A better backup scheme
So here my suggestion for a better backup scheme. Do something like keeping:
= 1 - 3 monthly backups
+ 3 weekly backups
+ 4 - 6 daily backups
This way a longer period is covered without increasing the space required for backups. You can try keeping it at 8, although 12 would be ideal as it will cover last 3 mo, last 3 wk, and last 6 days.
- Allow to choose the time of day to do backup so it won't slow down the server during busy hours.
- Allow to choose external backup destination like S3, Dropbox ... so you don't have to worry about space. Of course you need to create a way for us to be able to recover a full server from a backup too.
Current backup as it says on https://support.cloudways.com/how-to-backup-my-server/
"Note about backup retention:
We keep eight days worth of backups (this is a fixed setting that you can’t change)...
How many backups this includes, depends on the backup frequency that you have set:
- If you have set frequency to daily (default), we will keep eight backups (one per day for the last eight days).
- If you have set frequency to seven days (weekly), we will keep just one backup."
I was considering setting it to every 2 days thinking that I'd have 16 days more or less covered. Or weekly to have 8 weeks worth of backups. But according to your article I would only end up with 1 weekly backup. So why not retain 8 backups no matter what the interval was set as?
I also don't see the value of hourly backups if only 8 are kept.
However, in the end, none of these make a good backup scheme.
Gustavo Woltmann commented
I love this post because I always like to read this type of post. But I have some doubts about this, So please clarify this. Gustavo Woltmann
The current backup scheme is basic and may get you out of trouble if you are lucky but I would not rely on it.
1. Allow you to restore from any of your retained backups, at the moment you can only restore from the latest
2. NOT require you to delete the latest backup to restore an older one that is not great
3. Even better backups at application level but lets keep it sensible
Would be great for those of us who are already using a backup solution (in my case BackupBuddy for full off-site backups and WP time capsule for continuous backups) to not be forced into paying for Cloudways to do additional backups.
Please consider adding support for https://ottomatik.io/ so users can backup to their S3 accounts - or build your own solutions similar to cPanel's S3 support.
Sure would be useful to be able to specify which apps get backed up and which can be excluded from backup. Half my sites are dev versions of the live sites site and are pointless to back up. Would save on server resources, storage space, and backup fees.
Under the hood it seems that Cloudways uses duplicity for its backups. I would suggest Cloudways upgrade to version 0.7+ of duplicity then include a control panel option for users to select frequency and location of backups. For me the major problem with the backups is we need to manually download a backup file (of the entire site) or the files are hosted on Cloudways S3 infrastructure - so if something went wrong with Cloudways the backups are also inaccessible.
We also NEED the capability to Delete Backups
On Demand that we no longer want or need !!
It's eating up our server space.
And incurring charges for holding Garbage data that we can neither delete, nor re-use.
This is an Obvious Hand-in-hand to Backup On Demand.
It's also obvious for cases where a restructure has occurred, and old automated backups are completely irrelevant !
We have added backup retention feature (up to four weeks).
Fauzi Rakhmat commented
Allow to choose the time of day to do a backup so that it won't slow down the server during busy hours.
My sites just go down for around 8 minutes at working hours. I'm worried about this. I'm asking your tech and got this answer:
"There is nothing to worry about because at that time our system runs auto backup, and therefore it consumes some resources."
Dang! Server down because of auto backup. That explains why my idle CPU on the normal trends but at a few minutes has very low idle CPU.
Great idea! Like @James Golding being able to specify an additional external location would be very nice. I would love to be able to for example specify an Amazon S3 bucket that I could dump a full backup to once a week. I know Cloudways has backups but that extra piece of mind is nice.
James Golding commented
Some kind of system which sends a backup to another location once a week for example would give me peace of mind. My previous host had this functionality via plesk, just set up FTP details and then I had automated backups to another location that I can access if needed.
We are checking options to offer snapshot backups (available from all providers but DO) and in talks with DO about it.
So there is no current way to access the backups?
We already have the option to restore a deleted server (we keep backups for 15 days). By now this is an internal feature (due to privileges required) only available to support. But anyone can open a chat and get a deleted server recovered.
We will consider other suggestions, as we do with all in our feedback page, to build our roadmap.
3 votes + one suggestion: a way to backup to a external NAS automatically (just like in directadmin, cpanel etc)
Two more suggestions regarding backup. Beside a full server restore option, APP restore - single or in bulk.
1. the option to restore IN ONE GO all apps on a server to a previous version. Think of an automatic update gone wrong.
2. On a newly(/existing) created server the option to restore an app by file upload.
3. On a newly(/existing) created server. Bulk APPS restoring - say by pointing to a server folder where al the files would be copied over FTP. Or pointing to other cloud storage providers where the files would likely be kept. i.e. Amazon S3, even Dropbox as it's a good alternative to FTPing all files in.
The backup as it is currently does not give me peace of mind in case of catastrophic server failure or deletion.
Think of a website design studio offering hosting the websites for each client. There are hundreds of clients per server.
At this moment if you lose a Cloudways server, the only to recover it back is an excruciating and VERY time consuming task of creating, reconfiguring settings and restoring the files and databases one by one.
What I am suggesting is a full SERVER and APPS SETTINGS BACKUP along the current backup. AND a corresponding option of RESTORE/CREATE SERVER & APPS from an existing backup set.
So the only extra info you need to save is XML files with the server and apps settings that would allow recreating the server and apps in one go. Now that's peace of mind!
A studio would not have the man power for the hours it would take to redo everything in a timely manner in case of disaster. It would results in a lot of unhappy clients and business loss.
I hope you see my point and the relatively ease of implementing it along the existing backup solution.