Remote Scheduled Backup questions

Hi,

We run a multisite and I have recently setup your awesome plugin. Now I have some questions:

1.) What is the difference between a snapshot and a scheduled backup?
2.) My scheduled backup is being saved to the local server, I need to save it to the FTP site I have specified. How or where do I setup the destination for these backups?

  • Milan

    Hello Gary ,

    Hope you are well today and thanks for asking us. :slight_smile:

    #1) Scheduled backups are snapshots which will be taken for your site periodically. Actually you can specify period of time when creating new scheduled backups like shown in this image. :slight_smile:

    As you see in above screenshot, there are options which you can set as backup intervals. Based on specified backup interval, Snapshot Pro will run backup process ( scheduled backups ) and create snapshots.

    #2) First you need to setup FTP/sFTP destination for your snapshots. You could do that from Snapshot > Destinations > FTP/sFTP > Add New. Once you do that, please select it as snapshot destination when you create new snapshot. See this screenshot.

    Hope this helps. :slight_smile:
    Best Regards,
    Milan

  • Gary

    Hi

    Thanx for the comprehensive answer - unfortunately I am still confused, bear with me :disappointed:

    The reason I am confused is that my snapshot is only around (139Mb), while the backup under Managed backups is 911Mb - which seems like a more complete backup to me.

    Now my question hasn't quite been answered, why is my backup under Managed Backups on the local drive? When I clicked the "Backup Now" preceding this 911Mb backup, there was no option to specify the destination?

    I have specified an FTP location in the Snapshot > Destination area, and it's working fine for Snapshots (139Mb) but it's not being used for the managed backups and I still don't understand why there are two different areas in Snapshot? We have "All Snapshots" and "Managed Backups"?

    Please explain the difference.

    Thanx!

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Gary!

    I can understand your confusion here so let me shed some more light on the Snapshot Pro plugin and the backups' "logic" behind it :slight_smile:

    There are two backup tools in Snapshot Pro: "Managed Backups" and "Snapshots". Both of them are there to create backups of your site but the principle (and the way they work) is quite different and are separate tools.

    Managed Backups

    It's a scheduled and fully automated system that keeps backup copies in the cloud. First the plugin creates a temporary .zip archive of your site (files and database; encrypted) on your server and then sends it to our cloud where it's hosted. There's up to 10GB space for your backups available. The backup file is not hosted on your local server (except initial zip archive but that's temporary) and there's no option to specify where should it go. We provide storage and we care for its safety.

    All you need to do is to specify the schedule. Additionally you may trigger that same backup manually "Backup now" button) in addition to scheduled backups. That however doesn't change anything except that it creates an additional backup in addition to scheduled ones. All the workflow is exactly the same.

    Snapshots

    This is the another type of backup supported by Snapshot Pro plugin and it can be used instead or along "Managed Backups". With "snapshots" you've got a lot more control over what is backed up and where the backup is stored. There's also no limitation on backup storage space because it's only up to you were you store backups.

    These "snapshots" are created pretty much the same way as "managed backups" but:
    - they are stored on your local server (you may specify how many copies of each snapshot - backup task- you would like to keep locally)
    - in addition to this they can be send to an "outside" destination that you define such as e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, Amazon S3 cloud etc.
    - you can also specify which parts of your setup would you like to backup: some or all files only, some tables of the database or all etc (while "Managed Backups" grab your entire site always).

    I hope that explains a bit better how the Snapshot works and what's the difference between "snapshots" and "managed backups". Let me then address your questions directly :slight_smile:

    The reason I am confused is that my snapshot is only around (139Mb), while the backup under Managed backups is 911Mb - which seems like a more complete backup to me.

    Managed backup is of your entire site. The snapshot that you created in this case most likely doesn't include all the "components" of your site. When you edit snapshot settings, see the "What files to archive" and "What Tables to Archive" sections (marked red on a screenshot below). This is where you select which parts of your setup should be backed up. Please note: this is the setting for that current snapshot that you are editing and they do not affect settings of "Managed Backups" (which is a separate tool).

    Now my question hasn't quite been answered, why is my backup under Managed Backups on the local drive? When I clicked the "Backup Now" preceding this 911Mb backup, there was no option to specify the destination?

    The "Managed Backups" feature doesn't let you specify any destination and doesn't keep backup on your local drive. The entire backup is created on your server and then pushed to our cloud storage.

    I have specified an FTP location in the Snapshot > Destination area, and it's working fine for Snapshots (139Mb) but it's not being used for the managed backups and I still don't understand why there are two different areas in Snapshot? We have "All Snapshots" and "Managed Backups"?

    Please see my answers above. These are two separate tools and you can either use one of them or both of them at once. If you use both they'll work independently. So, you could say that the "Snapshot Pro" is kind of a "2 in 1" backup plugin :slight_smile:

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions let me know please.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Gary

    HI Adam,

    Ok so it's clear there are two tools, and both effectively do the same job.

    I have to backup files to my clients external FTP - so Snapshots is likely the tool I must use.

    I'm still confused though, about why I only have 139Mb of data. I did select ALL file, ALL tables etc. What else could I have selected?

    Also, am I supposed to add each multisite separately? If so how does that affect my backup strategy? My client wants me to assure them that if my server had to blow up, I can recover ALL FOUR sites.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Gary!

    I have to backup files to my clients external FTP - so Snapshots is likely the tool I must use.

    Yes, the Snapshot would be the way to go in that case.

    I'm still confused though, about why I only have 139Mb of data. I did select ALL file, ALL tables etc. What else could I have selected?

    Also, am I supposed to add each multisite separately? If so how does that affect my backup strategy? My client wants me to assure them that if my server had to blow up, I can recover ALL FOUR sites.

    Actually yes, your diagnose is exactly right. I wasn't aware that you are running Snapshot on a Multisite install first. In case of a regular single install, there wouldn't be much difference however on Multisite:

    - the "Managed Backup" tool creates a full backup of entire network
    - the "Snapshot" creates backup of a specified (sub)site

    Therefore, if you need to push backup to the FTP, you will want to use the "Snapshot" tool. If you want to make sure that entire Multisite is backed up that way you will want to setup snapshots for each of the sites in the network separately withing the plugin and set them all to be pushed to an FTP destination (though it can be the same destination of course).

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Gary

    Hi

    Thanx for the clarity, the picture is getting clearer now.

    So Scheduled Backups is the way to go, setup separately on each site, according to the desired schedule. Effectively, we will have 4 backups for 4 sites.

    My only concern is, where does this kind of setup leave us should our server bomb completely. Meaning, in the event of a restore, how would we go about restoring 4 sites to one multisite?

  • Dimitris

    Hey there Gary,

    hope you're doing good and don't mind me chiming in! :slight_smile:

    While the "Managed Backups" can backup your whole multisite installation and even provide you a restoration script via your Hub

    the normal Snapshots should be used "manually", meaning that you should build your multisite installation again (install WordPress and setup the subsites), then you can restore them one-by-one as described in Snapshot's usage page here https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/snapshot/#product-usage under the "Where Are My Snapshots? Can I Restore Them?" section.

    In order to be extra sure about this, I'd propose you to enable both, normal Snapshot per subsite uploading in another server through SFTP and Managed Backups in order to have the whole MU installation backed-up here in your WPMUDEV account. :slight_smile:

    Take care,
    Dimitris

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