Appies
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Backup Manager

Backup Manager

Have you ever deleted files by mistake? Wrote over a file mistake? We all have done this at one time or another and this is why backups are so important.  The Appies Backup Manager ( File_Management >> Backup Manager ) is a Web based tool for backing up your files on a regular basis.  The backup manager is integrated with the Appies file manager for quick and easy file restoration.

Features

  • You choose backup schedule: 1-7 days a week, any hour of the day that best fits with your development schedule
  • backup all server files including all MySQL files and /virtualhosts data
  • download zipped tar files with one click
  • one click "untar" feature will restore your backup to a separate folder on your server
  • where you can access and restore select files
  • instant file restoration through Appies file manager
  • easily remove untarred files to preserve space on your server

Choosing and Setting your Backup Schedule.

By default, backups are not activated. 

You must first set your backup schedule in your backup manager. This takes seconds to do and is very simple. Begin by selecting the days you want your backup to run.  You can choose one day or more than one day.  Then select the time you want your backup to run.  The backup time uses the server's time zone, not necessarily your local time zone.  Once you select those, click the "adjust backup schedule" button below and your files are set to be backed up.

 Helpful Hint...

Daily backups are not always better than less frequent backups.  For example, if you only develop and edit content once a week, ideally you would want your server backed up after you have completed updating files and have checked your work.  If backups are done too often, you may have backups that contain your incorrect files or the backups may be missing deleted files.

 Technical Note...

Here are some technical notes on the backup process.

  • These backups are considered "level 1" backups.  This means each time a backup is made, your previous backups are completely removed.
  • The "logs" folder and all log files are not included in this backup.  Log files are often extremely large and to most, "not worth" the time and space.
  • Anonymous/public ftp files are not included in the backups
  • POP account data are not included in backups
  • Appies server owners: if you backup your main account, the public_html and public_ftp folders are not included in this backup. Each user on the server is responsible for setting their own backups.

Downloading Your Tar File. A zipped tar file is the UNIX version of a .zip file - it is your data compressed and archived into one neat file. This file can be stored on a Windows server and if you use a tool such as winzip it can be expanded as well.  It is a very good idea to frequently download your latest backup tar file to your local PC.  This will protect you in the rare case of server wide data loss or more common case of hackers.

Once your first backup has been completed, click the download icon in the "Download" column and you will be prompted to save the file to your local disk.  The size of the file is listed in megabytes under the icon so you have an idea how long this file will take to download.

 Technical Note...

Your last backup time shown will not always be exactly the time you have requested.  This is because A) if other users have requested the same backup time you many not be first in line for the backup and B) the time listed is the time your backup was completed, not started.

Restoring your Files. Appies provides a great online file restoration feature that allows you to quickly access your files without downloading any files. You begin by untarring your backup file.  This is done simply by clicking the  icon under the "UnTar" column to the right of the screen. Depending on the size of your tar file, this can take some time so please be patient and do not click the icon multiple times.  General rule is allow one second for each megabyte your zipped tar file is in size. Once the files are untarred, the screen will refresh and you will see a direct link to access these files via your file manager.

 Remember...

There is a difference between your files being untarred and restored.  When your files are untarred we are referring to your backup file being expanded in a separate folder on your server and your live (original) files are left intact.  If a file is restored, it replaces the live file and becomes the new live file.

 Technical Note...

Here are several technical notes about the file restoration process.

  • Via the Appies interface, for safety reasons you can only restore one file at a time.  If you need to restore entire folders or your entire site, shell access is usually the best way to do this.
  • MySQL files, although backed up and part of your tar file, cannot be restored via Appies.  This is due to permissions with MySQL and to prevent possible data corruption of MySQL databases and tables. Restoring MySQL data must be done by a system administrator.
  • Your backup folder is created at /var/www/appiesbackup and can be accessed via the shell or any FTP client as well as Appies.

In your file manager, you will be able to navigate through your backup directory structure.  You will know you are in your backup folder because A) you will not be able to edit folders B) you will not be able to edit files and C) below each file listed will read either "same as original" or have a comparison of the original (live) file and the backup.  To instantly restore any file, click on the "restore file" link benieth the comparison table for that file.

 

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