Configuring Server Backups

This guide explains explains cautions for offsite backups and links to more detailed steps for this task. It is intended for system administrators.

Server Backups on a Separate Volume / External Drive

If your server does have access to a separate volume or external drive, follow these steps to configure backups externally:

  1. On the separate volume / drive, create the following folder hierarchy:
    • FileMaker Server Data
      • Backups
        • Daily
      • Progressive
  2. In the Admin Console, navigate to Configuration > Folders.
  3. Set the Default backup folder file path to: Volume:/FileMaker Server Data/Backups/
  4. Enable the Progressive Backup option.
  5. Set the Progressive backup folder file path to: Volume:/FileMaker Server Data/Progressive/

Server Backups on the Local Drive

If your server does not have access to a separate volume or external drive, follow these steps to configure backups locally:

  1. Using Finder/Explorer, navigate to FileMaker Server/Data/Backups, then create these two sub-folders:
    • Daily
    • Progressive
  2. In the Admin Console, navigate to Configuration > Folders.
  3. Verify that the Default backup folder file path is "/Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Backups/".
  4. Enable the Progressive Backup option.
  5. Verify that the progressive backup folder file path is "/Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Progressive/".

Additional Notes

On Mac servers, you must manually ensure that each sub-folder has the same access privileges as the FileMaker Server/Data/Backups folder. To set these privileges: 

  1. Using Finder/Explorer, select the Backups folder.
  2. Press Cmd + I, then click the Sharing/Permissions section.
  3. Click the Lock icon and authenticate to enable changes.
  4. Click the Gear icon and select Apply to enclosed items.
  5. At the confirmation dialog, click OK.

The Claris documentation includes additional help for setting up valid folders.

Disabling the Default Backup Schedule

A daily backup schedule is generated automatically when you install FMS 19; however, this default schedule cannot be reconfigured via the Admin Console and should be disabled:

  1. Open your command line interface.
  2. Enter this command:
    fmsadmin disable schedule 1
  3. At the confirmation prompt, type 'Y'. 
  4. Enter the Admin Console credentials you created in Step 2.

Setting the aACE Backup Schedule

aACE backups must be taken between 11:30 PM and 12:00 AM, when the automation schedules (see Step 4) are not running and modifying data.

  1. Open the Admin Console and navigate to Backups > Backup Schedules.
  2. Click Create Schedule, then configure it with these settings:
    • Schedule Name: Daily
    • Backup Type: All Databases
    • Backup Folder: .../Backups/Daily/
    • Number of Backups to Keep: 7
    • Additional Settings:
      • Mark the flag to 'Verify'
      • Mark the flag to 'Clone'
    • Repeat:
      • Frequency: Daily
      • Start Date: Current Date
      • Time: At 23:30
      • Do not set an end date
    • Close the dialog and click Save.
  3. Test the backup schedule: 
    1. Select the Daily backup schedule and click Run Now
    2. After the schedule has completed, use Finder/Explorer to navigate to the .../Backups/Daily/ folder and verify it contains the newly taken backup.

Offsite Backups — Caution

If you plan to install offsite backup software (e.g. CrashPlan, Carbonite, Time Machine, etc.) onto your aACE server, it is absolutely critical that you do not backup FileMaker Server’s “Databases” folder. 

This folder contains the live, hosted databases that FMS is constantly writing to. The consequences of attempting to backup these live databases are, at minimum:

  • FMS will be unable to write to these files. Instead it will store all newly entered / modified data in the cache. This means that, from an aACE user’s perspective, everything will appear to be running smoothly; however, a potentially immense amount of data will be permanently lost the next time the server is shut down.
  • The backed up databases stored offsite will be completely unusable. FileMaker will declare them corrupted and impossible to recover.

FMS’s backup schedules are the only truly safe way to take snapshots of the live databases. If you plan to use third-party software for offsite backups, we recommend taking offsite backups only from the “Backups” folder (i.e. exclude all other folders inside the FileMaker Server directory).

Additionally, we require that clients using offsite backup software on their aACE server must schedule regular checks to confirm the validity of recent offsite backups. This must be done at least once every 90 days, but we recommend confirming backups every 30 days. To confirm a backup:

  • Recover a copy of the “Backups” folder from your most recent offsite backup.
  • Once downloaded, look inside the recovered “Daily” folder and select the most recent backup.
  • Open the “aACEv5v0.fmp12” file in the FileMaker Client and log in as a user.
  • Once the aACE Menu has opened, navigate to a module and create a new record (e.g. a new Company).
  • Confirm that everything functions as expected and that the system does not return any error messages.

Set Up Offsite Backups

Read detailed instructions for setting up offsite backups.