UPDATE: Linode Backup Service has launched!
I’m pleased to announce that we’ve started the beta program for our new service: Managed Backups. You can learn more about the progress of the beta program here:
Linode Backup Service
We want you to have backups. Hell, I want backups. But they’re tedious to configure and monitor. We’ve all heard the stories (and possibly experienced them) when you need a backup long after configuring them you realize they haven’t been running successfully for months. So, our goal for the Linode Backup Service was ambitious: create a reliable, redundant and highly available system, that’s easy to use (set-it-and-forget-it), affordable, and Just Works.
The Linode Backup System is designed to be an easy to use, reliable and redundant on-site backup solution for your Linode. It performs backups without causing any interruption of your running system, and is seamlessly integrated into the Linode Manager.
There are four backup slots: Three of the slots are executed and rotated automatically: a daily backup, a 2-7 day old backup, and an 8-14 day old backup. The fourth backup slot is a user-initiated snapshot and remains in place until another user-initiated snapshot is taken.
You can configure the time upon which the automatic backups are initiated from a list of 2 hour windows — you’ll want to perform any database dumps before this window. You can also configure which day of the week to consider for the weeklies.
You can restore a backup to any of the Linodes attached to your account, even if it does not have backups enabled. Currently only a full restore is possible.
We built a custom distributed and scalable storage engine which will replicate your files across at least two storage nodes. Even your backups are backed up!
Features and Limitations
The backup system must be able to mount your disk images on the host. If you’ve used fdisk on your images to create partitions, or created encrypted volumes, or done anything other than use our deployment or disk image creation tools, we won’t be able to back up the data. The backup system operates on files, not at the block level.
A failed backup will never rotate out a good one. If a backup fails on the day of a weekly backup, the next oldest backup will be used for that weekly slot.
Files that have been modified, but are the same length and without any metadata changes (like mtime) will not be considered “changed” during a subsequent incremental backup.
Currently, only ext2/3 volumes can be backed up. This limitation will be removed in an upcoming release.
ACLs are correctly backed up and restored.
Pricing Structure (tentative)
Linode 360: $5.00/mo
Linode 540: $7.50/mo
Linode 720: $10.00/mo
Linode 1080: $15.00/mo
Linode 1440: $20.00/mo
Linode 2880: $40.00/mo
Backup Service Beta
How do I participate in the Backup Service Beta?
Participating in the beta is free of charge.
We’ve only deployed the storage hardware in the Newark, NJ facility. So, for now, you must have a Linode in Newark to participate in the Backup Service Beta. Open a ticket under that Linode and request that we enable backups.
What happens at the end of the beta?
The backup service will be scheduled to be turned off automatically. However, we’ll give everyone the chance to retain their backup service and will start charging for it.
What kind of risk is there? Is this thing going to work?
There’s little risk to your existing data. However, I wouldn’t rely on our backup service as your only form of backup just yet. During the beta period, backups may be inconsistent or incomplete, or we may need to wipe all of the backup data and start fresh. In other words, keep your own backups and don’t rely on this thing working. You’ve been warned!
What about the other facilities?
Atlanta and Dallas sometime later this month, and Fremont early May.
Want to learn more? Following along in the Backup Beta Forum