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Backup CentOS production server

Posted on 2013-01-08
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Last Modified: 2013-01-23
What is an appropriate way to make backups of a production server running CentOS?

The server is essentially a web host - it runs cPanel WHM, it has Apache, MySQL, Exim Mail and a handful of other services running on it. There is some special configuration done in cPanel for some of the user's web spaces (some of them have their permissions tweaked so they can talk to each other).

All we have in place right now is automysqlbackup for the databases... which isn't much.

Ideally we'd like to be able to restore on a file-by-file basis, but also we need a disaster recovery strategy to restore if the entire server goes down (e.g. the RAID array fails, datacenter goes down or something else disasterous happens)

It would be really nice to have the ability to "roll back" the production server a few hours in the event that we accidentally break it somehow (for example, upgrade cPanel and the upgrade fails, now we need to roll back somehow).

Since it is a production server... there obviously can be zero downtime but we can handle a bit of performance degradation in the middle of the night.

What's a good way to accomplish this?
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Question by:Frosty555
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Aaron Tomosky earned 2000 total points
ID: 38759314
I use a more complex version of this:
http://bnsmb.de/solaris/How%20to%20use%20ZFS%20and%20rsync%20to%20create%20a%20backup%20solution%20with%20versioning.html
By running a zfs storage you get snapshots. So all you do is periodically use rsync, then make a snapshot and there is your versioning. While building a small zfs box is outside the scope of the question, I'd be happy to get into It more if you want. Start with zfsguru.com
Easy enough to get started and stable enough for large production systems.
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by:Sikhumbuzo Ntsada
ID: 38766085
Also get a test box and test drive Symantec System Recovery Linux Edition.

I use it for Windows - I have not tested it on Linux yet, next week maybe when I get a chance.
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by:Frosty555
ID: 38811506
ZFS seems like the way to go. I'm not sure if this is feasable for us at this point because the server is already live and I don't know if we can take it down for long enough to change the filesystem around... but good advice.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 38811872
The whole rsync/zfs snapshots is a new way of looking at backups. I for one have gone forward and only use traditional backup software for workstations, and even that can be changed when I have time.
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