Alike v6/A2 Documentation

Welcome to the Alike documentation


Log files

Logging is a critical tool to troubleshoot and resolve any issues with your A2 or Alike software. The A2 offers many different logs to review when looking for root causes.

Job Logs

Each job produces a job log that is displayed under Jobs->Job History. This is the first place to go when reviewing a job error. This will typically provide you with the cause of a failure and next steps for follow-up. But occasionally it may refer you to other logs or require additional clarification.

A2 logs

Under Tools->System Logs there is a dropdown in the upper right for three logs: System Log, A2 Log, and Engine Log.

The A2 Log audits job activity. Key Alike functions, such as job scheduling, job processing, storage connectivity, and email all log here. You may be asked by support to upload this log under certain circumstances.

The Engine Log tracks the A2's data management activities, including storing backup data, vaulting backup data, restoring backup data, and deleting backup data. Issues related to data storage and data access will likely be logged here and support may ask for this log to troubleshoot.

The System Log is a log written to by the Linux kernel and OS that can be useful for troubleshooting the A2's interactions with its virtual hardware and hypervisor, including disk and network. If you are looking for a hardware/driver issue, you will likely find it here.

All the above can be accessed from the A2 console under /var/log.

A2 Share log folder

Your ADS share is found under the CIFS share \a2.ip\ads. Within this share is a subdirectory called logs which contains hundreds of directories. Each directory represents a VM and contains copies of logs generated during data acquisition of this VM. If there are problems during data acquisition, support may want to examine these logs.

Log levels

Alike provides several different logging levels to increase, or decrease the verbosity of your logs. By default, Alike uses "Info", which can be adjusted in the Settings->Logging options. alt text

Also found here is the "Trace logging" option. This will enable alot of detailed entries in your job logs. This is an excellent way to get more information while troubleshooting an issue, but it not recommended normally as it make joblogs very difficult to read.

The Alike UI offers easy access to recent log entries for the A2 operating system, the Data Engine (backend), as well as for any system scripting errors. These can all be found in the Alike UI under "Tools->System Logs"

The Agent logs (ABD and Q-Hybrid) are store in the A2's ADS share \\ads\logs\ folder. These logs are organized by VMID, which can be a bit tricky. To find your VMID, you can look in Alike System Explorer, under that VM's "Alike ID" setting.

ABD Troubleshooting

ABDs are an Alike component unique to XenServer, which perform much of the heavy lifting for various Enhanced jobs. ABDs are tiny, linux based VMs that are provisioned on-demand to protect or restore a VM. Once the ABD is done working on a particular VM, it is destroyed. ABDs are provisioned from a Xen template that Alike will deploy and manage per-pool.

ABDs require an IP to run, which can be defined statically, or they can use DHCP (default).
If you wish to statically assign your IPs, you will need to supply enough for each concurrent ABD to use one.

The most common ABD networking error is due to using the wrong XenNetwork (vlan) for your ABDs. Please be sure to check the XenNetwork for your ABDs in Alike under "Tools->Manage ABDs", then edit the pool details.

The best way to check that your ABDs are working is to run an ABD Diagnostic job from the Manage ABDs page in Alike. This will provide details on the connectivity from your ABDs to the A2, as well as some basic performance numbers for your SR I/O and network speeds.

Q-Hybrid Troubleshooting

Q-Hybrid technology allows Alike to dynamically deploy an agent to your Windows systems for the duration of the job. This means that you never need to update client software or agents again, since Alike will always deploy the latest Q-Hybrid agent for every job. Because Q-Hybrid agents must be deployed remotely, and communicate back to the A2 ADS, networking and authentication must be configured properly. Specifically, Q-Hybrid requires:

* WMI/DCOM Access to the target system
* Access to the target system's Admin windows share (admin$)
* Functioning VSS within the guest being protected
* A proper Credential Profile defined for authentication

To configure authentication to your Q-Hybrid systems, Alike uses "Credential Profiles" (defined in Settings). These profiles can be shared accross some/all of your QHB targets, simplifying authentication configuration. In order to use Q-Hybrid jobs, you must have at least 1 Authentication Profile configured.

Functioning XenTools/Integration Tools on the target is required for Alike to automatically detect your guest IP addresses. If that is not working, or you wish to have Alike connect on a different IP, you may assign an "Access IP" to your guest in the "System Details" section of for that VM in Alike's "System Explorer".


Enumeration is the process where Alike connects to your defined hypervisor and physical hosts, and scans for all the guests and system details.
Enumeration is required for Alike to work properly, as it detects all the guests disks, uuids, and other metadata necessary to protect, and restore your systems. Metadata is an automatic process which runs every 15 minutes by default. To troubleshoot enumeration problems, or to run it immediately you can click "Refresh" from the "Manage Hosts" page in the Alike UI,