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I am running 2 boxes on hetzner and would like to figure out the best way to back up the - app - data - live environment

I understand that for the app and data parts, its very specific to my web service, so I am not going to go into too much detail here. But would really appreciate a general answer assuming the basics like LAMP on Ubuntu.

I am currently doing the following -

  1. Hetzner provided backup
  2. Daily SQL dump onto remote drive (and replicated onto at least 2 separate locations)

What else should I consider?

Thank you.

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2 Answers

it all depends on how precious your data is and how much can you spend on backups. few random thoughts:

  • monitor your backups - make alerting system that notifies you if any of commands during your backup fails [ you can use trap ]
  • verify your backups from time to time - eg restore on a test site every quarter
  • if possible try to keep backups offline or at least use pull method not push [backup host logs into your production server to take backup, not the other way around] - in this way even if your server gets compromised and malicious attacker wipes it out she will be unable to delete your backups.
  • keep your backups secure... ideally - i'd have host not accessible from the internet [eg computer behind firewall or nat or both] initiate all backup procedure pulling all your data, file system level encryption like truecrypt for the backups host does not hurt either
  • keep few past backups - you can compress full dumps into separate archives and rotate them eg monthly or take advantage of tool like rdiff-backup. in case you screw something up and notice it only after few days it can be a life saver.
  • how busy your site is? if there are plenty of updates/inserts to the sql - consider having mysql replication slave with binary logging of all master queries turned on it. in this way you will be able to restore [at least the sql content] up to the moment before crash.
  • check if backups affect badly performance of your site, if needed use some throttling [ionice, rate limit for rsync or xtrabackup].
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perfect answer +1 –  Lucas Kauffman May 14 '12 at 6:21
    
Kudos for mentioning Percona Xtrabackup, which is a much better tool than mysqldump. –  Martijn Heemels May 14 '12 at 18:25
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The only thing I can add to pQd's answer: Keep off-site backups. If Hetzner ever goes down or bankrupt, you'll be happy you have them.

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