Introduction to Zmanda Backup and Recovery Solutions

5 Reasons Open Source Backup is Ideal for the Education Industry

Open source backup is necessary for the education industry. Just like other organizations, the schools and universities also keep critical data that they need to store, protect and manage securely. Digital systems have played an important role in transforming education over the last few decades.  Technology enhances the student experience and improves operational efficiencies in a new digital era. According to the 2018 teaching with Technology Survey, published by the website Campus Technology, of those questioned, 44 percent said technology made their job much easier. With the rise in these numbers, technology has become indispensable to learning.

In this context, keeping data safe is vital while ensuring the smooth development of teaching activities and the day-to-day work of the students. Irrespective of how much damage a malware attack could cause, many institutions fail to protect their data. The education industry still seems to be relying on aging anti-virus or traditional solutions as a response to new sophisticated threats.

Uncontrolled Use of Technology in the Classroom has Lead to Vulnerabilities

Open source technology has brought undeniable benefits to education by enabling greater collaboration and providing access from anywhere. However, it has also made education institutions more exposed to malware attacks.

Colleges have all of the students’ personal data including; bank account numbers, social security numbers, relative information, medical information, etc. Students use multiple devices and applications to complete their assignments. They get online access to classes, research, marks, etc. They seem to connect personal devices to the open network, hypothetically revealing private and confidential data.

Education institutions must ensure that they provide technologies and online access in the classroom. Using a public network for tech-based learning makes education institutions prone to malware attacks.

For IT Administrators, creating simple and secure access to data and applications from any location and using any devices is a bigger challenge. However, how do you offer security when you have limited control over those devices?

The Education Industry has Suffered the Greatest Number of Ransomware Attacks.

According to a report by Armor has identified a total of 49 educational institutions and/ or school districts that have publicly announced ransomware attacks. These attacks have potentially affected 500 K-12 schools. There are multiple reasons why these institutions suffer attacks. High levels of network file sharing, lack of up to date backup solutions or small IT teams are just a few examples.

Many institutions still believe in their tried and tested traditional solutions to protect their vital data. However, this approach makes it very easy for hackers to attack those poorly secured systems and stealing data.

Steps To Tackle Ransomware in Education

Get a Robust Backup Solution

Get a regular and reliable backup solution that provides assurance that the data can be recovered even in the worst-case scenarios. Scheduling full, differential and incremental is a part of a regular backup cycle that is essential for optimizing the use of available storage space. The open source backup solution ensures that you recover your historical data during sudden failure. It becomes a lifeline for organizations hit with a ransomware attack.

Test Backups Regularly

Have a backup system? It is not enough. Test your backups regularly to ensure its recoverability. Thus, you are not at risk of being corrupted or discover your data has been lost when you need it most.

School’s network is always loaded with data. With such extended use of the network, a larger number of people are storing more important data than ever before. The loss of data even for a short time can have a big impact on teaching and learning in your school. It is therefore essential that schools keep backup of their important information and have a plan for recovering from a system failure.

Implement an Awareness-Raising Program

Students and teachers seem to be more connected than previous generations, but the majority lack the knowledge to stay safe from a ransomware attack or good security practices to follow. A few instances that make schools or universities a victim for ransomware attacks are pop-up advertisements, links, or unknown emails.

Implement a Data Security Methodology

Data protection is also one of the better options. It involves the right data security plan in place and ensures that your staff manages the data with confidentiality and integrity. To stay protected against the darker side of an increasingly connected world, be open and transparent when it comes to exposing and reporting vulnerabilities.

The best way to avoid attacks is to update the systems, change passwords frequently, provide employee training, safeguard facilities through firewalls and follow best practices in network maintenance.

How Zmanda is Helping Institutions?

Both students and teachers complete their work faster digitally. Any impact on their data may have catastrophic consequences on deadlines and Institution reputation.

The IT administrator is under constant pressure of taking a reactive rather than proactive mind-set to problems. Support calls for saving the data over a floated PC can often get lost in the sea of daily requests.

However, this dramatic situation can be easily handled by having a backup and disaster recovery solution in place. Zmanda is an all-in-one solution for backup and disaster recovery that protects files, servers, and entire data centers. Zmanda’s mission is to ensure that our customers can always recover their data while making backup simple, secure, and cost-effective. In addition to traditional backup to disk and tape, with Zmanda, users can use cloud backup, to backup, archive and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the Internet.

Also, do read Rutgers Case Study: How the University Saved Tens of Thousands of Dollars


The Education industry is an easy target due to the open nature of educational environments and budget limitations. There are clear indicators that show the rates of malware attacks increasing every year. As cyber threats become more infuse and sophisticated, it is better to have a backup and digital security along with a security and best procedures educational program.

How To | Create a Backup Set and Configure it to the Media

Amanda Enterprise, a Zmanda product, uses a key policy concept of “Backup Set”. It simplifies and optimizes an enterprise-wide backup system with multiple clients protected equally. A Backup Set is a group of one or more DLE’s (Disk List Entries). A DLE is a combination of clients and their respective partitions like C: Drive or D: Drive in Windows or /var, /root in Linux, application, file system, or subdirectories. The backup set also comprises the backup target (Physical Tape Device, Virtual Tape, or Disk), full or incremental backup, scheduling the backup feature and staging area for tape storage.

To watch the How To  Create a Backup Set and Configure it to the Media video click here. 

Backup Sets allows an administrator to define a set of Backup Policies like What, , How, When to different DLE’s.    

For Example:

We have a Linux server mentioned below that we wish to backup, and then below listed two are considered as two DLE’s. : /home : /var

  • Backup Sets are created in Admin -> Backup Sets page in ZMC, as shown below.

Backup Sets are created in Admin

To Configure the Media:

In Zmanda Enterprise, backup sets are configured for backing up the data. It can use a broad range of media devices like Disk, Tape Drive, NDMP tape changer, Google Cloud Storage, or Amazon(S3). Zmanda Enterprise uses native archival tools and can back up a large number of workstations and servers running various versions of Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, or Microsoft Windows operating systems. We ensure that our customers can always recover their data while making backup simple, secure, and cost-effective.

You can select and configure the target device for Backup in Admin -> Devices page as shown below.

Disk Device:

In Disk Device Media, ZMC fills the data in /var/lib/amanda/disk/ by default. You can adjust this path to your server’s requirements.

  • The amandabackup user must have permission to write to this directory.
  • Multiple Backup Sets can use same disk target directory i.e (/var/lib/amanda/disk). The backup sets will be stored in a directory of the same name as the Backup Set.

Below image shows Disk Storage selected as media:

Amazon S3 Device:

Amazon S3 storage device requires Access key and Secret Key of your Amazon S3 Account as described in Setting up an Amazon S3 Account for Use with Amanda access keys allow you to securely control access to AWS services and resources for your users.



Secret access key example: wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY

Tape Changer Device:

In tape Changer Device, a list of tape changers sensed by the operating system and the ZMC are displayed. When you choose one changer, the number of drives in the changer and tape storage slots are also displayed. The devices must be readable and writeable by amandabackup user. Tape Size must also be specified.

The below image show, tape changer selected as media.

Please follow the above steps to create a backup set and configure it to the media.

To watch the tutorial video please click here.


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Or call us @ 888-496-2632 (U.S.)/ 408-732-3208 (INTL).

A New User Interface is Coming to the Zmanda Network

Zmanda is pleased to announce that we will be rolling out a new user interface for users on January, 11th 2020.

You can get a preview of the new UI at

We are committed to making sure that every user has a great experience using Zmanda Backup Solutions.  This new UI is meant to improve the customer experience, simplify site navigation, and make it faster to log in to your Zmanda account.

Updates to the New User Interface

One of our main priorities is to make the user experience as easy as possible. We want to take the guesswork out of backup.  We have updated the look and feel to the site by incorporating Zmanda brand colors and graphics. This updated look gives the site a more modern look while still being easy to use.

Changes to Login Screen

The first major change that you will notice is the login screens. See the side by side comparisons below.

Updates to Navigation

Our major priority was to make things easier to find. In the new UI, all of your important information is right there upon logging in. You are able to quickly see what licenses are downloaded and being used, as well as any important notifications that may require your immediate attention. We also made locating license downloads easier than ever by dedicating an entire section titled “Downloads”. In this section, you can easily find information on all of your license downloads; including expiration dates.

Your Feedback is Important to Us

Please share your feedback with us clicking the feedback icon or here. For any other queries, please feel free to write to us at or call us on 888-496-2632 (US) or 408-732-3208 (INTL).

To stay up-to-date with new announcements and software updates be sure to check out the Zmanda blog. We have some big updates coming in 2020!

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