At Cloud-A, we have opted to allow our users to design their own backup strategies for their Cloud-A VMs, using whatever backup solution our users are comfortable with, since backups are not a one-size fits all solution. Application servers, database servers and file servers all have different uptime requirements, durability, and loss acceptance. With that said, we quite often get asked what backup software we see used most often on our Cloud through interactions with our users. Here is a list of backup software tried and tested by our users to help you decide on the best backup strategy for your Cloud-A stacks.
Image based backups + File based backups
We recommend using a combination of image based backups and file based backups for optimal data protection. VM snapshots can be used to take a point in time instances of your VMs, so that you have a system recovery point to bring your files back online. Keep in mind that we do not recommend using snapshots as a sole backup solution. The snapshotting technology used by Cloud-A was designed for configuration management, providing the ability to rapidly deploy new instances based on existing instances or recovering a base configuration of a lost server. This differs from the snapshotting technology offered by vendors like VMware which are used sometimes as a backup tool. One benefit of Cloud-A’s open platform is that users can download their snapshots as an additional disaster recovery measure.
We believe that backup frequency is directly related to an organization’s tolerance for data loss and/or downtime, and as such, backup frequency should be decided accordingly. Keep in mind when using snapshots as image recovery points that the snapshotting process does temporarily pause an instance.
Leverage Bulk Storage when possible
Cloud-A Bulk Storage provides a cost effective, reliable and scalable storage medium for Cloud-A VM backups. In fact, your snapshots are stored on this cluster. Bulk Storage runs on a system that is independent from the rest of Cloud-A’s infrastructure, which reduces risk. Since Bulk Storage is powered by OpenStack Swift, it supports container syncing, where all the contents of a container can be mirrored to another container either within the same cluster or in completely different cluster on-premises or in another public cloud. This feature is a step towards providing greater availability and durability with geographically distinct replicas.
Backup Solutions & Methods
More than anything, we want to provide our users with the information to make their own, informed decisions on backup strategies. We recommend testing out all backup solutions prior to deploying any new technology in to production. Consider the following a list of options for backing up your Cloud-A stacks.
Duplicity (Linux or Windows)
Duplicity is an open source file level backup software that can backup your data to Cloud-A Bulk Storage. According to Duplicity’s website: Duplicity backs directories by producing encrypted tar-format volumes and uploading them to a remote or local file server. Because duplicity uses librsync, the incremental archives are space efficient and only record the parts of files that have changed since the last backup. Because duplicity uses GnuPG to encrypt and/or sign these archives, they will be safe from spying and/or modification by the server.
The duplicity package also includes the rdiffdir utility. Rdiffdir is an extension of librsync’srdiff to directories—it can be used to produce signatures and deltas of directories as well as regular files. These signatures and deltas are in GNU tar format.
We have seen many of our customers successfully deploy duplicity to backup their Cloud-A environments to Bulk Storage.
CloudBerry Backup Server Edition (Windows)
We have seen a lot of success with Cloud-A Windows users using CloudBerry Backup Server Edition to backup their Cloud-A VMs to Bulk Storage. CloudBerry Backup automates encrypted and compressed data cloud backup. The software features a user-friendly interface allowing data backup or restoration in a few simple steps.
Cloud 66 Backups (Linux, Docker containers)
We have several users who use Cloud 66 to automate the deployment and management of their applications on Cloud-A. One of the features of this platform is automated backups. Cloud 66 makes it easy for you to run and restore your database backups, but you can also manage them yourself. This includes downloading the backup, unzipping it, moving it to another server and restoring it.
We have had some success internally testing out UpdraftPlus Backup / Restore / Clone plugin for WordPress. UpdraftPlus brings reliable, easy-to-use backups, restores and site copies (clones/migrations) to your WordPress site and allows you to backup of the data to Bulk Storage.
We are dedicated to keeping our users in the loop on the changes and advancements in the cloud ecosystem. Stay tuned for updates to this post as we uncover and test new backup solutions.