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Manual Chapter: UCS File Backup and Restoration
Manual Chapter
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About UCS files

The configuration details of managed devices (including the BIG-IQ® system itself) are contained in a compressed user configuration set (UCS) file. The UCS file contains all of the information required to restore a device's configuration, such as:

  • System-specific configuration files
  • License
  • User account and password information
  • SSL certificates and keys

You can back up devices at regularly scheduled intervals and select the amount of time to save the backups.

Creating a backup UCS file for a managed device

It is best practice to create a backup of the UCS file for each device in your network (including the BIG-IQ® system itself, on a regular basis, and before performing a software upgrade. The UCS file backup provides your network with added stability in the event that a system needs to be restored. You can create backup UCS archives for managed devices on demand, or at scheduled intervals.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ Device with your administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Configuration.
  3. Hover over the Backups panel, click the + icon when it appears, and then click Add Backup.
  4. Type a name to identify this backup, and an optional description for it.

    The file name should match the name of the BIG-IP system. For example, if the name of the BIG-IP system is

    bigip2, then the name of the archive file should be bigip2.ucs.
  5. From the Device list, select the device or device group for which you want to create the UCS file backup.
  6. If you want to include the SSL private keys in the backup file, select the Include Private Keys check box.
  7. To encrypt the backup file, select the Encrypt Backup Files check box, and type and verify the password.
  8. To immediately create a backup of the selected device, for the Schedule Backup setting, select Backup Now.
    Use this option, for example, if you are going to make a significant configuration change that you might want to reverse, or before you upgrade a device.
  9. To schedule a backup at regular intervals, select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly for the Schedule Backup setting.
    1. If you select Weekly, select the check box next to the day of the week you want BIG-IQ Device to create the UCS file backup.
    2. If you select Monthly, specify the day of the month you want BIG-IQ Device to create the UCS file backup.
  10. For scheduled backups,specify the details:
    1. Use the Start Date calendar to indicate a day to start this schedule.
    2. In the associated field, type the time you want BIG-IQ Device to start this scheduled backup.
    3. To specify an end date for the scheduled backup, use the End Date field and click a date on the calendar, or run scheduled backups indefinitely, by selecting No End Date.
  11. Use the Local Retention Policy setting to specify how you want to keep the backup files.
    • In the Delete local backup copy field specify the number of days to keep the backup copy before deleting it.
    • To retain copies of the UCS backup in the Backups panel indefinitely, select Never Delete.
    Important: If the location you configure the BIG-IQ system to archive UCS backups is unavailable during the backup procedure, the BIG-IQ systems does not delete the local copy of the UCS backup file as defined by the local retention policy. If the archive server is frequently unavailable, you must navigate to the archive location and manually delete them to free up storage on the BIG-IQ system. By default, the UCS file is saved to the /shared/ucs_backups directory.
  12. To store copies of UCS backup archives permanently, select the Store archive copy of backup check box and provide credentials for the server to which you want BIG-IQ Device to archive a copy of the UCS file. This provides an extra level of protection by preserving the configuration data on a remote system. In the unlikely event that you need to restore the data and you are unable to access the archive in the BIG-IQ system directory, you still have a backup copy of the configuration data.
    1. Select SCP or SFTP.
    2. Specify the Directory and IP Address.
    3. Specify the User Name and Password.
    Tip: Archived copies of UCS backups are retained permanently in the location you specify for the Archiving setting. If you want to clear space and remove archived copies of UCS backups you created, you must navigate to the archive location and manually delete them.
  13. Click the Create button
This UCS backup file is now available for restoration.

Restoring a UCS file backup to a managed device

You must create a backup of a device's UCS file before you can restore it.
In the event of a system failure or a requirement to roll back to a previous configuration, you can easily restore a backed up UCS file without having to recreate all of a device’s content.
  1. Log in to BIG-IQ Device with your administrator user name and password.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Provisioning.
  3. Hover on the Backups panel, click the gear icon next to the backup that you want to restore, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Restore button.
The BIG-IQ system restores the saved UCS backup file to the associated device.

Restoring the BIG-IQ system with a UCS file backup stored remotely

You must create a backup of a BIG-IQ system's UCS file and store it to a remote system before you can restore it. To perform these steps, you must have access to the command line of the BIG-IQ system.

If for any reason your BIG-IQ system becomes inoperable or corrupt, you can use a backup UCS file you stored remotely to restore the BIG-IQ system without having to recreate all of the BIG-IQ system's content.

Important: Restoration might take several minutes, during which time the system might be unavailable. Restoring the system requires a reboot.
  1. Using SSH, log in to the BIG-IQ system with the root user name and password.
  2. From the BIG-IQ system you want to restore, open the Traffic Management Shell (tmsh) by typing, tmsh.
  3. Choose the backup you want to restore, and copy it to /var/local/ucs by typing, scp root@<IP address and port for UCS archive server>:<path of UCS file> /var/local/ucs/<backup name>.ucs
  4. Load the UCS file on the BIG-IQ system by typing, load sys ucs <backup name>.ucs
  5. Restart rest javad by typing, bigstart status restjavad.
The BIG-IQ system is now running the backup configuration.
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