Snapshot Backups for Multi-DB

I have a few questions regarding Multi-DB installed with Snapshot Pro (and WPMUDEV's cloud), as well as one general backup question.

1. Will Snapshot Pro backup all 256 databases to the WPMUDEV cloud (or any destination)?
2. When running the manual backup, can I navigate away from the screen?

I looked at my recent cPanel backup for a multisite. When I extracted the sql file from the tar.gz file, it doesn't look like it's backing up all of the databases. I went into WHM > phpMyAdmin and Exported all of the databases. It amounted to approx 200MB. The cPanel sql file was approx 100 MB, the same size of the first database in the series (i.e. the original database). Thus, it didn't include wp_global or any of the 255 other databases that contain user data.

3. How can I ensure all databases are being backed up in cPanel without having to do it manually each day/week?
4. I saw someone from WPMUDEV reference a script you use to back up your databases, but it isn't GNU or GPL. Is there a script on the market that will automate backing up all of the databases?

Thanks,
Chris

  • Nithin

    Hi Chris,

    Hope you are doing good today. :slight_smile:

    1. Will Snapshot Pro backup all 256 databases to the WPMUDEV cloud (or any destination)?

    In a multisite environment, at the moment, only Managed backup to our cloud will backup your entire multisite. Other than that, you'll have to perform Snapshot for each subsite.

    You can select the subsite, as shown in the given screenshot, under Snapshots > Add New:

    2. When running the manual backup, can I navigate away from the screen?

    At the moment, I'm afraid you cannot navigate away from the screen, you'll have to open a new tab, and work on your dashboard. You can enable scheduled backup, so that once a full backup is done, the system would automatically perform a scheduled backup.

    3. How can I ensure all databases are being backed up in cPanel without having to do it manually each day/week?

    As mentioned above, I'm afraid, you'll have to perform backup for each snapshot. At the moment, the plugin doesn't perform a full Snapshot of a multisite, other than Managed backups.

    4. I saw someone from WPMUDEV reference a script you use to back up your databases, but it isn't GNU or GPL. Is there a script on the market that will automate backing up all of the databases?

    All our plugins are GNU GPL compatible. Could you please point out the thread where it's mentioned, so that I could check, and see what we are missing out. At the moment, there isn't any script available for automating all backups, you'll have to make use of Managed backups.

    Please let us know if you still need any further assistance. Have a nice day. :wink:

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

  • Nithin

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for providing the thread link, it seems like one of the member is talking about their own script. There isn't any PHP script provided by WPMU DEV to perform any such automation. Since that thread is dated back to 2009, I'm not sure whether the solutions offered in that thread would work with latest version of Snapshot.

    If you are considering custom development, you could check our Jobs & Pros section to get this done.

    Kind Regards,
    Nithin

  • Chris

    Could someone provide input / best practices on back ups (esp with a Multi-DB network)?

    Here's my Setup:
    Manage Cloud VPS w/ WHM / cPanel. All backups are currently conducted through WHM and stored to Amazon S3. Since two cPanel accounts in my hosting account are pretty large (5-10 GB), my sites slow down too much during the backup process.

    I am considering changing my backup strategy to only backing up the database daily through WHM. This will ensure that I can capture the entire database (necessary for Multi-DB), not just the per account db. I will store these locally since they are not too big and if I need them, they offer quick access w/ Restore option.

    Then, I'll use cPanel and/or SnapShot to perform file/upload backups to Amazon / WPMUDEV every day, every other day, weekly, or monthly depending upon the account.

    The problem I'm running into is I'm unable to enable cPanel backups. I've contacted my hosting company about this. Since I don't have access, I'm not sure if breaking up the backup process across cPanel, WHM, and Snapshot will give me the flexibility to schedule what/when for each account, while providing security and ease of restore if needed?

    UPDATE - Hosting provider said there's no difference btw cPanel and WHM backup systems. In other words, I won't be able to enable backup in each cPanel to gain more flexibility. Does that make sense?

    I'm looking for guidance on best practices, and if the above strategy makes sense, or if you can shoot any holes in it. What am I missing, or how should I proceed?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Chris,

    I hope you're well and don't mind my jumping in.

    The strategy you described seem legit. I believe that the "low level" backup would be the best solution here in case where you have so many database to be archived. The cPanel and WHM backups systems indeed may not differ mostly because cPanel is a "customer-end" solution and WHM is "manager" solution. I mean that these two are from the same company and are could be considered as just two interfaces (with different access and features) of the same tool, kind of :slight_smile:

    Therefore, you can actually use either cPanel or WHM and this wouldn't make any difference. That's a choice only of whatever you prefer (e.g. which one of these two is more convenient for you).

    As for Snapshot Pro. The Multi-DB plugin is decommissioned (actually a long ago) and no longer developed. It's not taken into account in any development processes of our plugins and Snapshot Pro is not compatible with it. Personally, I have never tried to use it with Multi-DB so I cannot say for sure that it won't work but it's not created with Multi-DB in mind and I expect that some unexpected issues may occur.

    If it comes to databases' backup there's one other solution that I think of. It wouldn't be based on WordPress and wouldn't "engage" your server much so it may be actually quite reliable and not much "resource hungry". It's a small independed PHP script that you could set on your server and hook to server cron. It's capable of backing up multiple databases and uploading them to an FTP destination or even sending over e-mail. It's simple but may be quite a nice little tool for you. Take a look here:

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/phpmybackup/

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Chris

    Adam Czajczyk - Thanks for your input and recommending phpmybackup. Here are the options I am working with:

    > phpMyBackup - databases backups
    > SnapShot - a) Full backup of non-Multi-DB sites; b) files or database only
    > Softaculous - database backups
    > WHM - a) Full back up; b) files only, or c) database only. All of these are inflexible b/c they must be used across all accounts/sites.

    "Back ups" are only half of the equation. My other concern is "Restore". 1. Which of these are easiest to restore for a multisite using Multi-DB, esp when taking into account different scenarios?

    > Help! I got hacked!
    > Pressed the wrong key and db became corrupted
    > User deletes files and lost copies - needs restore of uploads
    > Plugin data / settings

    I'm looking at multiple backup/restore options for more than just redundancy, but to ensure I can restore quickly when needed for different scenarios. I want to avoid needing to download a 5-10G tar.gz file from Amazon S3 in order to replace a few files or db tables. For the novice user (like myself) who created complicated platforms beyond our own capabilities (i.e. Multi-DB), making the "Restore" step as easy as possible is important.

    I saw you wrote that Snapshot isn't being developed with Multi-DB in mind anymore.
    2. Is it possible to backup and restore subdomain sites on a multisite with Multi-DB platform using Snapshot? I didn't include this in my options above. I'm not sure if it's possible.
    3. Should I only use the Snapshot option with multisites that do NOT use Multi-DB?

    4. How would you use the backup/restore options above to back up a 10 GB multisite + Multi-DB platform with many users creating sub-domain and mapped domain sites, and do it in a way that allows for quick and easy restoration for multiple scenarios when a site might break?

    Clarification on which options are best for restoring different types of sites under different scenarios would be a great help.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Chris!

    > phpMyBackup - databases backups
    > SnapShot - a) Full backup of non-Multi-DB sites; b) files or database only
    > Softaculous - database backups
    > WHM - a) Full back up; b) files only, or c) database only. All of these are inflexible b/c they must be used across all accounts/sites.

    Yes, this is a lot of options here but I'd say that the "golden rule" is "the more backup, the better" :slight_smile: I don't see how these could be "interfering" or "conflicting" so this is a good think.

    I'm not quite familiar with Softaculous tools so I'll let myself skip that but personally I'd go with this:
    - Snapshot for full backups of non-Multi-DB sites (easy to restore)
    - plus WHM for full backups (easy to restore) of all sites, adds redundancy
    - plus script like phpMyBackup or similar for yet additional redundancy of DB backups (all databases, regardless whether for Muilti-DB sites or not)
    - plus some additional tool for file backups only;

    Personally, I use CobianBackup for Win program to keep "off site" backups of my sites. It's running in background on my laptop and puts backup archives to an external drive and network drive. I use it in addition to Snapshot Managed Backups. However, you would need to consider that it may be much slower than "server side" kind of software because it needs to download files, compress them and transfer to either some network drive or to FTP location. In case of many/large sites this may be good for eg. weekly backups.

    As for restore.

    These two scenarios are very similar in my opinion: "Pressed the wrong key and db became corrupted", "> Plugin data / settings".

    Usually only a part of database (some tables) need to be restored but equally often it's just easier and faster to restore entire database. Snapshot would let you select whether you wish to restore everything from full backup or just database or even selected tables. WHM would let you restore entire database and the same goes to the script that I suggested. It's a "few clicks" process and is pretty much the same. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you are restoring from the most recent copy so if backup tools doesn't work "in sync" (and they don't) it's better to check which archive is the newest one.

    The "I got hacked" scenario: that'd be a full restore - database(s) and files so that leaves us with Snapshot and WHM depending on the site.

    The " User deletes files and lost copies - needs restore of uploads". This may be "tricky" one because you would need to find out whether only the files were deleted or related database data as well. In first case: Snapshot, WHM and optional "off site" tool keeps copies of files. Snapshot will let you restore these files from full backup, I think WHM will too. Another (e.g. "off site") tool - that depends on the tool. In case of aforementioned CobianBackup I would need to unpack zip archive and upload missing files from it to the site via FTP.

    If that's both: files and database - Snapshot and WHM would let you restore them.

    All in all, I think with all that tools you can create really reliable and fully automated backup. As for restoring, this is always an individual case and having all that tools running you should be able to restore site to expected state pretty much always.

    Best regards,
    Adam

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