Included with the NSA-2400 are both Windows Client Backup (Genie Backup Manager Lite 7.0) and SQL/Exchange Server Backup (Genie Backup Manager Server 7.0) software, as well as a device discovery utility if you need it to find the NSA on your network. The single CD also includes a full set of documentation for the NSA and the software.
The Genie Backup Manager Server 7.0 software would be useful to install on a Microsoft SQL or Exchange server. For backing up files and data from a desktop, the Genie Backup Manager Lite 7.0 software does the job.
I installed the Genie Backup Manager Lite 7.0 software on an XP Pro machine and a Vista laptop. The software did install on Vista without error, and I was able to backup files to the NSA, but closing the program resulted in errors. I checked the Genie Backup Manager Lite 7.0 manual, and it indicates Windows XP and 2000 are the only supported OSes.
On XP, Genie Backup Manager Lite 7.0 ran just fine, and I found it as intuitive as ZyXEL’s administration software. The Genie software provides options for data backup and restore, as well as a scheduler, although it doesn't support newer functionality like "bare metal," i.e. full-drive backup. As you can see in Figure 9, it is straightforward.
Figure 9: Genie Backup Software
I was able to use the Genie software to create backup jobs that saved copies of various folders from different disk drives. One interesting aspect is you can use the Genie software to back up files from a PC to any NAS device on your network, not just the NSA-2400. If you can use Windows' Map Network Drive functionality to access a network share, the Genie software will save to it.
In addition, the Genie software will back up files to an FTP location. I was able to run a backup from my laptop to an FTP server on my LAN using the simple configuration screen in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Genie FTP backup configuration
To protect the data on the NSA-2400, ZyXEL offers a combination of features. The NSA has a tool to create full volume Backups, which means it can make full copies of the data on the NSA-2400 to another NSA-2400 or to an attached USB disk drive. The NSA also has a Snapshot function that records changes to data. Finally, the NSA provides a Scheduler tool to automate backups and snapshots. Used in combination, these features enable an administrator to keep current redundant copies of the NSA's data.
Running backups on the NSA requires a connected USB disk drive or another NSA-2400, configured by the NSA as a backup volume. Without either, I was unable to test this functionality. I connected and tried configuring two different USB thumb drives as backup volumes, but both failed. As you can see in Figure 11, the NSA did recognize my USB thumb drive as an External Disk, but wouldn't allow me to configure it for backups.