Use the Linode Backup Service to Protect and Secure Your Data

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The Linode Backup Service is a subscription service add-on that automatically performs daily, weekly, and biweekly backups of your Linode. It’s affordable, easy to use, and provides peace of mind. This guide explains how to enable and schedule your backups, make a manual backup snapshot, restore from a backup, and disable the Backup Service.

Pricing

Pricing is per Linode and varies depending upon your Linode’s plan:

Standard Plans

Service Backups Hourly Rate Backups Monthly
Linode 1GB $0.003/hr $2/mo
Linode 2GB $0.004/hr $2.50/mo
Linode 4GB $0.008/hr $5/mo
Linode 8GB $0.016/hr $10/mo
Linode 12GB $0.03/hr $20/mo
Linode 24GB $0.06/hr $40/mo
Linode 48GB $0.12/hr $80/mo
Linode 64GB $0.18/hr $120/mo
Linode 80GB $0.24/hr $160/mo

High Memory Plans

Service Backups Hourly Rate Backups Monthly
Linode 16GB $0.008/hr $5/mo
Linode 32GB $0.015/hr $10/mo
Linode 60GB $0.03/hr $20/mo
Linode 104GB $0.06/hr $40/mo
Linode 200GB $0.09/hr $60/mo

Enable the Backup Service

Use the Linode Manager to enable the Backup Service on a Linode. Here’s how:

  1. Log in to the Linode Manager.
  2. From the Linodes tab, select the Linode you want to back up.
  3. Click the Backups tab.
  4. Click Enable backups for this Linode. The Complete Your Order webpage appears.
  5. Review the pro-rated total, and then click Complete Order.

The Linode Backup Service is now enabled for the selected Linode.

Manage Backups

You’ll manage your backups with a simple web interface in the Linode Manager. There’s no software to install, and there are no commands to run. Just log in to the Linode Manager, click the Linodes tab, select a Linode, and then click the Backups tab. The backups interface is shown below.

The Linode Backup Service interface

  1. Schedule automated backups. For more information, see Scheduling Backups.
  2. Indicates when the daily and weekly backups were performed. Click the Restore to… link to restore a backup to a Linode.
  3. Manually back up your Linode by taking a manual snapshot. For more information, see Taking a Manual Snapshot.
  4. Review the history to see when backups were created. If there are any error messages, they will also be displayed in this section.

How Linode Backups Work

Backups are stored on a separate system in the same datacenter as your Linode. The space required to store the backups is not subtracted from your storage space. You can store four backups of your Linode, three of which are automatically generated and rotated:

  • Daily backup: Automatically initiated daily within the backup window you select. Less than 24 hours old.
  • Current week’s backup: Automatically initiated weekly within the backup window, on the day you select. Less than 7 days old.
  • Last week’s backup: Automatically initiated weekly within the backup window, on the day you select. Between 8 and 14 days old.
  • Manual Snapshot: A user-initiated snapshot that stays the same until another snapshot is initiated.

The daily and weekly backups are automatically erased when a new backup is performed. The Linode Backup Service does not keep automated backups older than 8 - 14 days.

Schedule Backups

You can configure when automatic backups are initiated. Here’s how:

  1. From the Linodes tab, select the Linode.
  2. Click the Backups tab.
  3. Select a time interval from the Backup Window menu. The Linode Backup Service will generate all backups between these hours.
  4. Select a day from the Weekly Backup menu. This is the day whose backup will be promoted to the weekly slot. The back up will be performed within the backup window you specified in step 3.
  5. Click Save Changes.

The Linode Backup Service will backup your Linode according to the schedule you specified.

Take a Manual Snapshot

You can make a manual backup of your Linode by taking a snapshot. Here’s how:

  1. From the Linodes tab, select the Linode.
  2. Click the Backups tab.
  3. Click Take a New Snapshot Now.

    Taking a new snapshot will overwrite a saved snapshot.

  4. A warning appears asking if you would like to overwrite the previous snapsnot. Click OK.

The Linode Backup Service initiates the manual snapshot. Be patient. Creating the manual snapshot can take several minutes, depending on the size of your Linode and the amount of data you have stored on it. Other Linode Manager jobs for this Linode will not run until the snapshot job has been completed.

Restore from a Backup

This section will show you how to restore a backup to a new Linode, or to an existing Linode.

The size of of the disk(s) created by the restore process will be slightly larger than the total size of the files restored. You may want to resize your disk(s) after the restore process is completed.

To restore a backup to a different data center, first restore to a Linode in the same data center, creating a new one if necessary. Once the restore is complete, use the Clone tab to copy the disk(s) to a Linode in a different data center.

Restore to a New Linode

You can restore a backup to any Linode located in the same data center, even if it does not have the Backup Service enabled. This section will cover how to restore a backup to a new Linode, that does not have any disks deployed to it. If you wish to restore your backup to an existing Linode, see the next section.

  1. From the Dashboard of the Linode whose backups you intend to restore, click on the Backups tab. Select the Restore to… link beneath the backup that want to restore:

    Backup Service Tab

  2. Click the Restore to this Linode link next to your new Linode:

    Restore to a New Linode

    The backup disks and configuration profiles will be restored to the Linode you selected. Watch the Host Job Queue to monitor the progress. Restoring from a backup can take several minutes depending on the size of your Linode and the amount of data you have stored on it.

Restore to an Existing Linode

To restore a backup to an existing Linode, you will need to make sure that you have enough storage space that is not currently assigned to disk images.

  1. Start by confirming the size of the backup that you wish to restore. From the Backups tab in your Linode’s Dashboard, click the Restore to… link beneath your desired backup:

    Backup Service Tab

  2. Check the Total size required field to confirm the size of your backup:

    Backup Service Tab

    In this example, the total size of the backup comes to 3107MB, meaning you would need at least that much free space to restore this backup to your Linode.

  3. Next, you’ll confirm the total space assigned to disk images on your Linode, via the Storage indicator on your Linode’s Dashboard:

    Linode Dashboard Storage Indicator

    Here you can see that the Linode has a total of 30720MB of storage space available, but all of it is currently assigned to the Linode’s two disks.

  4. Now that you know how much space you’ll need to free in order to restore the backup, resize your disk to make room for it.

  5. Once the disk resize has completed, check the storage indicator on your Linode’s Dashboard to confirm that you’ve freed up enough space for your backup:

    Linode Dashboard Storage Indicator

  6. From the Backups tab, click the Restore to this Linode link next to your Linode:

    Linode Dashboard Storage Indicator

    Your backup will begin restoring to your Linode, and you can monitor its progress from the Host Job Queue in your Linode’s Dashboard tab. Note that the time it takes to restore your backup will vary depending upon the restore size, and the number of files being restored.

Boot from a Backup

After the backup has been restored, the disks and configuration profiles will be available to the Linode you selected. Select the restored configuration profile and reboot your Linode to start up from the restored disks. Here’s how:

  1. From the Linodes tab, select the Linode that you restored the backup to. The Linode’s dashboard appears, as shown below.

The restore from backup interface.

  1. Select the configuration profile that was restored.
  2. Click Boot or Reboot to start your Linode from the backup disks.

The Linode will start from the backup disks. Watch the Host Job Queue to monitor the progress.

Cancel the Backup Service

You can cancel the Backup Service at any time. From your Linode’s dashboard, choose the Backups tab and click the Cancel Backups link at the bottom of the page. This will turn off the service, remove your backups from our servers, and issue a prorated service credit for the time left in the current billing period. This credit may be used to purchase additional Linode services in the future.

Limitations

There are some limitations to what the Linode Backup Service can back up. Here are some things you should be aware of:

  • The Backup Service must be able to mount your disks. If you’ve created partitions, configured full disk encryption, or made other changes that prevent us from mounting the disk as a filesystem, you will likely not be able to use the Linode Backup Service. The backup system operates at the file level, not at the block level.
  • Because the Backup Service is file-based, the number of files stored on disk will impact both the time it takes for backups and restores to complete, and your ability to successfully take and restore backups. Customers who need to permanently store a large number of files may want to archive bundles of smaller files into a single file, or consider other backup services.
  • Backups taken of ext4 or ext3 filesystems will be restored as ext3. Backups taken of other mountable filesystem types will have their contents restored using ext3.
  • Files that have been modified but have the same size and modify time will not be considered “changed” during a subsequent backup. ACLs and extended attributes are not tracked.
  • The Backup Service uses a snapshot of your disks to take consistent backups while your Linode is running. This method is very reliable, but can fail to properly back up the data files for database services like MySQL. If the snapshot occurs during a transaction, the database’s files may be backed up in an unclean state. We recommend scheduling routine dumps of your database to a file on the filesystem. The resulting file will then be backed up, allowing you to restore the contents of the database if you need to restore from a backup.

This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.