27Oct/160

Data loss and how to avoid it

A typical situation: You have been on vacation and have made a lot of great photos which you want to upload to your server in order to share them with your friends and your family. Especially the photo where you were diving with the great white shark. So you uploaded them to your server and after that the photos were deleted from the SD card because you need free space for the next travel. Just working on an update to your website in a hurry, a quick "rm -rf" in the wrong directory and the photo gallery is gone. Annoying!

This is a situation that can occur but the data does not have to be lost. In general, the customer is responsible for a backup and we want to show you how to approach the perfect backup system.

But what is a backup?

With a backup you are creating a copy of your data to be stored on an external storage device. This storage device should be independent of your server, so it could be a hard disk on your local computer, a USB stick or our FTP backup storage.

Different backup types

  1. Full Backup: As the name already indicates the full backup is a complete copy of your data. The advantage here is that all data is complete, but you need a lot of disk space to store your data. If you only perform full backups the available space at your data storage medium will shrink very fast.
  2. Differential Backup: Before performing a differential backup you need a full backup as a differential backup contains only data which has changed or is newly created in comparison to the full backup. Therefore, it is faster but you are also saving data which is already saved in previous differential backups because you save all data that differs from the last full backup.
  3. Incremental Backup: Similar to the differential backup you have to perform a full backup. But instead of always saving all changes that differ from the latest full backup, only the data being changed after the previous incremental backup gets backed up. The only disadvantage is, that if you want to restore that data you need the last full backup and all incremental backups in order to restore to the latest data.

Where to save the backup files

We offer an FTP backup storage, available with various storage space options. If you are interested in this offer, please contact us: support@contabo.com
You can access the backup storage via FTP and FTPS. With support for these protocols it is perfect for file storage. The way to access our backup space is already described here: https://contabo.com/?show=tutorials&tutorial=backup-space.

"I do not need a backup, my server is secured by a RAID system."

CAUTION! A RAID does not replace the creation of backups! A RAID should indeed provide redundancy. If more than one drive fails at the same time or your data is deleted because of an attack from outside or a similar event, a RAID will not help saving the situation. We have read this sentence above numerous times and with our experience we can say, that customers who think that their data is secure because they have a RAID system are very disappointed, if a situation as described occurs. A RAID is very effective to avoid downtime because of a defective HDD and to prevent the need for laborious data restoration.

Nevertheless the mentioned redundancy is not the same as a backup.

"I have an SSD VPS. Because of the snapshot feature I do not have to worry about backups."

Since we have been offering our VPS SSD products with the snapshot feature we have heard this sentence very often. But it is the same as with a RAID. Snapshots are not backups!

What are snapshots good for?

A snapshot freezes the current state of the file system which still points to the same "physical" storage. Snapshots are perfect for "Let's do it and see what happens..." type of situations. If the change does not work you can go back to the state before you have started your work.
So is it a backup? No! Snapshots depend on the VPS and on the host server system the VPS is located on. As already described before, the backup has to be saved to an external location, e.g. our FTP backup storage.

How to create a backup?

All important data has to be saved. Normally you know where this data is located. To store all necessary data an automatic backup routine is the perfect choice.

Using a Linux based OS we recommend to create script which creates a tar.gz file of the data that should be saved and after that, automatically transfers it to the backup storage and also deletes older backups. As this should be done periodically you can use a cron job. If you use a Windows OS you can create a powershell script to do the same steps likewise.

Please note that it does not matter if you use Linux or Windows. You have to know what you are doing as the backup is the only way to restore your data if you are facing an issue with your server.

Of course we always try to support you if you have any questions regarding your backup solution: support@contabo.com.

The last step: Securing your backup

Security of private data gets more and more important. Encryption of the backup files is therefore recommended.

Using a Linux OS you can use tools like gpg to do so. Please find a very good tutorial below:
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-how-to-encrypt-and-decrypt-files-with-a-password.html

If you are a windows user we recommend using Veracrypt:
https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Beginner%27s%20Tutorial

Posted by: Matthias | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
29Jul/150

How to use the Contabo Backup-Space

Ordering our FTP Backup-Space is always a good choice for saving important data on an external storage.

Using that backup space can be done in many different ways, I will show you some of the most reliable ones.

Please note, that a connection to our backup space can only be established within our datacenter. Therefore, a connection is only possible between your server and the backup server, both are located in our datacenter.

You also need to configure our DNS resolvers, those resolvers are configured as default in any installation - if you changed something and need help setting them up, please contact our support. You can simply test the configuration by using ping on your server: ping backup.contabo.net, if the name is resolved to an IP address, your are using the correct configuration.

Windows:

On our Windows servers you have an graphical user interface (GUI) via RDP, so a third party application such as Filezilla can be used without any annoying configuration steps. In Filezilla you can connect using the information as follows:

Host: backup.contabo.net
Username:
Password:

You should be connected now using encryption and you can transfer all the data you want to save.

winfilezilla

An alternate way is to mount the backup space directly as a network drive.
Open "This PC" where your drives show up and choose "add network location".

Please enter this address:
ftp://<username>:<password>@backup.contabo.net

winftp

winbup

Unfortunately, Windows does not support an implicit FTP encryption, therefore, we highly recommend using some third party FTP client application.

Linux:

On Linux you can either use an FTP client or mount the backup space using some additional software.

Almost any FTP software can be used here, we recommend using lftp which supports encryption via FTP. Depending on your distribution, the necessary package can simply be installed, e.g. by issuing apt-get install lftp .

For the best performance while transferring the data, we recommend creating an archive, e.g.
tar -czf backup.tar.gz /home/File_1 /home/File_2

Now you can conveniently upload your files to the backup space using lftp:

:~# lftp
lftp :~> set ftp:ssl-force true
lftp :~> set ssl:verify-certificate no
lftp :~> connect backup.contabo.net
lftp backup.contabo.net:~> login <Username>
Password:

Since you are now successfully connected to the backup space, create a directory
mkdir backups

and move into.
cd backups

Finally,  you can upload your archive:
put /path_to_file/backup.tar.gz .

Similar to Windows, you can mount the backup space directly into the local file-system structure. On Linux you have several advantages like mounting with encryption. What you need is curlftpfs and some dependencies.

First install those packages from your repository:
apt-get update && apt-get install fuse fuse-utils curlftpfs

Now create a folder where you want to mount your backup space:
mkdir /mnt/ftp

To avoid other users to see your password in the process overview (top, htop, ps, etc.), you need to put the following information into your .netrc file. This file should be located in your users home directory but might has to be created first.

machine backup.contabo.net
login <username>
password <password>

You can now mount the backup space via FTP with the following command:
curlftpfs -o ssl,no_verify_peer backup.contabo.net /mnt/ftp

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
11Jan/130

Upgrades: Reduced prices and new options!

A few days ago, we drastically reduced the prices of our dedicated servers and virtual servers to provide even more powerful hosting solutions at an unbeatable price.

The server upgrades are next in line. During the order process of a new server, our customers can upgrade the basic configuration of the server according to their wishes and requirements using our order configurator: An additional hard disk is required for the server? No problem! This hard disk should complement the one that is equipped by default and should run in a RAID-array including a hardware RAID-controller? One more click and this configuration is saved as well.

These and many other options are now available at an even lower price than before. Besides the possibility to choose the server upgrades during the order process of a new server, all of these improvements are of course also available for existing customers and already installed servers: A short email to support@contabo.com is sufficient and our support team will guide you through all further steps!

Listed below, you can find the upgrades we reduced the prices for:

  • + 400 GB hard disk: Now only 6.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • + 1000 GB hard disk: Now only 7.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • + 2000 GB hard disk: Now only 9.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • + 3000 GB hard disk: Now only 12.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • + Intel X25-M (Postville)-SSD 80 GB: Now only 11.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • + 256 GB SSD (Samsung 830): Now only 19.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • 1 Gbit/s-Port: Now only 39.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • Hardware-RAID 1: Now only 12.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • 100 Mbit/s bandwidth (24/7 guaranteed): Now only 79.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • KVM over IP: Now Now only 29.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • Backup space (available sizes: 50 - 250 - 500 - 1000 GB): Now only 3.99 - 11.99 - 19.99 - 31.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!

Beside that, we offer ready-to-use hard disk packages from now on which are most interesting especially for hosting resellers.
Each package consists of four hard disks of the same size and a hardware RAID-controller which can be configured in a RAID 5 or RAID 10 array according to your requirements.

Especially applications causing concurrent I/O-operations can take advantage of these packages: The hard disks are providing outstanding I/O-performance due to their RAID-configuration and are therefore providing a remarkably good read- and writespeed.
The usage of such compilations results in an enormous performance increase that should not be missed especially on servers that are used for virtualization projects.

And for those who consider this solution as not sufficient yet, we are now offering BBUs (battery units) which can be installed into the RAID-controller. Choosing this upgrade, you can enable the write-cache function on the RAID-controller to achieve an even better I/O-performance.

Listed below, you can find an overview of our speed-optimized hard disk packages:

  • 4 x 1 TB HDD 24/7, RAID 10 or 5: Only 54.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • 4 x 2 TB HDD 24/7, RAID 10 or 5: Only 69.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • 4 x 3 TB HDD 24/7, RAID 10 or 5: Only 84.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!
  • BBU to enable write-cache: Only 29.99 EUR / month. No setup fee!

Our support-team will gladly assist you if you have any requests regarding server upgrades or any other product!

21Dec/120

♡ ★ ♡ December 21th – 3 more days to go until Christmas ♡ ★ ♡

data securityChristmas is only a few days away and you still haven't got any ideas for gifts? Have a look on our Advent calendar and I'll promise you, you will find the right christmas present for your sweethearts.

Our today's offer was already to find behind the 10th door but due to big demand we offer it for one more time. It's Christmas and everything is allowed 🙂

 

For each Dedicated Server you order get 50 GB Backup space for free.

This backup solution will protect you against the risk of data loss.
For further information please click here: http://bit.ly/VNkHts