings.

Since there are no repositories for Self-Backup, in Configuration > General  >  Self-backup you can see that the Self-Backup feature is now marked as not configured.

Self-backup is not configured.

You can easily add a backup repository for Self-Backup. Edit the Self-Backup settings – click Add backup repository and select the repository you want to use by ticking the checkbox. Note that only repositories that have already been added in the product configuration (Configuration  >  Repositories) are visible as options in the list on the Self-Backup settings page.

Adding a repository for Self-Backup

Now the Self-Backup settings are configured. If you would like to run a Self-Backup immediately, click the Run Self-Backup Now button.

Run Self-Backup on demand

Recovering from Self-Backups

Let’s now demonstrate how to recover the configuration of NAKIVO Backup & Replication from a self-backup stored in a repository. Go to Configuration > Repositories, select one of repositories that contains a Self-Backup, click Self-backup, and then click Recover.

Self-Backups stored in the selected repository.

Then select a recovery point and click the Restore button.

Selecting a Self-Backup recovery point

Wait while the system configuration is restored.

Restoring from the Self-Backup.

When the Self-Backup restore is finished, a success message appears.

Successful system restore from Self-Backup.

In Multi-Tenant installation mode, each isolated tenant can use Self-Backup to back up their isolated settings of NAKIVO Backup & Replication for recovery purposes. Thus tenants can use the Self-Backup feature in Multi-Tenant mode much in the same way that regular users can use Self-Backup in the single-tenant installation mode. The global admin of a Multi-Tenant installation can export or import any configuration for system migration.


Using Self-Backup saves time because you don’t need to configure the settings of the product from scratch after a clean installation following a disaster or migration. Having a configured instance of NAKIVO Backup & Replication available at all times protects your virtual machines by ensuring a backup or replication job isn’t missed. Don’t forget to back up your backup software and improve the reliability of your virtual environment’s protection. Try the feature for yourself in the full-featured Free Trial of NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.4.


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