Back It Up: cPanel User Backups December 30th, 2008
Backing up data is perhaps one of the single most overlooked aspects of managing a website. Most often, folks will simply look for a host that offers some form of backup service and simply stop there. This is often nothing more than a cPanel backup downloaded only to another directory on the same server. That is not serious data protection from events like a hard drive failure.
Here at Idologic, we back up all of our servers on a true, nightly basis. (This holds true for both cPanel and DirectAdmin customers.) Each backup is then transmitted to a remote server — meaning that your data backup exists on an entirely different machine. On top of this, we retain several copies of a backup leaving you with an option to restore from yesterday, last week, or virtually last month (please do be aware that some backups may be less than 30 days old depending upon the schedule). Simply email our support team or drop us a ticket to have a backup restored when needed. This powerful solution makes for a great first line of defense against data loss. (Did you catch that? I said first line, the implication being there is at least another line.)
What most miss out on is that you are the second line of defense. Aside from our server backups, each user has the ability to create a variety of backups from your cPanel control panel. We recommend you making your own backups, as redundancy never really hurt anyone. This does not mean you need to make manually generating and downloading a backup a nightly prerequisite like brushing your teeth before bed. It simply means that it would not hurt to make the occasional backup when you make a major change to your website(s). This process can be done by accessing the Backup link in your cPanel control panel. From here you can choose which backup you want:
- Full Backup – This backs up the entire account and is used to retain a copy of everything under the account. Used often for cPanel moves.
- Home Backup – As the name suggests, this only backs up your home directory (the files contained therein).
- MySQL Backup – This downloads a backup of a specific MySQL database.
- Email Alias/Filter Backups – These backup the respective aspects of email.
It is very important to note that these backups remain on the server when generated (unless you specify otherwise for the full backup). This means that they will contribute towards your disk space used and that they’ll also be backed up in the next backup – so that first 1 GB backup file becomes a 2 GB backup file. You can see how quickly this can pile up. Pragmatically speaking, you will want to download your backup and then make sure to remove it from your account. This way, your disk space will not be used so quickly and your backups will generate much more efficiently.