Synology BTRFS for Snapshot Replication and File Versioning
Synology BTRFS for Snapshot Replication and File Versioning

Files get lost, edited incorrectly, or corrupted by malware and other not so pleasant issues. Large office environments take advantage of the features built into Microsoft File Server environment called File Versioning. Other backup software of their version of file edits versioning depending on the frequency. This luxury is nice but most likely does not contain the latest version of your file. Moreover, it does not protect you from malware such as ransomware where you files are no longer readable and the data you want back is held up for large sums of money. You are probably thinking you have some form of backup so you are good. This is not necessarily the truth. Reality sets in when you are trying perform a recovery from a disaster or even a mini file crisis, and the file you need is simply not there. The file most likely locked during the backup and therefore was skipped by the backup process.

Multi prong Approach

There’s no silver bullet for a Disaster and Recovery plan.  Read our post to prepare from future threats and some virus removal utilities when you are knee deep in the threat.

Incorporating BTRFS File System into Disaster and Recovery Process

BTFRS is the Next Generation file system, built by multiple parties with the same goal. This is a big deal. Snapshots feature was not available on the old HFS4 File system. These developers built a file system with the best data integrity and the most efficient method for snapshots. The next-generation BTFRS file system brings these tools to the Synology NAS or file servers. Synology’s BTRFS allows organizations to reduce maintenance overhead all while efficiently storing their data. The benefits are plain and simple, no more file corruption combined with some easy to use recovery tools for employee self-service recovery.

Synology Small Business IT Support

What’s a Quick Way of know whether I have BTFRS on my Synology?

File Recovery Tool – Snapshot Replication

Synology BTRFS for Snapshot Replication and File Versioning

Snapshot technology maintains the integrity of a backup.

Below is one picture summary of all of what happens during the Synology Snapshot file recovery process.

  1. Open the Snapshot Replication.
    – Snapshot Replication is a package that must be downloaded and configured before using. We will build out a section below on how to configure this.
  2. Click on “Recovery” in Synology Snapshot Replication application
  3. Select the Shared Folder to recover the file from.
    -Browse the Synology Snapshot Recovery dates
    -This executes a file explore window better known as File Station in Synology File Station or DiskStation terminology.
  4. Selection “Action” in the Synology Snapshot Replication recovery tab gives you two options
    • Restore in-place if you want to write over the existing file.
    • Clone with a new name
Synology BTRFS for Snapshot Replication and File Versioning

Snapshot Retention

The policy can be set to just about anything and it won’t significantly compromise your space.

Synology BTRFS for Snapshot Replication and File Versioning

More Nerdy Stuff – Synology Snapshot Manager

Take advantage of those Window version features with Synology Snapshot Manager.   It’s plug-in allows you to take application-consistent snapshots directly from DiskStation Manager (DSM). After installing and activating Synology Snapshot Manager on Windows Server or VMware ESXi Server, you can click NAS Register List to see the registered clients.

  • In the VMware environment, you need to install Synology Snapshot Manager on the Windows server where VMware vCenter Server has been installed. When a snapshot taking is triggered on DSM, VMware vCenter Server will be notified and flush all the data from memory to the LUN on which the snapshot is taken to guarantee data consistency. Once the snapshot is complete, VMware vCenter Server will resume normal I/O operations of VMware datastore. Synology Snapshot Manager for VMware vCenter Server is supported on vSphere 5.1 and above.
  • In the Windows environment, you need to install Synology Snapshot Manager on your Windows server. When a snapshot taking is triggered on DSM, Synology Snapshot Manager will leverage Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) technology to generate consistent point-in-time copies of your data. Synology Snapshot Manager for Windows is supported on Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2.
  • Synology Snapshot Manager can be downloaded for free from

Snapshot and Replication Slideshow Setup

Introducing Synology  Snapshot Replication and File Versioning Summary

Most of the Synology Snapshot Replication dry material can be found in Synology’s knowledgebase.  I thought I break down the most essential material in one little blog post because the information for this particular topic is vague and confusing.  However, this could save you hours or maybe your livelyhood if you invest some time in enabling this feature.  You’re welcome.

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