This Guide shows you how to get the most out of Rackspace Cloud Backup well and addresses frequently encountered scenarios. Working through this guide, you will better understand the key backup concepts, how to make smart choices about what to backup (and how often), how to make the most of data restoration, and how to resolve the most commonly encountered Cloud Backup issues.
|Best Practice. Look to these when you need to make good backup decisions.|
|Caution. Consider the potential outcomes before you do these actions.|
|Do Not Attempt. These are warnings against possible future trouble.|
Knowing the language of backup goes a long way towards helping you make informed decisions about your backup operations.
Our best guidance is not what to backup, but what not to backup. The three items that should not be backed up through the Cloud Backup Agent:
The Cloud Backup Agent tries to be helpful, and skips the below types of files automatically. You may, however, manually add them to your backup.
These file types either change too rapidly (databases, logs, caches) or don't exist long enough to be backed up (session files). Session files should be avoided entirely. And if the information is valuable to your business, log files should track it. Caches should also be avoided, as their data is meant to be discarded.
If you do need to back up these files, our suggested workarounds are:
|Do not back up session files or caches at all. Don't back up databases or log files directly; use a snapshot instead.|
There are many ways to configure backups and restores. To make Cloud Backup work best for you, it helps to understand some of the tradeoffs you make when you configure the many options available to you.
NOTE: With Performance Cloud Servers, Cloud Monitoring will only monitor the system disk. The data disk is not monitored. For data disk backup, Rackspace Cloud Backup or Cloud Block Storage should be used.
First off, choose your contact email carefully when you configure your backup. If anything goes wrong, you will be alerted there first.
When trying to determine how often to back up a file, there are three variables to consider:
Criticality is the most important factor to consider when making backup decisions. The more critical the file is to your business operations, the more often you'll want to back this file up.
Size is an important consideration if the speed of backups/restores is important to you. Large files take longer to backup and to restore. It may be wise to backup large files less frequently.
Data churn is the last variable to consider, and perhaps the trickiest to handle. Files that change often invalidate blocks that have been stored previously. Depending on criticality, it may still be wise to snapshot files with high data churn and backup those snapshots.
|Back up less often files that have...||Back up more often files that have...|
|Lower Criticality||Higher Criticality|
|High Data Churn||Low Data Churn|
|Larger Size||Smaller Size|
|Do not make decisions about backup frequency lightly. If you try to backup or restore files more frequently than the backup engine can keep up with, anomalous behavior may result.|
It is a good idea to periodically test your restores to make sure that they are working as you expect. You do not want to get in the situation where needed backups aren’t available because you haven't been configured as you expected.
Test your restores periodically to make sure that your data is saved as you expect it to be.
Another point to consider is the restore destination. Restoring to the original location and overwriting saves on storage space, but you risk accidentally overwriting important existing files. Proceed with caution when restoring.
Encryption is important for keeping your data confidential. However, encryption has its costs. It takes significantly longer to backup and restore encrypted data. Consider if the data you are storing must be encrypted. If not, then it is best to proceed without encryption. Encryption applies across the board, and once you encrypt a backup server, you may not remove it.
|Once you've set a server to encrypt data, all backups performed on that server will be encrypted.|
This section is similar to an FAQ. If you encounter a problem and need immediate help, look it up here first. There's a good chance a solution already exists.
To minimize your chances of issues, keep your Backup Agent updated. Many errors and issues are fixed between releases.
Issue—My backups are getting randomly corrupted. Why?
Solution—Ensure the agent on the cloned backup server is re-registered before any backups are run.
Issue—My backup is experiencing network errors.
Solution—Make sure that your backup server has a connection to both Service Net and public net. If it is on an isolated network, the backup agent will not be able to function properly.
Issue—Sometimes, my backups fail.
Solution—Ensure you're running the latest agent release. Then, attempt to determine the cause of the error. Try the backup/restore again if it is an intermittent error. We're always working on making Cloud Backup more robust.
Issue—My backup/restore is slow. What can I do?
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