Backup and Restore

The Axigen Solution: Overview & Architecture

The backup and restore operations are based on a hierarchy of elements (nodes - directories and files). This hierarchy will allow you to perform backup and restore operations for one of the following specific elements in Axigen:

  • Domain
  • Public Folder
  • Account
  • Maillist (mailing list)
  • Group
  • Folder Recipient (object associated with a (Public) Folder for receiving mail through SMTP)
  • Folder
  • Message

FTP backup

The Axigen messaging solution provides a FTP backup / restore service meant to enable regular backup operations for your entire domain and user configuration. This service is based on FTP (File Transfer Protocol, standard RFC 959).

The FTP Backup service allows using any FTP client (including standard Web browsers) in order to connect to the backup machine using the admin username and password. You can replicate the entire domain and user (accounts, lists forwarders, folder recipients) folder structure on the backup machine. The FTP service generates a virtual structure, from which you can retrieve files whenever you need them.

Listeners

Listeners can be defined and managed to add extra flexibility and configurability to this service. For that, global access limitations, SSL Settings and access lists can be enforced on the address used by this service for binding.

Access control

Access rules allow you to control connection to this service by defining simple access lists for specific Networks / IP Ranges / IP’s. Service level access rules are automatically applied to all its listeners and will override for this service any existing Global Access rules.

Flow control

Flow control parameters can be adjusted to fine tune the server’s performance and avoid overloading it. Global access limitations to this listener can be enforced by setting the total number of simultaneous connections, concurrent connections from each remote IP address, number of new connections to the listener made in a time period interval, number of total connections from each remote IP address on a time interval period. The default interval for this time period is set to 1 minute.

Logging

All Axigen main services can log different types of events. You can specify what events are logged, where and how they are logged.

Message Packaging

The "Use the TAR format to pack messages" option, when activated, it will enable the creation of a .tar package of all the messages in a specific account message folder, that in turn can be used when performing regular FTP backups to simplify and speed-up the backup operations, as you do not need to download all the separate message files in the user's folder, but only the .tar package.

The messages.tar package will only contain the user emails of that folder (ex: Inbox). It will not contain the user configuration files, which need to be downloaded together with the messages.tar package for a complete account backup.

 

This improves the backup experience using the FTP backup by reducing the number of transfers and connections (and thus the communication overhead) on FTP, in case of large number of messages in a folder.

Folder name encoding (starting with Axigen X2)

Axigen stores folder names in UTF7 format as required by the IMAP specifications.

In the default configuration folder names containing diacritical marks will be encoded - e.g. "Möm" will appear as "M&APY-m" in the FTP listing.

The folder name encoding configuration can be used to change the encoding to UTF8 so that folder names in backups will be human readable.

The backup service folder name encoding configuration is also used in the FUSE and Dokan file system based backup services. Please note that UTF8 encoding is incompatible with the Windows file system based backup service.

Error control

To protect the server, the number of failed / wrong commands received from FTP clients during one session can be limited. When these limits are exceeded, incomplete connections or connections that are not RFC compliant will be dropped thus freeing important bandwidth.

If you do not specify a limit for the maximum number of (authentication) errors allowed for a FTP client's session, security risks may arise.

Thread management

The Axigen mail server is designed to run on different machine configurations and operating systems, on networks with various traffic loads, structures, domain configurations, user rights etc. That is why, depending on all these variables, you can adapt the workload to the server’s processing power to improve its performance or avoid overload by setting the minimum and maximum number of threads that can be opened at a specific moment of time.

For more details about how to configure the FTP Service please consult the 3.2.9.1 FTP Back-up & Restore section.

File system access - FUSE-based Backup and Restore

Another method of performing Axigen backup is by using FUSE Virtual File System. File System Access allows back-up and restore processes through file system mounts.

The steps required to prepare your specific OS for using FUSE are described in the following article:

Tutorials on how to access the Axigen domain storage via FUSE can be found in our related articles:

This method consists of an even simpler backup procedure by copying the Axigen data to a backup location. You can use certain tools that are normally used for filesystem backups. these can now be used to backup the directory under which the Axigen domain storage or objects were mounted.

The Axigen user can use our custom tools to backup your storage via FUSE to a specified local directory. These can be downloaded from: axi_backup_tools.zip

Unzip the archive and consult the README file from the extracted directory to learn how to use the scripts.

A full backup of the Axigen working directory is also possible, by directly copying the files, as described in the following article:

This type of backup (directly copying the files from the Axigen working directory) requires that the Axigen service to be stopped.