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Manual Chapter: UCS File Backup and Restoration
Manual Chapter
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How do I back up and restore a device's configuration?

The configuration details of managed devices (including the BIG-IQ® system itself) are kept in a compressed user configuration set (UCS) file. The UCS file has all of the information you need to restore a device's configuration, including:

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

You can create a backup of a device's UCS file so that you can easily recover a configuration for a managed device.

Backing up a device's current configuration

Creating a backup (in the form of a UCS file) for all devices in your network, including the BIG-IQ system itself, on a regular basis allows you to easily restore a configuration if a system becomes unstable. It's a good idea to create a backup of a system immediately before performing a software upgrade or before you make a significant configuration changes.

  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. Select the check box next to each device you want to create a backup for, click the More button and select Back Up Now.
  3. Type a name to identify this backup, and an optional description for it.
  4. If you want to include the SSL private keys in the backup file, select the Include Private Keys check box.

    If you save a copy of the SSL private key, you can reinstall it if the original one becomes corrupt.

  5. To encrypt the backup file, select the Encrypt Backup Files check box, and type and verify the passphrase.
  6. Use the Local Retention Policy setting to specify how long you want to keep the backup file on BIG-IQ.
    • In the Delete local backup copy field, select the number of days to keep the backup copy before deleting it.
    • To keep copies of the backups indefinitely, select Never Delete.
  7. To keep copies of backups remotely on a SCP or SFTP server:
    1. For the Archive setting, select the Store archive copy of backup check box.
    2. For the Location setting, select SCP or SFTP.
    3. In the IP Address field, type the IP address of the remote server where you want to store the archives.
    4. In the User Name and Password fields, type the credentials to access this server.
    5. In the Directory field, type the name of the directory where you want to store the archives on the remote server.
    Storing a backup remotely means you can restore data to a BIG-IP device even if you can't access the archive in the BIG-IQ system directory.
    If you configure BIG-IQ to save backup files to a remote server and that server is unavailable during a scheduled backup, BIG-IQ ignores the local retention policy and retains the local copy of the backup file. This ensures that a backup is always available. To remove those local backups, you must delete them.
    Tip: Archived copies of backups are kept permanently on the remote server you specify. If you want to clear space on the remote server, you have to manually delete the backups.
  8. Click the Start button at the bottom of the screen.
After the backup is created, it appears in the Backup Files list and you can restore a managed BIG-IP device. When BIG-IQ creates a backup, it saves it in the following format: backup name_device name_time of backup.ucs

Setting up a UCS backup schedule

It is important to create a UCS backup for your managed devices on a regularly scheduled basis, so that you can easily restore a recent configuration if necessary.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click BACKUP & RESTORE > Backup Schedules .
  3. Near the top of the screen, click the Create button.
  4. Type a name to identify this backup, and an optional description for it.
  5. If you want to include the SSL private keys in the backup file, select the Include Private Keys check box.

    If you save a copy of the SSL private key, you can reinstall it if the original one becomes corrupt.

  6. To encrypt the backup file, select the Encrypt Backup Files check box, and type and verify the passphrase.
  7. Use the Local Retention Policy setting to specify how long you want to keep the backup file on BIG-IQ.
    • In the Delete local backup copy field, select the number of days to keep the backup copy before deleting it.
    • To keep copies of the backups indefinitely, select Never Delete.
  8. For the Backup Frequency setting, select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly for the Schedule Backup to specify how often backups are created. Based on the frequency, you can then specify the days and time you want to create the backups..
  9. For the Start Date setting, click the calendar and select the date you want BIG-IQ to start creating backups.
  10. Select the Groups or Individuals option.
  11. If you selected Individuals, from the Available list, click the individual devices you want to back up and -> to move it to the Selected list.
  12. To keep copies of backups remotely on a SCP or SFTP server:
    1. For the Archive setting, select the Store archive copy of backup check box.
    2. For the Location setting, select SCP or SFTP.
    3. In the IP Address field, type the IP address of the remote server where you want to store the archives.
    4. In the User Name and Password fields, type the credentials to access this server.
    5. In the Directory field, type the name of the directory where you want to store the archives on the remote server.
    Storing a backup remotely means you can restore data to a BIG-IP device even if you can't access the archive in the BIG-IQ system directory.
    If you configure BIG-IQ to save backup files to a remote server and that server is unavailable during a scheduled backup, BIG-IQ ignores the local retention policy and retains the local copy of the backup file. This ensures that a backup is always available. To remove those local backups, you must delete them.
    Tip: Archived copies of backups are kept permanently on the remote server you specify. If you want to clear space on the remote server, you have to manually delete the backups.
  13. Click the Save button
After the backup is created, it appears in the Backup Files list and you can restore a managed BIG-IP device. When BIG-IQ creates a backup, it saves it in the following format: backup name_device name_time of backup.ucs.

Restoring a device with a UCS backup file

You must create a backup UCS file before you can restore it to a device.
You restore a device's UCS configuration to reinstall, or to roll back to a previous version of the device's configuration, without having to recreate it.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click BACKUP & RESTORE > Backup Files .
  3. Select the check box next to the UCS backup file you want to restore.
  4. Click the Restore button.
The BIG-IQ® system restores the saved UCS backup file to the device.
Important: If you restore a BIG-IP device with a backup that is older than its current configuration, any existing backups that are more recent no longer appear in the Backup Files list. Those files, however, are still stored in the /shared/ucs_backups directory until you delete them.

Pausing and restarting a UCS backup schedule

If you need to make a change to a BIG-IP® device's configuration during a scheduled UCS backup, you can suspend the scheduled backup and restart it when you are finished changing the configuration.
  1. At the top of the screen, click Devices.
  2. On the left, click BACKUP & RESTORE > Backup Files .
  3. Select the check box next to the schedule you want to suspend.
  4. Click the Suspend Schedule button.
BIG-IQ® suspends the UCS backup schedule until you restart the schedule.
To restart the scheduled UCS backup, select the device and click the Restart Schedule button.
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