Contact Us

To help prevent spam, Javascript is required in order for you to use this form.

Comet Server usage 

First use 

Start the Comet Server background service.

Once Comet Server has started, you should be able to load the Comet Server web interface in your web browser, and then log in using your configured credentials.

The default web address is http://127.0.0.1:8060/.

Log in 

The default username and password are both admin. There is no default two-factor authentication code.

Web browser compatibility 

The Comet Server web interface supports all recent desktop and mobile web browsers, including Internet Explorer 9 or later.

The Comet 18.8.x series was the last release to support Internet Explorer 8. IE 8 no longer receives security patches from Microsoft and is unsafe to use on the public internet.

Safari and "Ghostery" extension 

If you experience an error logging in to the Comet Server web interface with the Safari web browser, please check whether the "Ghostery" browser extension is installed. The Safari version of this extension has not been updated in several years and prevents the use of the Comet Server web interface. Updated versions of this extension are safe to use on other web browsers.

Log out 

Once you are logged in, you can log out at any time by using the "Log out" option in the user menu in the top right corner.

Web-based login sessions will expire after 30 minutes of inactivity. After this inactivity timer expires, the Comet Server will refuse any requests from the web interface.

The session timeout may become configurable in the future.

Table views 

All table views in Comet Server have the following features:

Pagination 

The "Show ## entries" dropdown in the top-left corner of a table allows you to choose the number of rows that are displayed in the table. By default, only the first 15 items are displayed in a table.

You can switch between pages of the table by using the page selector in the bottom-right corner of the table.

Your current page is displayed in the bottom-left corner of the table.

Filter 

The "Filter..." text field allows you to enter text that will be used to filter the result set in the table. The search filter is applied in realtime as you type.

Export 

You can export the contents of any in table in Comet Server.

The following export formats are supported:

  • the clipboard, with tab-separated columns
  • a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file
  • an Excel (*.xlsx) spreadsheet.

Column selection 

You can use the column selection icon to choose individual columns to hide. It may be possible to show additional information in a table by enabling a column that was hidden by default.

User menu 

My Account 

The My Account page allows you to view and change basic details about your Comet Server administrative login account.

Configure two-factor authentication 

Two-factor authentication is an additional layer of protection for your Comet Server administrative login account. When this feature is enabled, an additional device (such as a cellphone app, or a hardware token) is also required to log in to the web interface. This means that a stolen password is insufficient to break into the web interface.

TOTP 

The Comet Server application supports two-factor authentication for administrator accounts in compliance with the TOTP standard. This standard describes a six-digit code that changes every 30 seconds.

You can enable TOTP-based two-factor authentication for your account as follows:

  1. Click the "Regenerate TOTP code" button
  2. Scan the displayed QR code with any TOTP application.
  3. Configure Comet Server so that a TOTP code is required to log in to the web interface.
    • For more information, see the "Comet Server configuration" document > "Admin accounts" section.
FIDO U2F 

This feature was added in Comet 18.9.0.

Comet Server supports using a hardware FIDO U2F token as two-factor authentication for administrator accounts.

Any compliant FIDO U2F token can be used. Comet recommends Yubikey hardware.

FIDO U2F login and registration is only available if your Comet Server is using HTTPS.

At the time of writing, Google Chrome has built-in support for FIDO U2F. Mozilla Firefox supports FIDO U2F after manually making a configuration change.

The YubiKey Family with FIDO U2F. Source: Yubico

You can enable FIDO U2F-based two-factor authentication for your account as follows:

  1. Click the "Register FIDO U2F token" button
  2. Touch your hardware token
  3. Configure Comet Server so that a FIDO U2F key is required to log in to the web interface.
    • For more information, see the "Comet Server configuration" document > "Admin accounts" section.

Advanced Options 

You can select this checkbox to enable some additional features in the Comet Server web interface.

Accounts menu 

If the Authentication role was enabled, the "Accounts" menu should appear when logged in, containing "Users" and "Job history" entries.

Users page 

Add user 

The "Add user" button allows you to create a new customer account.

On a Comet Server with the Authentication Role enabled (default), take the following steps:

  • Select the "Users" menu item > "Add user" button
  • Enter a username and password
  • click the Add User button

If the account was created successfully, it is then possible to install and log in to the client software as this user.

There are some character and length restrictions on the username and password. For details, see the "Username and Password" section in the "User configuration" document.

Modifying user account properties 

For more information about modifying an existing account, please see the "User configuration" section.

Copy and Paste 

Comet Server 17.9.0 and later allow you to copy and paste Protected Item configurations, between users or devices. To perform this action, on the user page > Protected Items tab, click the "Copy" link on the right-hand side.

A "Paste" button appears in the top bar, allowing you to paste this configuration into any device. You can also navigate to a different user and paste the protected item.

Copying and pasting a Protected Item does not copy nor share any backup data nor encryption keys between the accounts or devices.

Storage Vault analysis 

A Storage Vault can contain data from multiple Protected Items, all deduplicated together. It is possible to analyze the content of a Storage Vault to see how the data usage is distributed between different Protected Item sources and how much deduplication is being applied.

On the user page > Storage Vaults tab, the value in the "Stored" column may be a blue link. If so, clicking this link opens a dialog window displaying information about the storage breakdown.

The analysis is generated as part of a retention pass. Because retention passes only run when necessary, the analysis information may become outdated by a few jobs; or, no analysis may yet be available for a newly created Storage Vault. In this case, the "Stored" column will be black and cannot be clicked.

You can regenerate the analysis by running a Retention Pass for this Storage Vault, via the Devices tab or the "Connected Devices" page.

This feature is available as of Comet 17.6.9 or later.

Browsing log history for a customer 

No further documentation is available for this topic.

Renaming a user 

It's not currently possible to change the username for an account.

However, there is a workaround as follows:

  1. Create a second user account with a new name
    • You can choose any password; it will be reset to the original user's password
  2. Visit the first user's profile page, click 'View raw profile...' and copy the content
  3. Visit the second user's profile page, click 'View raw profile...', paste the content, change the 'Username' field, and then save the updated details
  4. Delete the first user
  5. Close and restart the client software, and log in as the second user

This workaround has the following caveats:

  • All customer devices will need to manually re-log in
  • As a new account, the billing cycle will be reset
  • As a new account, the job history for this customer will be lost

Send a client bulletin email 

A client bulletin is an email message sent to all customers. Comet Server will send the email bulletin to all customers using your configured email settings.

You can customize the email subject and body text.

No body text formatting options are available. Any embedded URLs will not be made clickable.

A future version of Comet may support additional formatting options for the email bulletin.

Connected Devices 

The Connected Devices page shows you all the live connections made by Comet Backup.

For each connection, you can see

  • the username
  • the device name
  • the device's operating system (e.g. Windows 64-bit)
  • the device's software version

Live connection actions 

You can instruct the live connection to perform an action remotely. At the time of writing, the following actions are available:

  • Immediately run backup
  • Immediately run a scheduled backup
  • Apply retention rules now (with Comet 17.6.9 or newer)
  • Unlock / clean up lock files (only available when "Advanced Options" is selected)
  • Remote restore (with Comet 17.9.3 or newer)
  • Refresh profile
  • Update software
  • Import / scan for other installed products (with Comet 17.12.0 or newer)
  • Drop connection
  • Terminate process (only available when "Advanced Options" is selected, or if a device is double-connected)

Double-connections 

In some cases, the same device might connect to Comet Server multiple times. This can occur if the Comet Backup software is launched multiple times on the client's device. This behavior is prevented in almost all cases, across all operating systems, but it may still occur.

If this happens,

  • the device will have two entries on the "Connected Devices" table
  • the device will show "Online (2)" on the Users page > Devices tab
  • scheduled backups might run twice
  • a "terminate" button will appear in the corresponding row on the "Connected Devices" table to allow for resolving this issue.

Bulk Update 

Comet maintains a live-connection to customer devices. This allows you to remotely initiate a software update via the Device Actions dialog (from the Connected Devices page, or from the Devices tab on a user page). You can perform this at any time.

A bulk software upgrade across all customers must take on additional responsibility:

  • The update should be delayed for devices that are currently offline, or are currently backing up
  • The update should be delivered exactly once - preventing cascading failures if the update does not apply successfully
  • It should be possible to track the status of the bulk upgrade across the entire customer base

The bulk update system allows you to create a "Campaign". The Campaign allows you to target which users should receive the software update.

Targeted upgrades 

Comet 18.5.0 allows you to target devices to be affected for the Campaign by the following properties:

  • Software version
    • Upgrade older versions
    • Reinstall current versions
    • Downgrade newer versions

Upgrade logic 

The bulk update campaign system may initiate a remote update for a device when

  • (A) the bulk update campaign is created for the first time; or
  • (B) immediately when a device comes online; or
  • (C) in the background, on a timer interval.

If a device is currently performing a backup job, the bulk updater does not initiate a remote update. In this situation, the device would be left as "Pending" until either #C occurs above, or if the device goes offline and #B reoccurs above.

Client News 

The News system allows you to create messages that appear to end-users. Messages are displayed in chronological order (newest-first).

News messages appear in

  • the Comet Backup app, and
  • when an end-user logs in to the Comet Server web interface.

Adding and deleting news items causes the updated news item to be immediately reflected in the client app.

URLs will be converted into clickable links, but other formatting is unavailable.

Storage menu 

If the Storage role was enabled, the "Local storage buckets" menu option should be available when logged in.

Local Storage Buckets 

The Storage Role consists of a number of buckets. The buckets are abstracted from the underlying data storage, which could be on any supported storage platform. For more information about the available data storage locations, see the "Storage configuration" document.

Comet allows you to list and browse the buckets, as well as see the total size of data stored within the bucket.

Deleting buckets 

If you are certain that a bucket is not in use by any Comet account, it may be safe to remove a bucket. You can remove a bucket by clicking the "Delete" button on the right-hand side of this screen.

WARNING:: If you delete a bucket that is still in use by a Comet account's Storage Vault, the user's Comet Backup application will not be able to backup data to their Storage Vault nor restore data from their Storage Vault.

Because of the risk in this operation, it is recommended to leave the process of deleting unused buckets up to the Constellation role. For more information about Constellation, please see the Constellation section of the "Comet Server configuration" document.

Add a new bucket 

You can add a new bucket on the Storage Role. The new Bucket will be generated with a random name and access key.

Comet Server will display the necessary hostname, bucket name, and bucket key that can be copied into the Comet Backup Storage Vault configuration in order to store data in this bucket.

It is not normally necessary to manually add buckets in this way. You can use the "request" system to automatically create buckets and attach them to a user's account.

Server menu 

Download client software 

You can use the "Download client software" menu item to produce and download branded software client installers. Comet Server will generate a new installer on demand based on your current server branding settings.

The client software can be downloaded for a range of target platforms. For more information about the client software, see the "Comet Backup Installation" section.

Copy (as cURL / wget) 

When installing Comet Backup on a remote Linux server by SSH, it can be inconvenient to transfer an installer file. The "Copy (as cURL)" / "Copy (as wget)" options copy a bash shell command to your clipboard, that will automatically download the Linux installer file.

Server logs 

No further documentation is available for this topic.

Replication 

About Replication 

The replication page displays the current replication status. Comet Server supports replicating user profiles as well as stored data. Replication in Comet Server happens in one direction only from a primary to a replica Comet server.

As of Comet 17.9, server logs and job logs are not replicated.

The replication system uses a queue-and-worker model. When Comet Server starts for the first time, it will inspect all local data and remote data to determine what needs to be transmitted. Once this inspection is complete, data that needs to be updated will be queued for transfer.

Comet will replicate multiple objects simultaneously in parallel via multithreading.

Failing over (Storage role) 

A storage role server hands out chunks from the disk, to whoever has the right password. Recovering a Storage role server from your replica data, or failing over to your replica server, is therefore as simple as making sure the files are intact and all the DNS entries point to the right places. The replication system has already ensured that all the bucket names and bucket passwords are mirrored.

This simplicity allows for different approaches depending on your exact failure scenario.

Option 1: Recover files 

Get your primary storage server physically back up and running, then copy all the data from the replica back to the primary.

You could do that either by drag-and-drop, SCP, or by replicating in reverse; the transfer should run at line-speed either way.

You need to copy all the vault data as well as the cometd-buckets.db file.

Option 2: Server DNS failover 

Switch your replica to be the primary, by pointing the primary's DNS record to point to the replica. As replication is one way, the failed primary should not be brought back online without first disabling replication to avoid any data loss.

You will need to update any other servers that refer to this server by DNS, e.g. the Constellation role.

Option 3: Client address failover 

Switch your replica to be the primary, by updating all the Storage Vaults in each user's profile to point to the DNS name of the replica server.

The Comet Server interface includes a helpful tool to modify Comet Server Storage Vault URLs in bulk.

Failing over (Authentication role) 

No further documentation is available for this topic.

About this Server 

The "About this server" page shows basic information about the server.

The following information is available:

  • Server version and codename
  • Server start time
  • "Serial number valid offline until"
    • Your Comet Server has an time-limited exclusive lease to use its serial number, and can remain running without any communication to the central licensing server until the date specified. For more information, please see the "Overview and Concepts" section.
  • Server roles
    • The available roles are listed. If a role is currently enabled on the server, it is displayed in green. If a role is not currently enabled on the service, it is displayed in red.

Cluster menu 

If the Constellation role was enabled, the "Cluster" menu option should be available when logged in.

About this Cluster 

You can use the "About this cluster" menu item to perform global operations across all your Comet Servers.

Bucket users 

Use this section to generate a report to see current buckets within the server and see information about them.

You may want to view this information to find unused buckets.