WPCD.Cloud Product Documentation

Backups

Introduction

Backups in FireupWP is a relatively simple process.  We only offer one option – backup to Amazon S3 (and S3 compatible services).

In order to set up your backups, you will need two (or three) things:

  1. A bucket that has been created on S3 (or your S3 compatible service) to hold your backups and
  2. Amazon S3 (or your S3 compatible service) credentials that can read and write to that bucket.
  3. If you’re using an S3 compatible service you will also need the endpoint URL.

Once you have those two things in hand you can configure your backups in WPCD.Cloud.

Retention Days

Backups have an automatic delete option that purges files after a certain number of days.  On our settings screen this is called Retention Days.

Retention days can apply to the local versions of backups that we keep on the server or to both the local and remote backups.  By default we don’t delete files that have been uploaded to S3.

We suggest you set retention days to somewhere between 3 and 5 and that you do NOT turn on the option to to delete the remote backups.  This allows you to quickly restore a recent backup from files on the local disk while storing additional backups for the longer term in S3.

Managing Your Backup Files On S3

When you look at your backups in your S3 buckets you should see three files for each backup.

  • The largest file is likely a compressed version that has all your domain’s files.
  • The other two files will be your database and your site’s nginx configuration file.

These are not proprietary formats.  You can download them at any time and decompress them using a tool like WinRar on windows.  They can also be decompressed natively on Linux.

Each site you backup to a bucket will be stored in a separate folder.  The folder name will be the site’s domain name.  With this structure it’s easy to use the same bucket for multiple sites without having to dig around for the backup from a particular site.

Configuring Your Backups

You can set up a couple of different scenarios:

  1. You can configure a set of default credentials that you can then apply to each site.
  2. You can configure a set of unique credentials for each site – usually you would do this when you also have a different bucket for each site.
  3. You can do a mix of 1 and 2.

Configure Default Credentials for Each Site

Install a set of default credentials under the settings screen:

  • Go to WPCD.Cloud → Settings.
  • Click on the APP:WordPress – Settings tab.
  • Click on the Backup and Restore tab.
  • Enter your S3 credentials and the bucket name.

Note that this procedure does not actually apply these credentials to your sites and servers.  Instead, you need to go to each server (or site ) and configure backups there that will use these credentials.

Enable Backups for A Site Using The Default Credentials From Global Settings

To enable backups for a site.

  • Go to WPCD.Cloud → WordPress sites.
  • Click on the title of a site to pull up the site details.
  • Click on the Backup & Restore tab.
  • Scroll down to Automatic Backups – This Site Only section.
  • Fill in the retention days – we suggest something between 3 and 5 days to limit the amount of disk space that a backup uses.
  • Click on the Schedule It toggle.

Enable Backups for A Site Using A Unique Set of  Credentials For The Server

  • Go to WPCD.Cloud  → All Cloud Servers.
  • Click on the title of a server to pull up the server details.
  • Click on the Backup tab.
  • Fill in the credentials and bucket name at the top of the page then click the Save Credentials button.

Now setup the site backups as follows:

  • Go to WPCD.Cloud  → WordPress sites.
  • Click on the title of a site to pull up the site details.
  • Scroll down to Automatic Backups – This Site Only section.
  • Fill in the retention days – we suggest something between 3 and 5 days to limit the amount of disk space that a backup uses.
  • Click on the Schedule It toggle.

Enable Backups for All Sites On A Server

To enable backups for all current and future sites on a server:

  • Go to WPCD.Cloud  → All Cloud Servers.
  • Click on the title of a server to pull up the server details.
  • Click on the Backup tab.
  • Fill in the credentials and bucket name at the top of the page then click the Save Credentials button.
    • Tip: You can leave this blank to use the credentials from the global settings screen.
  • Scroll down to AUTOMATIC BACKUPS – ALL CURRENT AND FUTURE SITES ON THIS SERVER section.
  • Click on the Schedule It toggle.

Backup Schedules

You cannot control backup schedules.  We schedule backups to run SEQUENTIALLY in order to avoid over-taxing your server with multiple simultaneous backups.  So we start the backup job at a specific time and then run through all the sites one at a time.

If you really really want to control the start time of the job you can edit its cron manually from the command line.  But you will not be able to control the start time for an individual site – unless you only have a single site on the server.


Controlling Costs on Amazon S3

If you’re worried about the costs of backups on S3, we suggest doing the following to keep the costs as low as possible:

  • Create a life cycle rule on the bucket
  • Set up the life-cycle rule to apply to files that are older than, say, 45 days
  • Configure the rule to move your files to amazon DEEP GLACIER.

Amazon has made creating life cycle rules on buckets very easy on their S3 console.

Deep Glacier fees are $0.00099 per gigabyte.  Note: Deep Glacier and Glacier are two different storage types.  Glacier charges are 0.004  per gigabyte.

After one year you can start purging your files if you like.  But, given the costs it might not be worth the time.  At $0.00099 per gigabyte, 10 terabytes of storage costs $10.00 per month.

Deep Glacier is appropriate for files you will not use on a regular basis.  It is recommended for files that you will use once every six months or so.  Retrieval times for data moved to this storage level is measured in HOURS.  So you don’t want to move your recent backups there.  But after you have accumulated a few weeks of backups you can probably move your older backups there.

What’s the downside?  There are three that should be considered:

  • Amazon expects that you keep your Deep Glacier files for at least six months.  If you delete files before then you will still be charged for at least six months of storage for the deleted files.
  • There is the issue of data retrieval times that we mentioned earlier – it is measured in HOURS – as long as 12 hours.
  • There is a slightly higher chance of a single file being corrupted – hence you should make sure that you always have multiple backups in there.

Best Practices For S3 Credentials

If you use your S3 account for more than just backups, we strongly suggest that you create a unique set of IAM credentials just for WPCD.Cloud Backups.

For even better security, you can create a different set of IAM credentials for each site. Each credential set should have restricted access to just that site’s bucket or folder.  If you do this, you will need to configure backups for each site individually instead of using the option to backup all sites.


S3 Compatible Endpoints

We allow you to enter an alternative S3 endpoint URL.  This allows you to use services such as Backblaze and DigitalOcean instead of AWS S3.  However, if you use these options support will be limited since we’re not experts in all the services that offer S3 endpoints.