vps-and-dedicated-server-backups

When you decide to make your own website, one of the most important things you have to think about is to make sure that your data and content is regularly backed up. Websites take a lot of time, energy, and even money to develop, so you want to make sure your investment is protected.

The first thing that I would like to point is that here at TMDHosting, we make backups for our customers on shared servers on a weekly basis. We make backups of the entire /home directory for each shared hosting account every weekend. Once a new backup is performed the old one get’s overwritten. We make backups of the databases every day and we keep those backups up to 5 days behind.

That being said, you should note that the backups on our VPS and Dedicated servers are not enabled by default. If you decide to upgrade to such server or start directly on it, you should keep that in mind. In the following article I will show you to configure the automatic WHM (Web Host Manager) backups so you can keep your data safe and avoid making mistakes when doing so. Of course you can always open a ticket and we will gladly configure the backups for you.

If you are on a VPS or DS server and you would like to setup the automatic WHM backups, you should have root access for the server or some super user privileges (we can provide you with such access, by simply opening new support ticket). If you have such access in you can login in your WHM from the following links:

http://hostname.com/whm

http://hostname.com:2086

Of course the hostname will be specific for every different VPS or DS.  The backup menu can be accessed from WHM -> Backup -> Backup Configuration. We will provide you with more details for the most important settings one by one with screen shots.

1

 

Backup status – with that option the backups are enabled/disabled

Backup types:

  •  Compressed – This option saves all of your information, and uses less disk space, but it takes more time to complete. It also takes more CPU usage and I/O operations as the backups are archived. It is not recommended to use that option as if your server is generally quit busy, this may degrade the performance of your server quite a lot.
  •  Uncompressed – This option saves all of your information, and is faster than compressed, but it takes up more disk space. It also takes more CPU usage and I/O operations.
  •  Incremental – This option allows only ONE (this is important) backup. This option will only save changed information. It also takes less CPU usage and I/O operations as the files which are backed up are just the files which have been changed during the time of your last backup. This is the best option as it does not load your server much.

Maximum destination timeout – Enter the number of seconds the backup will attempt to run. If the backup attempt is not successful in this time, it will timeout and stop. This should be left as it is.

2

Backup Daily – with that option enabled, backup of your files and databases will be performed every day. You can specify which day a backup should be performed by selecting the specific day of the week under that option.

Retain number of backups – with that option selected you can specify the number of  copies of backups to be kept. Note that if it set to “1” day when a new backup is performed the old one will be overwritten.  Also note that this option does not have any effect when you have chosen “Incremental” type of backups.

Backup Monthly – with that option enabled, backup of your files and databases will be performed at a specific date of the month (1st of 15th of the month)

Retain number of backups – the principle here is the same as the Daily backups.

3

Select users button – from here you can choose just specific cpanel account to be backed up. By default all cPanel accounts are chosen.

Backup Suspended Accounts – with this option enabled the account which are suspended will also be backed up. This probably you would want to set it to disabled.

Backups access logs – by default this is set to disabled, but if you really like to check your access logs (Apache, FTP) you probably will want to enable it.

Backup Bandwidth Data – with that option enabled the bandwidth statistics for your accounts will be backed up. This probably you would like to be disabled to reduce I/O operation when the backup is performed and save your server resources.

Use local DNS – When enabled this option confines the domain lookup to this server only, and does not query the DNS cluster. It should be disabled.

Backup System Files – This option is not needed for account restoration, but it is needed for server restoration. Enabling this option is highly recommended.

4

Default backup directory – In this field, you must provide an absolute path to the local backup directory. By default it is set to:

/backup

This folder can be access only with root access to the server. If you set daily and monthly backups to be performed, the folder structure will look like this:

/backup/cpanel/daily

/backup/cpanel/monthly

Retain backups in the default backup directory – This option will keep backups in the default local backup directory even after the backups have been transferred to another destination. If this option is not selected, backups will be deleted after being moved to another destination. Probably you should leave this disabled.

Mount Backup Drive as Needed. – This option requires a separate drive/Network File System (NFS) mount.

5

 

Additional destinations – this option is NOT available if you have chosen “Incremental” backup type. With that option enabled, when the backup are made to can also be sent to an external server via FTP.

After all the options has been set you should save the changes.

In the end I would like to mention that the most important things which you should take into consideration when you configure your automatic WHM backups are:

  • Check your overall account size and what size you have available on your hard drive. You can easily run out of space on your server and when the hard drive is full you server will be inaccessible.
  • Keep in mind that when backup are made this creates additional CPU usage and I/O operations on your server. You should set the backups to be made not during peak times.
  • You should always pick “Incremental” backups to be performed as this greatly reduce the load on your server when the backups are made
  • If you are on a server with an additional hard disk you can set the backup to be made in the additional hard disk. This will reduce the I/O operations on your primary HDD.

You can always contact our Genius Support Team for further assistance with configuring the backup on your server.