Reliability Concerns and the Efficiency of Home Assistant Backups

Hello everyone,

I’m not entirely sure if this is the right section to post this, but I wanted to share my growing concerns about the reliability of my home automation system and how Home Assistant backups could be of help.

I started dabbling with Home Assistant a couple of years ago and gradually increased the number of devices and automations, thereby increasing the complexity and, more importantly, the criticality of my system. There are some automations, like the integration with my alarm system or the automatic water shut-off in case one of my Water Leak detectors detects a water leak, that would put me and my family in a difficult situation if the system were to crash. Not to mention all the automations related to the presence of people in the house.

My current system is based on an RPi 4 with external M.2 SSD memory (Transcend TS240GMTS820S) on which Home Assistant runs. I also have a Synology NAS connected where I save the Home Assistant backups.

As mentioned above, I couldn’t bear a potential system crash because I’m not sure I have the patience or ability to start from scratch. At this point, I wonder and ask you what use the backups I have could be. Are they only useful for restoring a previous version of Home Assistant on the current system or also for restoring the entire configuration on a different platform?

In summary, if my RPi 4 crashes, what should I do to be able to use the HA backup file? Do I need to install HA on a new RPi 4 with an external SSD (a perfect copy of the current system) or can I switch to a more robust hardware system and restore it on the latter?

Thank you for your support.

You should take care that security and safety related systems are not depended on home assistant but the opposite: work independent from it (obviously you can integrate them for additional comfort)

Yes, backups are hardware agnostic


Do you mean I should just create the connection to my NAS, where the backups are stored, and just restore them?

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If you want to restore a backup after your SSD crashed it obviously should be placed somewhere else than on this SSD.

Maybe just try out the restore process so you are familiar if the day will come

let’s take the example of the automation to water shut-off in case of water leakages. How I could make it indipendent of home assistant? should I duplicate the same automation on the Water Leaks device platform? Not easy considering the several devices I’m using are of different company using different comunication system (WiFi, Zigbee).

Yes, a good idea

We use a esphome based device for this that can be integrated (and is) into HA but works independent from it as the logic runs on the esphome node.

Indeed, ZigBee typically doesn’t allow any local logic… I dropped this tech completely some time ago, also for that reason

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You mean write the automation within the ESP32 YAML file?
In the example of my alarm system project

how I could modify the YAML file to include inside it also the Automation instructions?

Which synology do you have - does it allow running VM’s? If so, why not installing HA there?

But, as others already said, “life vital” things really shouldn’t rely on HA, they should be standalone, connecting to HA is just for additional comfort.

One of the biggest advantages of Proxmox setup → is the backups.

  • I have a cheap “terminal” PC (actually cheaper than RPIs)
  • Proxmox as the host – a lightweight Linux to manage virtual machines, etc.
  • HomeAssistant OS as a virtual machine
  • Z2M and Mosquitto as LXCs (“containers”)
  • Proxmox is configured to make backups of the virtual machine and LXCs every day, keep weekly backups, monthly, yearly, etc.
  • The backups are “holistic” → it’s just all the possible data that HA contains, “bit by bit”. I don’t need to wonder if everything is backed-up → for sure it is.
  • I’ve already restored both HA and Z2M backups successfully, after disappointing updates, when something stopped working with the new version. I’ve also restored backups from a few months back, just to check if a certain thing worked back then, and again restored to the latest one to be up to date again. It’s simple and it works.
  • I keep the backups on a separate hard drive, I’m planning to add another one, so that I always have two copies.
  • Apart from many other Proxmox setup advantages → backups are one of its greatest strengths.

If you move to a virtualized setup you can also use snapshots. A quick way to make a point in time to roll back to when doing upgrades / updates. I take snapshots on every major release, if something breaks I can roll back in seconds.

Yes, it allow it.
I have not tried yet because I was not sure to be able to use the backup file to easily move HA in the new location.
Just a question may I have two instance of Home Assistant working at the same time? I mean continuing to use the RPi version untile I’m quite sure the VM versions works well?

Yes, no problem, I run more than 1 HA instance at the same time


Just make sure they don’t have the same host name and IP address you’re fine.

Should HA username and password be the same?

For? You need a lot more context. What’s your intended end game with it.

They are independent installs at this point and completely unrelated to each other except in how YOU relate them so you tell me do they need to be the same?

Whats the intent?

Yes backups are agnostic. Yes you need them. Beyond that the plan will be what best suits YOUR use case and none of us can answer that for you.

I just did a full rebuild and restore on my RPi. I was surprised how smoothly it went. It’s really a very simple process. After starting the “new” HA, I installed the SAMBA add-on so I could grab the backup file, restored it and I was back to where I’d started.

I know this is just part of the question the OP asked, but I didn’t want anyone reading this thread to come away with the impression that the restore is a difficult process.

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You can restore your current HA backup into synology, sure. Whole thing will run way faster than on Pi4, too, especially if you assign all cores to that VM. And it’s good to reserve 4GB of memory, so perhaps you’ll have to upgrade your ram in Syno.

A hint: you don’t need original (expensive) ram module, also many syno models support more ram then officialy told - i have 20GB (original 4+16 additional module) on my DS920+ - do a bit of research before buying memory.

Just moving from RPi to NAS 721+ VM. After I’m ensuring everything works well I will shutdown the RPi.
My question is: after installing the HA OS on the NAS VM I need to create a different username or could I keep the same username?