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Scheduled backups in cPanel and Plesk

Creating backups is a very important task for every server administrator. A loss of data often occurs suddenly without a warning. It is possible to create backups manually, but we would recommend to configure automatic backups. The steps below were tested by us, but you should always check yourself if the backups are still running from time to time and if it is possible to restore the required data from it! A backup should be stored outside of the system. In the examples below we are using the Contabo Backup Space. You can order it additionally to your server.

Scheduled backups in cPanel

To configure automatic backups in cPanel, please go to WHM > Backup > Backup configuration. At first you have to set the tick at "Enable Backups". Then we would recommend to set the backup to "compressed". With incremental backups, you can not save to FTP in cPanel. The other global settings should be left the way they are.

In the section "Scheduling and Retention", it is useful in most cases to select every day of the week except Sunday and to keep six of those daily backups. Furthermore you should enable weekly backups and keep four of them, just in case a problem is noticed later or with some delay. Please create the weekly backups on Sunday, the day we left out in the section for the daily backups.

If you are not sure what you should backup in the next section, you can just select everything as shown in the image below. If you need to save backup space, you can unselect the system files and change the database backups from "Per account and entire MySQL Directory" to "Per account only". Normally the files and databases of the accounts will contain the most important data and the other parts contain settings that can be reconfigured after reinstalling the server in case of a full loss of data.

The next settings should be left the way they are. Especially the option "Mount Backup Drive as Needed" should be left without a tick, as this will cause problems if /backup is no mount point for a separate partition or drive:

Then please click on "Additional Destinations" at the top of the site. There you can configure the remote storage for your backup. You will find the correct settings for the Contabo Backup Space below. Unfortunately cPanel does not support ftps, so you should leave the tick for "Transfer System Backups to the Destination" unselected. Please confirm and save your data with the option "Save and Validate Option".

Backups can be restored in WHM > Backup > Backup Restoration. There you can select "Restore by Date" and you will see all available backups in the calendar. Please select the date with the last known good state and move the users you want to restore into the restoration queue. With "Restore", you will restore all the listed accounts.

Scheduled backups in Plesk

To configure automatic backups in Plesk, please go to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager > Schedule .
On the site, please put a tick at "Activate this backup task". Then select a reasonable time for your backups. As backups require a lot of resources and might slow down your system, you should perform your backups in the night, for example at 2:00 am. In the most use cases it is a good idea to configure daily incremental backups and to perform a full backup once a week. Incremental backups will just store the changes, so it is possible to restore your data from every available day. But the required backup storage is less than with a daily full backup. In the section "Backup settings", you can add a remote ftp backup storage. This makes sense, as the backup is then stored independently from your system. Please fill in your credentials in the form that opens and enable passive mode and FTPS as shown in the image below:

After the remote backup storage got added, please select that you want to store the backups locally and on the remote FTP storage you just added. Also it makes sense to add an e-mail address where the server can inform you in case something goes wrong during your backup task. Please check your settings with the help of the image below and click on apply.

After the the first backup is done, you should see a list of the available backups listed by day and time in Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager. To download or restore a backup, please klick on the required backup. In the section "Backup content", you can choose between restoring "Selected objects" and "All objects". In Selected Objects, you will have several options to only restore specific content like e-mail accounts from a selected domain. You have to move all units you want to restore from the left window to the right and confirm with "Restore".


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: Contabo 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:

If you are a windows user we recommend using Veracrypt:

Posted by: Mike | Tagged as: , , , , 2 Comments

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. Please notice that the name of the server can differ, for example it might be backup-2.contabo.net. You will find it in your e-mail with the credentials.


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

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


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:



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


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>

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

On Debian 8 (Ubuntu 16.04) and later the package "fuse-utils" might not be available anymore.

Just enter the following to install all necessary packages and dependencies :

apt update && apt install curlftpfs

For CentOS 7 you need to install the EPEL repository first :

yum install epel-release
yum install 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

On CentOS7 you might experience difficulties when accessing the folder, in that case try remounting the FTP without SSL encryption.

umount /mnt/ftp/ && curlftpfs -o no_verify_peer backup.contabo.net /mnt/ftp

Another option is to start curlftpfs in foreground with the parameter "-f".

curlftpfs -o ssl,no_verify_peer backup.contabo.net /mnt/ftp -f -v

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments

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!


♡ ★ ♡ 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.