Tag Database
Needs Improvment

Backup General Questions and Notes

How many backups should you have?

Proprietary Storage

Some backups will be stored in a proprietary storage format that makes it extremely hard to restore data properly. Such examples are duplicity or Borg, which GridPane uses. Although you can access to the backup files, being able to extract data is difficult.

Backing up Server Files

Sometimes there is a need to backup system files, these might include configuration by your control panel or custom configuration that you’ve spent days creating. Make sure that you have a backup of your entire server somewhere, as some backups don’t take care of this data.

Types of Backups and Use Cases

1. Provider Snapshots

  • Provider snapshots are usually snapshots of your VPS server at a point in time. Usually a service offered by your cloud/VPS provider for a small charge per month.
  • Typically used when your VPS is destroyed by yourself or the node your instance was on had a failure and cannot be recovered.
  • Great for restoring a server, but not great for grabbing single files or a database backup as you need to spin up a new instance and login to get data.

Note: Node failures occur, but GCP, AWS utilize network storage versus local disk for their instances which allows for fault tolerance when a node fails. Most VPS providers are not fault tolerant and store instances to local disk on the node.

2. Control Panel Backups

  • Great for restoring a whole website quickly.
  • Some provide incremental backups to save storage space.
  • Not available on all control panels.
  • Usually only local backups.
  • Local storage takes up space, which may be an issue.
  • Local storage is not off-site storage.
  • Some provide remote backups to S3 storage.
  • Sub par success and failure monitoring and notification if any.
  • Doesn’t allow for granular restore options such as single file, or just database.

3. Third Party Remote Backups

  • Backups are available offsite when provider or control panel backups aren’t available.
  • Option of using Google Drive or S3 storage.
  • Monitoring of success and failures with notifications.
  • Direct access to files or backup files.
  • Less restore options, or no restore option at all.