You can setup NovaBACKUP and CMon with Email Notification even if you do not have your own email server to utilize, to do that there is a built in "NovaBACKUP Alerts" method of email notification to utilize in those two apps, which utilizes NovaBACKUP's own hosted SMTP server to relay the email notifications (send). However, you can always utilize Gmail or Yahoo Mail's SMTP server, or Office 365 SMTP server (with an SMTP Relay Connector already setup in Office 365 Admin), easily in NovaBACKUP and CMon Email Notification dialog. SMTP is the server used for outgoing mail only.
Load NovaBACKUP and click on the top left of the program where the large circle NovaStor logo button is, this will take you to a menu of items, select "Default Settings". After Default Settings comes up click on the "Notification" tab. Choose which level of email reporting to utilize including "Attach log file in E-mail" and possibly "Always" for the level of reporting. Next, click on the "E-mail Settings" button" and fill in all of the email server details for Gmail.com or Yahoo.com's SMTP server settings accordingly to utilize one of those two servers are your outbound sending mail server (SMTP).
Gmail SMTP server settings
- Gmail SMTP server name: smtp.gmail.com
- Gmail SMTP username: your Gmail address
- Gmail SMTP password: your password
- Gmail SMTP port: 465
NOTE: Google made a change to the way the security works for "less secure applications", including NovaBACKUP. If you want to use a Gmail.com account for your NovaBACKUP SMTP server setting you will first have to log on to your Gmail account via the website and read the recent email that should have come to you regarding someone attempting to log on to your Gmail account (in this case NovaBACKUP's own "Test Email Settings" button function was actually who tried to "log on" to your account). The email content should look like this in your Gmail account that you were trying to setup for NovaBACKUP SMTP, if you don't have the email that is okay you can use the URL below to make that account change once logged in to Gmail by reading that example email message below:
Google Account: sign-in attempt blocked
If this was you You can switch to an app made by Google such as Gmail to access your account (recommended) or change your settings at https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps so that your account is no longer protected by modern security standards.
Follow the URL above to change your own Gmail account that you are trying to get working in NovaBACKUP for the SMTP server setting to enable the Gmail option to TURN ON "Access for less secure apps" in order for this Gmail account to work for NovaBACKUP Notifications.
Yahoo SMTP server settings
- Yahoo! SMTP server address: smtp.mail.yahoo.com
- Yahoo! SMTP user name: your Yahoo! Mail account
- Yahoo! SMTP password: your Yahoo! Mail password
- Yahoo! SMTP port: 465
Office 365 server settings
NovaBACKUP can be used with Office 365 for email notifications (however it does require you to setup or have already in place an SMTP Connector in Office 365, which acts as a relay to get to Office 365's own SMTP server for any computer to utilize that is in your Office 365 tenant, which is fairly easy to do but not every company has that setup already). NovaBACKUP and CMon SMTP only supports SSL and non-SSL protocols (plaintext) natively, it does not at this time support the TLS protocol for SMTP authentication, so due to not having TLS (and plaintext won't work either) in order for NovaBACKUP and CMon email notifications to utilize Office 365 as the SMTP server it is required to have already setup an Office 365 "SMTP Relay Connector" for this purpose (which acts as a relay to get to Office 365's own hosted SMTP server for machines and apps that are utilizing your Office 365 tenant) inside the Office 365 Admin Portal (at https://admin.exchange.microsoft.com/#/connectors; the complete steps on how to do that are detailed below for how to setup the Office 365 "SMTP Relay Connector", which in some cases it will already be setup you just may not realize it; this requires admin level access to the Office 365 Admin Portal). An example configuration for Office 365 in NovaBACKUP is (note that the "SMTP Server Name" needs to equate to what your SMTP Connector dialog in Office 365 Admin provides you with for that full server name text (An Office 365 admin for your company will have to retrieve their MX server address for Office 365 for their own domain, in the format such as “novastor-com.mail.protection.outlook.com”), and the "SMTP Server Port" always will equate to port 25 which is what the Office 365 "SMTP Relay Connector" always uses):
The email notification setup requires the creation of a mail flow connector in Office 365, otherwise the backup clients discussed will fail to relay emails. This will require setting up a non-TLS type SMTP relay connector in Office 365 Admin Center. In order to get this to work it will take an admin in your organization a few minutes to add a special connector entry to your Office 365 premise, by creating a single “Non-TLS Connector using the Exchange Admin Center” as a Non-SSL SMTP relay connector, in Office 365 Admin Center. As of this current date 07/18/23 the Connector setup would be configured (or viewed to verify it exists and what the properties of it are to know if an existing Connector should work) at: https://admin.exchange.microsoft.com/#/connectors (once there read further and reference the screenshots below for our own example company SMTP relay connector) and your own MX server address can be found at https://admin.microsoft.com/AdminPortal/?#/Domains (once there viewing the list of Domains in your Office 365 tenant look only at the domain that you are interested in the emails from NovaBACKUP or CMon to appear to be sending from; and viewing the details of that single domain and then clicking on "DNS records" tab section, for the single "MX" record there under "Microsoft Exchange" category in that list, will show the MX server address in full text format as the "Value data" for that "MX" field item, and after you left-click on that "MX" item that is listed (which will show an "MX record" dialog pop-up) look for the "Points to address or Value" text there, and then utilize the "Copy" function inside that item's value to copy the exact "MX server address" needed for the "SMTP Server Name" field in the NovaBACKUP or CMon apps regarding the email notifications dialog.
Once the mail flow connector is set up it will support the backup clients sending email via Office 365 to recipients in the same domain as well as any external domains. Once your setup is place, the communication from the backup client to the Office 365 mail server address will not be encrypted since these backup clients do not support the TLS encryption protocol, only SSL which Office 365 does not support. Once the email is received to Office 365 from NovaBACKUP software it will be relayed your recipients with TLS encryption enabled, to whatever addresses you specified to send to – once the email is sent out by Office 365 to the target addresses those emails will be sent with TLS encryption. We have verified this will work using NovaBACKUP 20.x, and it is able to send email notifications to our Office 365 mail server "MX" address, and the emails are routed to our own domain @novastor.com and @gmail and @yahoo addresses without issue. The external firewall must allow TCP port 25 access outbound, and any local software firewall on the machine running the backup client software must allow TCP port 25 outgoing. The admin for the company / organization that needs the NovaBACKUP software to utilize Office 365 for email notifications will have to retrieve their MX server address for Office 365 for their own domain, in the format such as “novastor-com.mail.protection.outlook.com” and then they will need to spend two minutes configuring their Office 365 SMTP Relay with Connectors (“Create a Non-TLS Connector using the Exchange Admin Center”), inside Office 365 Admin Center (an admin of Office 365 in the company will have to do it). For us, the connector looks like this:
You will need to know your own Exchange Online “MX” DNS address (which will be utilized as the value for the "SMTP Server Name" field in the NovaBACKUP product), found in 365 Admin Center > Settings > Domains area, for example:
The Office 365 SMTP Relay (Non-TLS) connector has these properties, added by an Office 365 admin, inside Office 365 Admin > Exchange > Mail flow > Connectors area, all you have to do is set up a new connector and specify “From: Your organization’s email server” and “To: Office 365”, for the type of connector, and then specify your organization’s static external facing IP address (you can add multiple if your company has more than one public IP address); this won’t support non-static external IP's, and then turn on the connector:
First part of the setup, adding the new connector by clicking on the + button in Connectors screen:
Second screen in the new connector setup:
Third screen in the new connector setup, enter your company's internet facing IP address(s):
Fourth and final screen in the new connector setup, showing the details to confirm:
Once the connector is created and turned on you will want to verify that your computers that have the NovaBACKUP client software on them, which require email notification setup with Office 365, can reach the Office 365 MX mail server address. To verify that a machine, that has NovaBACKUP backup client or the xSP Cloud backup client installed on it, can connect to the Office 365 mail server MX DNS address, open a command prompt from that machine, and attempt to telnet to the MX server address that you had noted earlier (and in Step 5 of the guide here). A Telnet Client (like PuTTY) will need to be installed on the machine to do this, you can install the standard "Telnet Client" using Windows Server Manager (for a Server OS) or "Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off" (for a Workstation OS). Use the command: 'telnet YourMXServerAddress 25', example seen here:
If your connection to the Office 365 MX mail server at port 25 is successful, you will see information regarding the mail server that you are connected to, mentioning the full MX DNS address and the SMTP server will display some information to tell you the connection was successful, you can issue the SMTP commands "EHLO", which will output some text, and then "QUIT" to drop the connection, once you have verified the connection is good. This is what a successful SMTP server telnet connection looks like:
To avoid emails relayed through the connector being blocked as spam, it is recommended to add the external IP address(s) that you specified during the third screen section of the new connector setup, into Office 365 Admin Center's allowed IP "Connection filtering" list. This list is located in 365 Admin Center > Exchange Center > Protection > Connection Filter ("IP Allow list - Always accept messages from the following IP addresses" section). Simply add in all of the IP addresses that you entered into the third screen section of the new connector setup, that you performed prior.
After adding the "SMTP Relay (Non-TLS)" connector, used by non-TLS devices and software, in Office 365 Admin Center, and verifying the connection from the machine where the backup client is installed to successfully connect to your own MX server address, you can configure the backup client for Office 365. In our company example, the "SMTP Server Name" field in NovaBACKUP client, which you will need to replace with your own SMTP Server Name which you will get from Office 365 after you add the "SMTP Relay (Non-TLS)" connector, equals "novastor-com.mail.protection.outlook.com", and the "SMTP Server Port" equals 25, "Use SSL" needs to be disabled, and the two "My SMTP server requires authentication" fields" needs to be disabled, so do not enter in any username or password there. The SMTP based email notifications work to recipient email addresses at NovaStor.com, Gmail.com, and Yahoo.com using NovaBACKUP client GUI, with these email settings:
Note: Please know that for the above Office 365 "SMTP Connector" method to work, that is detailed above, the SMTP Server Name needs to match what it shows in your own Office 365 "SMTP Connector" (you may already have one or you may need to set it up, detailed in the steps above, which requires Office 365 Admin level access) and the "E-Mail Address" field (second from the top) will need to contain a legitimate email address at your company (an email address that is not in your Office 365 tenant will cause this test to fail), that is an email enabled user in Office 365 (with the Exchange plan enabled on that user) otherwise if that is not the case the test email function will always fail, simply due to that one field entry.
Note: Please make sure that you do a "Test Email Settings" function prior to saving the email settings dialog, to make sure that the email can be sent with success and make sure that you actually do receive that sent email. In this example we perform the "Test Email Settings" function and within 30 seconds we receive a pop-up that says "Test email sent successfully" and that status is also shown in red text below the button:
Note: You should also know that the "Test Email Settings" function has a 180 second timeout on the above dialog if something goes wrong with the test, and if the test email is going to fail to send the client will act like it is timing out and not-responding until that timeout is reached, if the test does not get to the success status.
Note: Do not enable the the "Use SSL" method or enter any authentication name and password items, as they won't work with Office 365 for NovaBACKUP and CMon apps. A test email sent to an external domain recipient may take longer than expected to be received in our testing, possibly up to 5 minutes. If the email does not come through please make sure to read and follow the instructions in the "To avoid emails relayed through the connector being blocked as spam" section of this guide. Also, make sure that the connector that you created is showing Status = "On". If you still have trouble here please make sure that TCP port 25 is allowed both on the local software firewall and the external firewall, which you can test with the "telnet to the MX server address" section of this guide.
Finally, verify on the recipient end that the test email was received, make sure to test both a recipient in your own domain as well as an outside / external domain recipient, at gmail.com or yahoo.com for example.
Other SMTP server settings
These Email Notification settings that you enter in to the "Default Settings" area will only apply automatically to NEWLY created Backup/Copy/Disaster Recovery jobs, (they will not affect Virtual Dashboard created VM backup jobs).
To use Email Notification with any existing jobs you will have to open that job and then click "Settings" and then click "Notification" tab and utilize the above settings to enter them again and save that job.
If you do not want to have to enter the Email Notification settings in to each job again then you can recreate your job(s) if you set the Email Notification in the "Default Settings" area before doing so, those email settings will apply automatically for those jobs based on your "Default Settings" Notification configuration.