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      The Linode Backup Service


      Updated by Linode

      Written by Alex Fornuto

      The Linode Backup Service

      The Linode Backup Service is a subscription service add-on that automatically performs daily, weekly, and biweekly backups of your Linode. It’s affordable, easy to use, and provides peace of mind. This guide explains how to enable and schedule your backups, make a manual backup snapshot, restore from a backup, and disable the Backup Service.

      Pricing

      Pricing is per Linode and varies depending upon your Linode’s plan:

      Standard Plans

      Service Backups Hourly Rate Backups Monthly
      Linode 1GB $0.003/hr $2/mo
      Linode 2GB $0.004/hr $2.50/mo
      Linode 4GB $0.008/hr $5/mo
      Linode 8GB $0.016/hr $10/mo
      Linode 16GB $0.03/hr $20/mo
      Linode 32GB $0.06/hr $40/mo
      Linode 64GB $0.12/hr $80/mo
      Linode 96GB $0.18/hr $120/mo
      Linode 128GB $0.24/hr $160/mo
      Linode 192GB $0.36/hr $240/mo

      High Memory Plans

      Service Backups Hourly Rate Backups Monthly
      Linode 24GB $0.0075/hr $5/mo
      Linode 48GB $0.015/hr $10/mo
      Linode 90GB $0.03/hr $20/mo
      Linode 150GB $0.06/hr $40/mo
      Linode 300GB $0.12/hr $80/mo

      Enable the Backup Service

      Use the Linode Cloud Manager to enable the Backup Service on a Linode. Here’s how:

      1. Log in to the Linode Cloud Manager.

      2. From the Linodes page, select the Linode you want to back up.

      3. Click the Backups tab.

        Enable Linode Backups by navigating to to the individual Linode's backup menu.

      4. Click Enable Backups.

      The Linode Backup Service is now enabled for the selected Linode.

      Auto Enroll New Linodes in the Backup Service

      You can automatically enroll all new Linodes in the Backup Service. To do so, click the Account link in the sidebar, then select the Global Settings tab.

      In the Backup Auto Enrollment panel, click on the switch to enable backups on all new Linodes.

      Auto enroll all new Linodes in the Backup Service by navigating to the Global Settings tab in the Account settings and enabling Backups.

      Note

      Enabling this setting does not retroactively enroll any previously created Linodes in the Backup Service.

      Manage Backups

      You’ll manage your backups with a simple web interface in the Linode Cloud Manager. There’s no software to install, and there are no commands to run. Just log in to the Linode Cloud Manager, navigate to the Linodes page by clicking on the link in the sidebar, select a Linode, and then click the Backups tab. The backups interface is shown below.

      The Linode Backup Service interface

      1. A list of available backups. Listed in this view are the date created, the label, how long the backup took to be created, the disks imaged, and the size of the resulting image.

      2. Manually create a backup by taking a manual snapshot. For more information, see the Take a Manual Snapshot section.

      3. Configure backup schedule settings. For more information, see the Schedule Backups section.

      4. Cancel backups. After cancelling your backups you will have to wait 24 hours before you can re-enable them again.

      How Linode Backups Work

      Backups are stored on a separate system in the same data center as your Linode. The space required to store the backups is not subtracted from your storage space. You can store four backups of your Linode, three of which are automatically generated and rotated:

      • Daily backup: Automatically initiated daily within the backup window you select. Less than 24 hours old.
      • Current week’s backup: Automatically initiated weekly within the backup window, on the day you select. Less than 7 days old.
      • Last week’s backup: Automatically initiated weekly within the backup window, on the day you select. Between 8 and 14 days old.
      • Manual Snapshot: A user-initiated snapshot that stays the same until another snapshot is initiated.

      The daily and weekly backups are automatically erased when a new backup is performed. The Linode Backup Service does not keep automated backups older than 8 – 14 days.

      Schedule Backups

      You can configure when automatic backups are initiated. Here’s how:

      1. From the Linodes page, select the Linode.

      2. Click the Backups tab.

      3. Under Settings, select a time interval from the Time of Day menu. The Linode Backup Service will generate all backups between these hours.

      4. Select a day from the Day of Week menu. This is the day whose backup will be promoted to the weekly slot. The back up will be performed within the time period you specified in step 3.

      5. Click Save Changes.

      The Linode Backup Service will backup your Linode according to the schedule you specified.

      Take a Manual Snapshot

      You can make a manual backup of your Linode by taking a snapshot. Here’s how:

      1. From the Linodes page, select the Linode.

      2. Click the Backups tab.

      3. Under Manual Snapshot, give your snapshot a name and click Take Snapshot.

        Note

        Taking a new snapshot will overwrite a previously saved snapshot.

      The Linode Backup Service initiates the manual snapshot. Creating the manual snapshot can take several minutes, depending on the size of your Linode and the amount of data you have stored on it. Other Linode Cloud Manager jobs for this Linode will not run until the snapshot job has been completed.

      Restore from a Backup

      This section shows how to restore a backup to a new Linode, or to an existing Linode.

      Restoring a backup will create a new configuration profile and a new set of disks on your Linode. The restore process does not restore single files or directories automatically. Restoring particular files can be done by completing a normal restore, copying the files off of the new disks, and then removing the disks afterward.

      Note

      The size of the disk(s) created by the restore process will only be slightly larger than the total size of the files restored. This means that the disk(s) created will be ‘full’.

      Some applications, like databases, need some amount of free unused space inside the disk in order to run. As a result, you may want to increase your disk(s) size after the restore process is completed.

      To restore a backup to a different data center, first restore to a Linode in the same data center, creating a new one if necessary. Once the restore is complete, use the Clone tab to copy the disk(s) to a Linode in a different data center.

      Restore to a New Linode

      This section covers how to restore a backup to a new Linode that does not have any disks deployed to it. The new Linode will be located in the same data center. If you instead wish to restore your backup to an existing Linode, see the next section.

      1. From the Linodes page, select the Linode whose backups you intend to restore, and then click on the Backups tab. Select the more options ellipsis next to the backup you would like to restore, and click Deploy New Linode.

        Click on the ellipsis menu icon to restore to a new Linode.

      2. You will be taken to the Create New Linode screen. The Create from Backup tab will already be selected for you, as will the fields corresponding to the Linode and backup that you are restoring from. Choose a Linode plan, enter a label for the new Linode, select any other options you prefer, and click Create. The new Linode will be created with the same password and SSH keys (if any) as the original.

        The backup disks and configuration profiles will be restored to the Linode you selected. Watch the notifications area for updates on the process. Restoring from a backup can take several minutes depending on the size of your Linode and the amount of data you have stored on it.

      Restore to an Existing Linode

      You can restore a backup to any Linode located in the same data center, even if the target does not have the Backup Service enabled. To restore a backup to an existing Linode, you will need to make sure that you have enough storage space that is not currently assigned to disk images.

      Note

      If you are attempting to restore a disk to the same Linode the backup was created from, the restoration process will not delete the original disk for you. Manually delete the original disk to make room for the backup, if desired.

      1. From the Linodes page, select the Linode whose backups you intend to restore, and then click on the Backups tab. Observe the size of the backup you would like to restore, which is visible in the Space Required column. You will need at least this amount of unallocated disk space on the target Linode to complete the restore.

      2. Select the more options ellipsis next to the backup you would like to restore, and click Restore to Existing Linode.

        Click on the ellipsis menu icon to restore to an existing Linode.

      3. A menu will open with the Linodes that you can restore to. Select a Linode and click Restore.

        Select the Linode you would like to restore your backup to.

        You will be notified if you do not have enough space on your Linode to restore your backup. Optionally, you can choose to overwrite the Linode you are restoring to.

      4. If the amount of unallocated space available is greater than the size of the backup, you can proceed with restoring. If the amount of unallocated space is less than the size of the backup, you can stop the restoration workflow, resize your existing disks on the target Linode to make room for it, and then come back to the restore page after the disk resize operation has finished.

        Note

        In some cases, you will not be able to shrink your disks enough to fit the restored backup. As an alternative, you can change your Linode’s plan to a higher tier that offers more disk space.
      5. From the Restore to Existing Linode menu, click Restore.

        Your backup will begin restoring to your Linode, and you can monitor its progress in the notifications area. Note that the time it takes to restore your backup will vary depending upon the restore size, and the number of files being restored.

      Boot from a Backup

      After the backup has been restored, the disks and configuration profiles will be available to the destination Linode you selected. Select the restored configuration profile and reboot your Linode to start up from the restored disks:

      1. From the Linodes page, select the Linode that you restored the backup to. Navigate to the Settings tab and open the Advanced Configurations panel.

      2. Select the more options ellipsis next to the configuration profile that was restored and select Boot This Config.

        Navigate to the Advanced Configurations section of your Linode's Settings tab.

      The Linode will start from the backup disks. Monitor the notifications area for progress.

      Cancel the Backup Service

      You can cancel the Backup Service at any time. From your Linode’s details page, choose the Backups tab and click the Cancel Backups link at the bottom of the page. Cancelling the service will remove your saved backups from the Linode platform.

      Limitations

      There are some limitations to what the Linode Backup Service can back up. Here are some things you should be aware of:

      • The Backup Service must be able to mount your disks. If you’ve created partitions, configured full disk encryption, or made other changes that prevent us from mounting the disk as a filesystem, you will likely not be able to use the Linode Backup Service. The backup system operates at the file level, not at the block level.
      • Because the Backup Service is file-based, the number of files stored on disk will impact both the time it takes for backups and restores to complete, and your ability to successfully take and restore backups. Customers who need to permanently store a large number of files may want to archive bundles of smaller files into a single file, or consider other backup services.

        Note

        The percentage of customers who may run into this limitation is low. If you are not sure if this limitation applies to you, please contact Linode Support.
      • Backups taken of ext4 or ext3 filesystems will be restored as ext4. Backups taken of other mountable filesystem types will have their contents restored using ext4.

      • Files that have been modified but have the same size and modify time will not be considered “changed” during a subsequent backup. ACLs and extended attributes are not tracked.

      • The Backup Service uses a snapshot of your disks to take consistent backups while your Linode is running. This method is very reliable, but can fail to properly back up the data files for database services like MySQL. If the snapshot occurs during a transaction, the database’s files may be backed up in an unclean state. We recommend scheduling routine dumps of your database to a file on the filesystem. The resulting file will then be backed up, allowing you to restore the contents of the database if you need to restore from a backup.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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