Backup Service enters Beta

April 3, 2009 9:47 am

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 Beta Forum

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.

Description
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.

Backing Up
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.

Restoring
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.

Redundancy
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

23 Responses

  1. Sounds good but it’s slight overkill for me (and some others based on the IRC talk about snapshots).

    I know you’re going for the simplest option for users but it would be nice if, in time, you could offer some off-machine, non-RAID, cheap storage so I could do a daily dump of /etc, /home, etc. About 1 gig for me — a lot less HD space than storing 4 18gig snapshots

    I know I can use s3 (et al) for this but it would be a nice extra if there were something I could just tuck into my fstab and cron up a copy command.

  2. One thing that would be nice is if the backups were priced by data usage rather than by Linode size. We only have a larger node now for RAM / CPU rather than for space.

  3. I second both Oli and Scott and would like to add that options to only include certain directories to reduce size and keep the backup focused on important stuff only.

  4. I was looking for backup.. Today I signed up before seeing this blog.. I was worried..Now thanks a lot.

    may be, you can reduce price of the lower end packages, which will add cost advantages..

  5. Nice to know!

  6. I second Fred, Oli, Scott and also would like to have cheap off-machine non-RAID storage for non-backup purposes.

  7. I’d agree that the bells and whistles requested above would be nice…but zowie, I’ll be adding the service as-is to my 360 account for $5/month in a second! $60/year for that level of backups way, way way more than pays for itself in peace of mind. Count me in! Great job.

  8. Thats a bit over priced for a simple small backup needed, I’ll stick to as3

  9. I don’t see this as being overpriced at all, I expect to maintain my offsite backup jobs I’ve setup…. but I’ll be signing up for this as well.

    I guess it just depends on how much money your data is worth to you. For those of us running a company website, and in my case $10/month, is totally worth it, without question.

  10. How about an ala carte service? Maybe we could set up a schedule and get charged per backup? $2-5 per month per backup?

  11. i think backup costs are fair. i’m looking forward to use it when it comes avaiable.

  12. Personally, because I am obsessed with improbable disaster, I would like to request being able to have backups at different Linode data centers. I know this introduces a lot of bandwidth use, but if you sold backup for a Linode360 at $5 per data center and just use the bandwidth against our allotment — well that’d be the cheapest geographically distributed backup solution out there. I know this is overkill for many, but the few of us that are obsessed, well we’d love it.

    PS. I know I can mimic this by having Linodes everywhere, but that’s a waste of money imo because I don’t mind hosting from just one place, I just want my backups spread out.

  13. It noted Fremont in May, but no further updates. What is the status of this offering, is the beta available in Fremont, and when do you expect it to be provided as a paid for service?

  14. Backups are now available in Newark, Dallas, and Atlanta. Submit a ticket if you wish to participate.

  15. Codeminding is waiting for linode backup plans.

  16. any updates on the backup service as well as the pricing? *raising hand* on a per GB pricing instead of fixed rate/size per server instance type.

  17. “any updates on the backup service as well as the pricing? *raising hand* on a per GB pricing instead of fixed rate/size per server instance type.”
    I second that, based on image size is better. My 2880 Linode only uses a 20GB disk image of the 160 GB available.

  18. Would love to hear any updates on this… I’m holding out from switching to Linode from Slicehost until this is available!

  19. Echoing just about everyone above, it would be wonderful to have some sort of an update on backups.

  20. Another upvote on a status update please!

    Currently looking at provisioning a VPS for a client. If you can tell me your backups service has recently gone out of beta because it’s going live _very_ soon (and not because you’ve abandoned it!) you will get the business. If not, I’m afraid it probably will go to Slicehost.

  21. Count me as one more that would *love* a status update on this.

  22. Please see this URL for an update on the service:
    http://www.linode.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5371

  23. Thanks, 🙂

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