Backup and Restore for SmartThings hub

When the hardware inevitably dies and they send you a replacement (or you go buy one); is there now any way to restore your hub, apps and devices? Has anyone got around this?

NB: I dumped SmartThings a year ago in frustration after such an incident…but I’m still following this to see if they’ve improved.

Additionally damn Vera (of all things) has had a backup/restore for years so its definitely not a security/technical issues related to Z-Wave. 100% its been a roadmap prioritization issue. Helping existing customers doesn’t pay the bills apparently.

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Nope. Your apps will stay around (you’ll still see them in the IDE), but no hub means no devices, and there is no backup/restore capability for your hub. Hubitat and Vera have that capability, and you’d think that after all these years ST would too, but again, nope.

I think it is a technical issue. Most of their infrastructure runs in the cloud. Apparently, they locked the hub for good, and forgot where they put the keys. LOL

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As someone who works in IT and Managed Services; backup is a mandatory part of any solution. If Samsung ever wants interrogators to take them seriously then backup needs to be there.

Who would deploy ST at scale as a service without backup?

No wonder Vera/Nero does well in this space.

Every SmartThings customer does, no? Not sure I understand what you mean by “at scale”.

Or are you asking why Samsung continues to sell SmartThings without a backup/restore mechanism?

The lack of backup/restore or migration was discovered 6 years ago and came to more visibility with the release of Hub V2 in Sept 2015. The fact that SmartThings continues to be successful in the market is evidence that consumers don’t take this lack of functionality into account for their purchase decision. So if this is difficult for SmartThings to implement, they seem not to be incentivized.

Is Vera still doing well?

SmartThings is currently the top brand of its class - The question is “define the class”.

If a typical Customer has fewer than 20 devices, and the odds of a failure / reset / upgrade are low, then the statistical “net average effort” required for manual restore is very low.


I’m not making excuses for SmartThings - just speculating as to why this fundamental feature continues to be undelivered after 6 years.

CEO Hawkinson promised (in writing) that it would exist by the end of 2016. He’s no longer CEO - Though only a personal choice, not a consequence of broken promises, since the replacement management team has had years to remediate.

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Perhaps a consequence of making those kind of promises. LOL What serious CEO comes out in a public forum and makes open promises, in writing.

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Quite a few, oddly… Or they are simply naive or idealistic.

Wyze Labs CEO published a completely unnecessary letter of promises when a large investor came on board.

The gist being that they promise not to change their culture and customer focus. :roll_eyes:

He must have a rather foggy crystal ball, as I can clearly see that the investors will increasingly demand all sorts of unpredictable changes that will radically change the company and disappoint the first generation of customers.

Eventually they learn how to lead… or leave.

How long is “eventually”? Like I said - it’s already been a few years.

Eventually the problem will raise to another level when they will dump v2 Hubs for v3.

But @prjct92eh2 will jump in soon and let all of us know, wait for the announcements of SDC 2019.

The question above is fair. How long this issue can last, when competitors has it implemented for aged. Would an advanced user willing to face the issue again if the Hub fails? Would it stear away to another solution? I believe it is just the patience of the current users that they haven’t abandoned the platform. Samsung plays it cards as usually. Buy it, but we will change it with short notice, and you can agree the terms or stop using it. Same for many products and features promised during the years. Samsung probably has more lawyers than developers to cover all the loopholes.
And don’t tell me, that you haven’t had any disappointment with Smartthings and Samsung ever.

At scale, do you know any companies who would deploy Smartthings to a newly built housing building complex and would support it for the tenants/owners? Just the fact, that you cannot choose the zigbee channel would make it a nightmare with interference. But that is a different story.

From what I can understand from the architecture.

Any devices connected directly to the hub (I.e.) Zigbee, z-wave or simulated will need to be added manually back in again.

Any devices that are connected via integration with other companies (hive/to-link, etc ) and therefore added via cloud will sill be there.

I’ve never tested this theory but one can assume this to be the case.

Understanding consumer vs. enterprise product design explains most of ST’s decisions in this matter. Here is a good backgrounder for those interested: https://medium.com/pminsider/consumer-vs-enterprise-product-management-mind-the-difference-585ba8ec235a#targetText=In%20consumer%20technology%2C%20we%20build,—%20end-users%20and%20buyers.&targetText=This%20means%20that%20your%20product,delightful%20experience%20for%20end%20users.

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I was referring to these CEOs who make public commitments. They will eventually learn or leave. What was said a few years ago is not reality, is naivety.

Your points are valid, but to take their part. We buy a hub that you can connect hundreds of devices to it, for basically, the price of one device. These hundreds of connected devices don’t offer a backup of their own settings, yet we expect that a hub should? Why?

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Because it is a central unit, a.k.a Hub. Have you ever tried to upgrade from a Philips v1 bridge to a v2? It is a central unit, and it is capable to do it. It is as easy, like adding a device to your setup. Few press and done.

Sure, others are offering a better experience but that is a “nice to have feature”. Lack of backup is not an “issue” is a missing feature. You wouldn’t say that Hue bridge has an “issue” because it doesn’t support Z-Wave, for example.

This is a consumer DIY product. If someone intends to deploy it for commercial purposes there are professional systems out there that offer the tools needed to deploy a system at that scale, but again we are talking about dollars and cents.

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No, they’re not, but are rebuilding. New ownership is breathing life into them slowly. A new Linux based firmware will be released eventually that is supposed to fix many of their issues. Until then, they now have the community developers doing the firmware update testing… finally.

Their ability to backup and restore isn’t as much a feature as it is a necessity due to their problematic systems. You add more than a handful of devices and you can brick your system doing a firmware update.

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Believe me, when your hub will fail at some time in the future or you just want to swap to a v3, your “missing feature” will become an issue.

Be honest to yourself, how much time would it take to you to reconfigure everything from scratch? Or just to restore a back-up or migrate from your current hub to the new one?
Would you think, “oh, this is a lot of wasted time due to a missing feature, I don’t want to face this issue anymore, lets swap the hub to a … where the backup/restore is not an issue.”

Samsung realized for their phone market, that having a tool to migrate all of your stuff from one phone to another keeps the clients in the same ecosystem. Easy to switch to a newer model with a few clicks.

Ha, ha, ha! I don’t believe you :slight_smile: I have 200+ devices and have done it twice already. Once from v1 to v2 and once when my old v2 died. Is NOT fun by any means, but is not the end of the world either.

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I’m curious @HA_fanatic how long it took you, each time?

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