Backup Plan / Strategy for Relative Newcomer?

quarter2ten

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Mar 26, 2021
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Hi All,

As the title suggests I'm looking for some advice and recommendations for a backup plan / strategy for my VPS cPanel servers. I've done some research on here and google, but would appreciate some input from people more knowledgeable.

I had been using reseller hosting for some WordPress sites since 2015. My needs outgrew this option and last year I decided to run my own servers. I purchased some VPS servers, installed cPanel etc. It has been quite the learning curve, but I have enjoyed it very much. Now that I have got comfortable with the running of the servers I thought it was time to revisit server security and backups.

I have 2 servers at present, both running the following:

CentOS
LiteSpeed
CloudLinux
Immunify AV
JetBackup 5

There is about 40 cPanel accounts across the two servers, with more to come. At the minute both servers run nightly backups stored locally. I know this is far from ideal. I want to have the backups stored remotely and have read articles on using rsync.net or a Hertzner storage box, however is this enough? Just one backup location. What about the whole server? should I have it backed up with configs etc or a snapshot maybe?

I'm thinking of worst case scenario here, ransomware or server failure for example. If the current nightly backups were stored off server could I restore to another server in an emergency? I don't really know.

Business continuity is the main thing here, with price being secondary but also important.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Q2TEN
 

cPanelAnthony

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hello! That sounds like enough precautions to me; however, a systems administrator would have the best advice. If those backups were stored off-server, you should, in theory, be able to restore them to a server with the correct cPanel environment and software versions. I would suggest putting a temporary/migration license on the new host for the transfer; you can reach out to our customer service team to request one.

[email protected]
 

quietFinn

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Probably the most important thing is that you have a Disaster Recovery Plan.
You must have backups in at least one remote location, better if in two, and at least 2 last days backed up to your backup server(s).

When there was a fire in one of OVH:s data center, they told customers who we affected to "Activate your Disaster Recovery Plan".
You wouldn't want to be one of those asking "What is that? How do I activate that?".
 

quarter2ten

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Thanks for the replies and apologies for the delay in getting back.

I went ahead and setup remote backups with rsync.net on the smaller of the two servers to test. Painless enough process and seems to running well. Found out after the fact that Backblaze may have been cheaper, but never mind, it's working and that is the most important thing.

I maybe made a mistake when doing it though as all existing local backups disappeared, and I was starting from scratch with one backup on the first night, maybe it should have been added as a second backup within Jetbackup. Its up to 7 days now, so that's good. Intention is 28 days.

Anyway so that is remote backups in one location, but no local backups, and it is cPanel accounts only, not server configs. I'm not sure that is enough.

I see mentioned within Jetbackup of 'Clone' but I'm after doing some reading I'm still unsure. Is this a clone of the whole server that could be put online at short notice? Is that even a thing, or for a proper clone do you need another live server?

I tried to research 'Disaster Recovery Plan' but all I come up with is companies selling services and no discussion about formulating a plan.

Any input appreciated.

Thanks
 

quietFinn

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I maybe made a mistake when doing it though as all existing local backups disappeared, and I was starting from scratch with one backup on the first night, maybe it should have been added as a second backup within Jetbackup. Its up to 7 days now, so that's good. Intention is 28 days.

Anyway so that is remote backups in one location, but no local backups, and it is cPanel accounts only, not server configs. I'm not sure that is enough.
Go to WHM -> Backup -> Backup Configuration and check " Retain Backups in the Default Backup Directory ".

I tried to research 'Disaster Recovery Plan' but all I come up with is companies selling services and no discussion about formulating a plan.
Just start thinking what do you do if you suddenly don't have your server any more. If there is a problem in your server it's not a disaster, it's a problem you can (hopefully) solve, and get your server back online.
 
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cPRex

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I agree that "disaster recover" is usually interpreted different than "backup" plan.

To me, backups are "my server got hacked and I need to restore" or "someone accidentally deleted an account/all the accounts and I need to restore." That's a backup situation.

Disaster recovery is "my datacenter flooded and won't be back online for an extended period of time." Rare, but it does happen.

If you have offsite backups of both your data and the server configuration files, creating a new cPanel server and restoring data will be a smooth process.
 

cagsmith

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We don't store backups locally at all. Some time can be saved in downloading them if they're needed but downloading even a hefty account backup isn't prohibitive in time.

We use JetBackup for twice daily backups to Rsync. Also make weekly cPanel account backups to Backblaze B2. Used to use Amazon S3 but prices were crazy.

JetBackup is far and away one of the best, most reliable backup tools I've ever had the pleasure of using... So worth it!
 

rivermobster

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Dec 16, 2020
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I agree that "disaster recover" is usually interpreted different than "backup" plan.

To me, backups are "my server got hacked and I need to restore" or "someone accidentally deleted an account/all the accounts and I need to restore." That's a backup situation.

Disaster recovery is "my datacenter flooded and won't be back online for an extended period of time." Rare, but it does happen.

If you have offsite backups of both your data and the server configuration files, creating a new cPanel server and restoring data will be a smooth process.
We don't store backups locally at all. Some time can be saved in downloading them if they're needed but downloading even a hefty account backup isn't prohibitive in time.

We use JetBackup for twice daily backups to Rsync. Also make weekly cPanel account backups to Backblaze B2. Used to use Amazon S3 but prices were crazy.

JetBackup is far and away one of the best, most reliable backup tools I've ever had the pleasure of using... So worth it!
I'm looking into costs now as well...

My Amazon S3 trial has expired, and their costs went through the roof!!!

My host company has four different back up options. They are all Much more affordable with varying degrees of complexity (or simplicity) to perform restorations. But...

They are all in house! I really would like to have remote location for backups AND a disaster recovery image.

Who has the best plan in place for this??

Best meaning most affordable (not necessarily the cheapest) and most manageable (to be able to recover one file or account) if necessary.

Thanks for any recommendations or advice!!!
 

cagsmith

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Jul 21, 2021
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If you can install JetBackup, do that - and set it to backup to Rsync. It's cost-effective and decent. As I mentioned, We do this and also use cPanel's own backup service to backup to Backblaze which is pennies on the dollar compared to S3 (admittedly if you use correct storage classes it will be cheaper, like Glacier, but then recovery time is much longer, so Backblaze is the best alternative we found).
 
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