Backups are an important function for stable operation of a virtual server. If something happens to the machine — the operating system crashes, critical files are corrupted, or software fails — you can quickly restore it from the backup. Of course, it is better to automate the backup process — it is more reliable and easier than creating a backup manually every time.
Often system administrators configure backups using self-written scripts. However, there is no guarantee that such a system will work steadily:
- the script may result in an error, freeze or fail to start at all;
- backups can take up all the space on the server's disk and disrupt its operation;
- it is easy to get confused among many backups.
All these problems are solved by the backup system in VMmanager platform. VMmanager allows the following:
- flexibly configure backup rotation schemes using backup schedules;
- connect an external storage for backups;
- find the right backup in a few clicks and quickly restore the virtual server from it.
In addition, backup of virtual machines can be offered to customers as a service. VMmanager integration with BILLmanager or another billing system simply needs to be configured for that purpose.
Selecting the storage
Backups can be stored on the VMmanager cluster node or on a separate server — the storage. Using the storage, you can free up node space for creating new virtual machines.
A physical or virtual server can be the storage. This server does not require any special configuration, as long as SSH access is available. In future versions of VMmanager you will be able to connect to the server via FTP, and use Ceph or Amazon S3 service as storage.
When you connect the storage, you specify the directory for saving backups and choose how much backup space will be allocated on the server. This way, all backups will be stored in one place and take up a strictly defined amount of disk space. Accordingly, you can use the server not only for backup storage, but also for other purposes.
If necessary, you can connect several storages to VMmanager. This will allow you to keep backups of each cluster's virtual machines in a separate storage.
Creating a schedule
VMmanager allows you to configure the schedule according to your tasks:
- set the start days and time;
- select the backup storage;
- select the VMs for backup;
- set limits on backups creation.
You can use a schedule to create backups of
- all virtual machines;
- all virtual machines in particular clusters;
- all virtual machines with a particular configuration.
In the schedule settings you can set limits on the number or size of backups. For example, you may only store the last five backups for each virtual machine or assign a maximum of 100 GB for all backups. When these limits are reached, the oldest backup of each virtual machine will be deleted.
In VMmanager, you can create several schedules — each for a different task. For example, one schedule will create backups daily, the second — on Fridays and the third — on the first day of the month.
You can manage backups of a separate virtual machine on its page. From here, you can restore the virtual machine from a backup, create a new backup or delete unnecessary ones.
You can manage backups of all virtual machines under Backups. You can filter the list of backups by parameter. For example, you can select those backups that take up more than 10 GB, or display only backups of virtual machines with the status "Corrupted".
Configuring the service sale in the billing system
You can set up VMmanager integration with your billing system to provide backup services to your clients. The BILLmanager control panel offers a ready-made solution for integration. Setup is performed using the built-in service processing module within a few minutes.
The backup service can be included in the virtual server plan or provided as an addon to the tariff.
In the first case, the plan is configured to sell virtual machines of a certain configuration. When ordering a virtual server at this tariff, the client will additionally receive the backup service. The server backup will be performed according to the schedule, which is set in VMmanager for virtual machines with this configuration.
The tariff where backup is provided as an addon allows selling virtual servers of any configuration. The client chooses the backup schedule when ordering the server. In the tariff settings, you can select the schedules that will be available to the client.
You can configure integration with other billing systems with the help of convenient and functional API VMmanager.
Example of backups configuration at a hosting provider
This backup scheme can be configured using VMmanager and BILLmanager platforms.
Clients order virtual machines in BILLmanager. For tariff plan No.1, VM backups are included in the cost of hosting services. In tariff plan No.2, client can choose backup as an addon for a separate fee. When placing the order, the client chooses the backup interval.
Backup schedule is configured in VMmanager. In addition to creating backups for client’s VMs, the hosting provider creates backups of its own services: websites and CRM.
Several external storage servers are used for storing backups. This increases the system's reliability.