Website backups are your insurance plan against any disaster or threat that your website might encounter. Rather than listing down the benefits of ensuring comprehensive backups, we think that it would be safe to say that backups act as insurance for website owners. Backups enable you to save your data, applications, as well as, the entire website and prepare you for any eventuality where you lose your data and/or applications by allowing you to restore/redeploy them whenever needed. You can start again from the most recent restore point and ensure uninterrupted services. Every hosting requires a different backup plan that suits your site. In this article, we will offer some tips to help you backup data on your VPS-hosted website.
If you want to backup your files and not the entire website…
In such cases, you can use some tools which are designed to help you to create a copy of the files at another location. Some such tools are:
This is the simplest way to backup files on Linux. By running the CP command in terminal, you can quickly copy files from your VPS to any other location. Whereas in Windows, you can use terminal emulators like puTTY to copy your files.
The RSync command is similar to the CP command and also offers more flexibility and options. Further, you can backup your files remotely using this command. For this, you need to install RSync on both the devices and write the code for automating the backups.
Remember to store your backup on another machine or external drive and keep it at a geographically separate location.
Many VPS-hosted website owners opt for versioning backups as an effective backup solution. You can create versioning backups manually by creating a backup before you edit any file. You can also create automated backups by creating time-stamped files that are hidden when you make changes. Placing the below code in your ~/.bashrc file can help you with this.
cp file1 file1.bak
However, if you edit your files on a regular basis, then this is not a great option since it is time and space-consuming. In such cases, you can opt for the version control system or GIT.
Most VPS Hosting providers offer an automated backup solution with advanced tools like CodeGuard which backs up the VPS image on a regular basis. While you shouldn’t rely on this backup completely, it certainly adds an additional security net for your data.
A more comprehensive and deeper substitute to file-level backups is the block-level backup which is also called as ‘imaging’. These backups allow you to copy an entire file block instead of individual files. Therefore, you don’t miss any file. Further, by backing up entire blocks, you save a lot of time too.
You can also install Backup PC into your appliance or VPS to make it act like a backup server. However, in order to do so, you need to allow SSH access to the backup server on the client-side. Once this is done, you don’t need any more programs to manage and configure your backups.
The Bacula Solution
Another effective backup solution for websites using VPS Hosting services is Bacula. It leverages the server-client model and offers a flexible package. It also demarcates backup locations, directors, and clients and configures tasks into smaller units – ‘Jobs’. With Bacula, you can modify the backup scheme by tinkering with the nodes. Bacula is also known to perform good over a network.Remember, backing up your data regularly is not an option – it is a must. While cyber threats and viruses can damage your data, there is also a possibility of the data getting corrupt due to unforeseen reasons. Under any circumstance, you wouldn’t want to lose your data, right? So, follow the tips mentioned in this article and get your backup plan in place. Good Luck!