Dedicated Server Backup and Restoration Tips

January 2015

Dedicated Server Backup and Restoration Planning

You’ve finally decided to purchase a dedicated server for your operations, and now you’re ready for business. You have hundreds of clients accessing your server’s resources via countless http requests and generating MySQL queries. Everything looks good!

Your business is growing, but one day your server’s hard disk fails. Your success relies on having data on your dedicated server, whether it’s an app, a program, a game or an email client. What do you do? You’re in a situation where a backup and restoration option isn’t available.

Dedicated Server Backup and Restoration Tips

This scenario occurs too often, but can be resolved by using a backup server to store all of your important files. Every year businesses go under because they didn’t have a backup of lost files to deal with a disaster scenario.

Having a plan is vital to running a business, but many times backup and restoration is a forgotten part of the process until it’s too late. Our backup and restoration tips emphasize proper planning and testing to prevent costly dedicated server data loss so your dedicated server, and your business, will be ready for anything.

Invest in Your Business

Files can be lost in a multitude of ways including during power outages, from RAID array failures, bad programming, failed hard disks, hacking or just human error. A backup service will save you a lot of time and money in case of an emergency situation. Without a proper backup and restoration plan, you could pay several thousand dollars for data recovery services.

A dedicated server  is an investment, and should be secured from possible corruption of data. This article will go over backup and restoration tips to guide you in the right direction on setting up a reliable backup solution, and give you that piece of mind that every business owner should have.

Choosing Reliable Server Backup Hardware

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right hardware for your backup server, but the configuration doesn’t necessarily have to be on par with your live production server. At the very least it will include RAID 1 and hard disks.

If you’re planning on backing up a lot of data, be prepared to invest in a processor with capable speeds to process your backups. The backup server should be as reliable as the hardware (with quality hardware, but not necessarily as fast) in your dedicated server to ensure high availability if you need to recover your data.

Find out if ReliableSite’s FTP backup space option is right for you.

Automate Dedicated Server Backups

When you have a backup server to secure your dedicated server, a good practice is to automate backups as often as possible. The initial setup should involve a strategy for pushing updated files to your remote backup server. While most software installations have backup scripts included, which make backup and restoration straight forward, some additional reading may be required. Consult the documentation of related software.

If you’re running a cPanel server, this process is easy and can be managed through the interface. All you’ll need is your backup server, a user login, and a password. For other types of environments, there may be an automation script or tool included, but otherwise you can look up automating backups for your unique environment.

For configurations without a backup tool included, look into SCP (secure copy protocol), bash scripting and cron jobs. Those options will put you in the right direction for securing your integral files.

Visit our Knowledge Base for instructions on automating backup on Linux and Windows dedicated servers.

Transfer Speeds For Server Backup And Restoration

It’s good practice to keep your backup server close to your production environment. This ensures the highest possible speeds of transfer, and you can take advantage of internal network speeds which are by far much faster than having to transfer between two geographically distant locations.

When your backup server is in a remote location, you have to factor in the time it takes to transfer data. This will be important while both creating backups, and resorting to restoration if the unforeseen were to happen. Also consider the size of your backups as that will impact the amount of time it takes to restore your original working dedicated server.

Onsite And Offsite Server Backups

While your data may be protected on a backup server, make sure to store local backups as well on the off chance you have to turn to a backup and restoration plan in a short time frame. If your live production server is still up, you can easily restore your backups if they were stored locally.

It’s important to have onsite and offsite backups. Having remote backups secures your primary server in case of data destruction, and having local backups ensures speedy backup and restoration if your dedicated server is still functioning, but you need to restore files to previous states in time.

Data Redundancy For Server Backups

While you may have a backup server already, redundancy is always the winner in securing your data. Redundancy could be defined as having backups of your backups, and there are many ways of achieving this.

Although another backup server would give you instant peace of mind, that’s not always a cost effective option. One option to consider is having RAID 1 set up on your backup server, which writes data to two disks simultaneously. Another option is to keep backups locally on your production server, and push generated backups to your backup environment. To add to an already iron clad setup, a RAID 1 or better setup on both your servers will secure your investment.

Having multiple backups will always be the best option. Your local server, backup server, both running RAID configurations, and possibly a local backup will surely limit the chances of you losing everything in a disastrous scenario.

Server Backup And Restoration Planning And Testing

After you’ve setup, configured and automated the backup process, you should ensure that you’re generating working backups.

This is your version of a fire drill. Make sure that you’re able to bring back your information by testing restoration during mock scenarios. A backup and restoration strategy is useless unless your backups are fully working.

Once you that is complete, create a strategy for backup and restoration. Do you have an automated system in place to restore backups? Are you able to recover in a timely fashion? Do you have redundancy in case one of your backups fail? How far back can you restore without losing too much data? You have to factor all this in while restoring your dedicated server.

ReliableSite In-House Backups

Our worry-free FTP backup services are a great compliment to the dedicated servers you’ll be hosting with us. We provide a raw FTP backup service at rates as low as $0.03 per gigabyte of data, and the plan comes with flexibility which will save you both time and money.

You won’t have to setup a backup server with our FTP backup addon because we’ve already done the work for you! You’ll have all of your bases covered – a backup with RAID6 in case of emergencies, physical proximity for faster restoration and complete control of your syncing software.

Enjoy cost effective backups at our Tier 4, fully redundant data center without having to worry about maintaining your own backup environment.