A long time ago in an office far far away a wise older SysAdmin once imparted this gem of information to me:
“Backups are worthless. Restorations and options – they are golden.“
You never really properly learn how much this is achingly true until you are wondering where your data went, and where you are going to go from here. These words ring as true now, if not more so than they did then. Issues that present to us every day vary from accidental deletions, failed updates, deletions, additions, overwrites, whatever they are – these things happen – to Err is human. So what can we do about it – we can back things up. We may never need them – but if they are there – we have something we can use… an option. Golden.
After a few conversations this week regarding backup options and what we offer and how it is accessed on our new in house VM platform I thought it would be worthwhile taking a few moments to expand on the details that can be found under Cloud Server FAQ’s . On our Cloud VPS Platform we offer two solutions – one is included in the package – one is an addon, an extra. Either one, or both together – we have you covered.
These are taken by the system periodically. For this platform the backups are triggered once every day.
These backups take the form of a snapshot that on request can be restored. They will restore the ENTIRE virtual machine back to the state that the machine was in at the time of the backup being taken.
These backups are kept for one day, and then written over. So at any one point you can restore back to a point within the last 24 hours.
However, these snapshots are ‘grandfathered‘ off to form recovery points that are a week, month, and year old. So you are able to roll back to an image that is as new as the last 24 hours, or within the last week, within the last month, or the last year. These essentially form the basis of a Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) for this service and is 100% native to the delivery platform.
This is part of the cost of the delivered service, however relies upon sufficient resources and availability to deliver the backup action. What it does NOT do is allow a file by file granular restore – all – nothing.
What if you need backups to occur more often? What if you are running a database, and need to be able to restore a single table only and cannot afford to lose data from earlier in the day – orders, or logging? Well then you may wish to consider a more hands on means of storing your data to allow you to roll back to a given state should the worst event happen.
If your Business Continuity Plan / Compliance requirements / avoidance of pain and inconvenience requires that you have the means to have a little more finesse and more options in this area then you will need to engineer a solution to allow this. We can take a lot of the pain out of this with our backup service.
While this is a service we charge for it is a fixed fee for cloud platform users.
Backups occur every six hours with retention, and the ability to restore folders, files, entire machines (with the caveat of not being able to do a Bare Metal Recovery – however this is where the snapshot comes in).
We retain up to 56 points for this platform – allowing in essence 4x a day for 2 weeks.
This is delivered via the tried and tested R1soft Continual Data Protection (CDP) service which runs as an agent on your machine backing up to a server in another location. The backup is done at a disk block and file level, and changes are stored as changes to a starting point – a seed if you will – and as such it is incremental.
You have access to the server as a user, who can manage their own restores.
This is available for supported operating systems only – Windows, and the majority of Linux distributions (however is dependant on supported kernel version for module compilation).
Hopefully that helps clarify the difference between the two offerings and what each stands to offer.
There is a great deal to be considered when looking at backups. How old your last backup is, how long it will take to restore, and how quickly you will be back up and running again. In reality snapshots are surprisingly quick, file restores are going to take longer than you expect, and options and flexibility are golden.
If you have any further questions regarding functionality, limitations or pricing – do not hesitate to get in touch with either technical or sales regarding this.
Restorations are golden.
*Do also keep in mind that for compliance and retention reasons you may wish to further offsite to your office, dropbox, amazon, etc. – periodic backups of user data. Plesk and cPanel make this all surprisingly easy these days. Again if you need guidance – do let us know. These solutions are aimed at short term recoveries from attacks, accidental loss, and OS level issues.