Managed Backup size doesn't match snapshot size

Snapshot local backup are around 125MB but doing Managed Backup, it says 1GB both from Hub > Backup and on the site.
Note, local snapshot is a full backup.

  • Adam Czajczyk
    • Support Gorilla

    Hi Nico

    I hope you're well today!

    I checked the "auto...nc.com" site that you granted support access to and I think this is a bit different case.

    As all the sites that are registered with your The Hub are regular single WP installs, this one is a multisite. On a multisite snapshots (Snapshot -> Snapshots" and managed backups (Snapshot -> Managed backup) work in a different way: the Managed Backup is always a full backup of entire Multisite so it includes all the data of all the sites of the network - the main site and all the subsites. The "snapshot" though, this is always a backup of a selected site - so even if you make a "full snapshot", it's a snapshot of a selected site of the Multisite only.

    That can cause really huge differences in backup size.

    However, I think the entire case in general is different. I have downloaded one of the Managed Backups from your Hub to be able to look into it and noticed that what makes it that big is because it's actually backing up other backups.

    A "full backup" in case of "snapshots" would usually copy "common files" which means: wp-config.php, .htaccess, /wp-content/plugins, /wp-content/themes and /wp-content/uploads.

    But the Managed Backup includes "everything it finds on a way". It includes also the "/backup" folder in a root folder of the site install and the /wp-content/updraft/ folder and they both contain multiple zip files (other backups).

    So basically, it's "backing up other backups", so to say. The best course of action, if other backup tools are/were used on site, is to exclude those backups from Snapshot and you can do it by going to

    "Snapshot -> Settings" page

    and listing those "backup folders" in the "Global File Exclusions" section. In this case you would want to add these two lines there:

    /backup
    /wp-content/updraft

    That should take them "out" of the Managed Backup archive, essentially making these backups significantly smaller.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Tony G
    • Mr. LetsFixTheWorld

    I understand the notes by Adam Czajczyk and appreciate the detail. I just came here for the same reason.

    I'm building a new site in the Hosting area. I got a Managed Backup first, and then a normal (local) content Snapshot. What confused me is that even without backing up the backups, the managed backup is much larger than the snapshot. OK, it makes sense that this is truly a Full backup, with WP core and everything else.

    So I think what we're learning is:
    1) To truly restore from a "full" snapshot we need to reinstall WordPress, install the Snapshot plugin, and Then restore from the snapshot.
    1a) However, if the local file system is destroyed then we won't have those snapshots to do that.
    2) So either use the Managed Backup convenience, or backup ourselves to some other disk with Snapshot or another preferred tool. But don't just rely on Snapshots to the local file system. (The more experienced amongst us know that ... but I'm guessing a lot of people in the WPMU DEV target audience do not.)
    3) To do a full restore with a Managed Backup, I'm understanding that we should be able to restore the environment from the Hub.
    3a) But if the site is destroyed and the Snapshot plugin is removed, does the site retain its Managed Backup key? Get a copy just in case.
    3b) If we do need to re-associate a site with the Hub, will it accept a previous key? That field looks to be read-only.
    3c) Don't we need to reinstall WP to a site, and Snapshot, then add our previous key in the Hub, in order to restore from a prior managed backup? If so then why bother to save the core and bloat the volume of limited disk space that we have there? If not, then how else do we restore a site using a Managed backup? We can't associate a site with the Hub if it doesn't have the WPMU DEV plugin installed, and we can't use the Backups item in the Hub menu if the site doesn't already have Snapshots installed.

    My takeaway so far is that it seems like we need an option for normal snapshots to save Everything, including core and the full database, so that we really can do a faster restore. And it seems we could also use an option with Managed backups to avoid saving the core.

    I've noted this elsewhere a couple times, I just wish stuff like this were stated explicitly in plain view in a few places so that we're not in a panic mode when something bad happens. I'll say again, just follow whatever procedure staff there agrees upon for various scenarios and then tell us what you did to recover. How about getting one of your bloggers to do that?

    (And I'll be humbled, embarrassed, and appreciative if that has already been done.) :flushed:

    • Adam Czajczyk
      • Support Gorilla

      Hi Tony G

      When you restore from Managed Backups you got two possible scenarios: either you got a site running that you just need to e.g. "move back in time" or you got site "destroyed". In first case, the "flow" is quite simple: you can simply use restore option directly from site's back-end.

      In the second case, when the site is destroyed, the steps are in fact different: you do not setup a clean site and bother with any keys. Instead you just create a new and empty database on the server, then go to The Hub and download two files form backups' section: the backup file itself and installer. Then you get back to your server where (currently destroyed) site is:

      - first you clean up the entire folder where the site used to be so it was empty
      - then you upload both backup and snpashot-installer.php file there
      - then you run the snapshot-installer.php

      That's pretty much it, it would deploy entire site as it was back-ed up and once deployed, you would get site back. There's no need to install clean WP, install plugins on it or provide any keys.

      As for "normal snpashots". You said "we need an option for normal snapshots to save everything, including core and the full database". It actually can do this, you can configure any snapshot to backup all database tables and all files with that exception that not on a Multisite. I mean:

      - on single install, it will work exactly like this: you can get as full backup as Managed Backup would give you; except for restoration if the site is destroyed you would need to setup a clean WP first and install plugin.

      - on multiiste, it will work slightly different: backups are "per site" so you'd need to have multiple ones; probably the best scenario would be to set one for main site and include all the "network tables" in that and setup other ones including "everything" except for "network tables" for all the sub-sites. Then to restore you'd again have to install a clean multisite, install Snpashot there and then restore the main site first and then all other subsites subsequently.

      But with Managed Backup you would just download two files from The Hub, create clean DB, put those files in an empty folder (where your destroyed site used to be) and run snapshot-installer.php, then wait until deployment is finished. That's the simplest scenario possible, in my opinion :slight_smile:

      Best regards,
      Adam

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