Backup solutions for CentOS 7


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Apr 18, 2021
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Good day to you all, hope all of you are safe with what is going on.

I have a few VPS servers using C Panel and CentOS 7. I use for my personal businesses and a few friends’ websites and such.

The host is OVH in Canada and their auto backup or snapshot system use to be good, but when they changed their VPS packages recently, their auto backup system starting to have major issues working well with C panel. Because of that, I am looking for other ways I can back up the complete server if possible. Before, OVH hosting had a system where if the server did not reboot or had issues, I could restore it from up to 14 days before which would reinstall the complete server just like it was when the backup was done and I would not have to do any extra set up or anything as the CentOS 7 was up once again and so was all c panel accounts and such. Now this system does not work like that anymore and even though I have c panel backups which are done, I am in need to have some type of backup for complete server just in case I cannot load it after an update or it crashes and if that happens, I won’t be able to get my backups in c panel either. Sorry for the long description :)

I have some server experience, but I am in no way an expert. If anyone can help me find a simple solution to taking a backup auto or even manually a few times per week on another CentOS 7 server or external drive or some type of cloud system where I can restore if I really need to.

The ideal solution would be to back up the server one or two times per week, and I can manually do this if I need to if no auto system is not available. I have downloaded the sites via c panel, but if server fails, I will need to re install c panel and set up server before I could even think of restoring websites. If there is a way to just backup/restore complete server that would be the best bet.

Thank you all for your help and please again have patience as I am not the most experienced with server management and I am learning all the time.

There's rsync:
It's great for backing up data and so robust you could hypothethetically backup your running system:
Theoretically (as is I've never done this myself), if you wanted, you could probably use rsync on your entire system by running as root and rsync'ing / with link preservation, while excluding dirs like /tmp /dev and so on. You'd just rsync machine --> backup every X number of times per week and if you needed to roll back you'd rsync backup --> machine while ignoring modification times.
Best of all is that rsync is portable and independent and was designed with remote backups in mind. I use it for backing up all my machines' data to a central backup drive. I don't know about UI integration, it runs from the console. I suggest you write a wrapper script, though, that way you avoid complexities of parameters each use and you can make easy changes as your requirements change.

You could automate backups with a crontab job.

There's full disk/partition cloning, too, but that'll take hours each backup and can be a messy restore if not careful.

I've never used CentOS, but, IIRC, there is a rollback feature built in. I use Debian, which supports booting into a recovery mode.

As for your remote backup service, you're at their mercy for the most part. But if you simply got/bought/rented cloud storage or used a local external hdd, or even a cheap local server with some HDDs and a Pi board, you could easily use rsync.
OVH is usually pretty good. Have you contacted them to let them know that the system isn't working well with cPanel accounts?
I have like 5 tickets Open due to this issue. The first 3 servers I created had no issues and are still doing auto backups each day for 14 days. Then they changed their packages and VPS servers and now every single time I create a VPS server and add auto backups to it, it crashes exactly 24 hours later when then backup gets done. I have to get them to enable it again as I have no control even with SSH and this takes days as their support is the worse unless you pay extra for priority support which again is new.
from one of those tickets:

The automated backup qemu agent needs to be installed and updated as often as possible.
However, there are certain applications that are not fully compatible and that's when you may experience an issue similar to what you experienced. So far cPanel and one of its older versions are not compatible.

Here is an article about it
That's unfortunate. OVH used to be pretty solid.

The rsync solution may be about the best.
Yeah the support is the worst I have ever seen compared to what it use to be, you cannot even call them anymore unless you pay extra for support, ALL support tickets, even billing and sales all ticket system.

Say for someone that is not the best when it comes to linux, how hard would it be to use RSYNC to take backups of servers and add to a backup solution like another system, say another server with a lot of space. I know there is a GUI for this, but I am not sure if that would work on a remote server to backup to another remote server.
Probably not that hard. The rsync command is pretty straight forward.

There are also other solutions. Try a search for 'backup linux vps' and there will be a ton of results.
thank you for all your help! I am going to take a refresher coure in Linux as its been a few years since I went to college on this and hopefully can get some updated info on the latest commands and technology including backups.
I use borgbackup to backup files on my VPSes, it supports compression and encryption and some other features.
what about databases and restoration?
You can just create a backup location on your filesystem for database dumps. Then create a cronjob to automatically create the dumps and then have them backed up by the backup tool of your choice, ideally you just create a script that that does that and have it delete files older than x days.

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