Cloud Based Server Backup

In this article, we will explore the world of cloud-based server backup and recovery. Whether you are running a Linux server with PostgreSQL or any other supported database, the information shared here will be applicable to your needs.

Cloud Based Server Backup
Cloud Based Server Backup

Setting the Scene

Before we dive into the details, let’s first understand the necessary steps for setting up the backup and recovery process. You will need to install the backup and DR (Disaster Recovery) service, which will provide you with a Management Console that runs as a service. Additionally, a backup and recovery appliance must be deployed in one of your projects as a Compute Engine instance. This appliance will be responsible for creating backups.

To store your backups, you will have a snapshot pool based on persistent disk. There are various options available for choosing the type of disk to be used. Furthermore, an OnVault pool will be created in Google Cloud Storage to securely store your long-term backups.

To initiate the backup process, you will need to deploy the backup and DR agent into your Linux servers. This can be done either on a Compute Engine instance or a VMware VM, depending on your setup. The agent will ensure that your supported databases or file systems are backed up effectively.

Backup Agent Installation

Once the backup and DR agent is installed, there are three essential considerations:

  1. Validating the Database Setup: You may need to make specific configurations to ensure that the database can work with the backup and DR service.

  2. Discovery Process: This involves adding the databases into the service and making them eligible for protection.

  3. Applying the Backup Plan: The backup plan is applied to the databases, and the backup process begins.

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The Backup Process

The backup process consists of six steps:

  1. Connecting with the Application: The backup and recovery appliance communicate with the backup and DR agent on the Linux server, establishing a connection on port 5106.

  2. Creating a Virtual Disk: A virtual disk is presented from the snapshot pool of the backup and recovery appliance. This disk is viewed as a real disk by the Linux server.

  3. Preparing the Database: The backup and DR agent collaborates with the database to request LVM (Logical Volume Manager) to create a snapshot of the logical volume where the database resides. This process requires the volume group to have sufficient space.

  4. Copying the Logical Volume Snapshot: A copy of the logical volume snapshot is made onto the backup disk. The first backup is a full copy, while subsequent backups are incremental.

  5. Tracking Changes: Between each snapshot, the backup process tracks the changed blocks using a change block tracking driver. These changes are then merged into the backup, effectively creating a full backup every time.

  6. Offsite Storage: Optionally, the backup process can store the change blocks in an OnVault pool in Google Cloud Storage. This provides an offsite storage location for added security. Multiple OnVault pools and retention policies can be configured as needed.

Log Backups

Apart from database backups, you also have the option to back up logs. Log backup jobs can be run separately from the database backup jobs and as frequently as every 15 minutes. The process for log backups is similar to regular backups, where the logs are copied onto the staging disk and then stored externally, possibly in the OnVault pool.

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Restore and Mount Options

When it comes to restoring your backups, you have two primary options:

  1. Mount: A virtual copy of the backup can be mounted to any server, either the source server or a different one. This allows you to start the database as a running instance.

  2. Traditional Restore: For a traditional restore, you connect with the source host and copy the backup over the corrupted or non-functioning database to restore it to its original state.

Additional Considerations

The processes explained above are generally applicable, but there are some specific considerations for certain database systems:

  • SAP HANA: For SAP HANA, you can choose between backint, which represents a traditional backup, or savepoint, which saves a copy of the database into the internal LVM of the SAP HANA server. Both options provide the ability to offload the backup onto the staging disk.

  • Oracle: Oracle backup uses RMAN image copy instead of logical volume snapshots. RMAN image copy can be performed over iSCSI or NFS and follows a similar process to create full copies at every backup. Backups can also be pushed into Cloud Storage.

Setting Up and Usage

To get started with cloud-based server backup, you need to activate the backup and DR service, create a Google Cloud Storage bucket for your OnVault backups, and validate your firewall rules. Once the setup is complete, you can add the Cloud Storage bucket as an OnVault pool, create backup plans and templates, onboard your applications, and configure backups. After the backups are completed, you can utilize them for mounts or restores as required.

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For more detailed information on each step, refer to our playlist series where we cover everything you need to know about cloud-based server backup and recovery.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge to protect your valuable data in the cloud, you can confidently ensure the safety and reliability of your server backups.

Conclusion

Cloud-based server backup is a crucial aspect of maintaining data integrity and ensuring business continuity. By leveraging the backup and recovery services available, you can rest assured that your databases and file systems are protected from any potential loss or disruption. With the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can easily implement a robust backup strategy for your Linux servers and supported databases.

Remember, regular backups are essential for any business, and with the convenience and reliability of cloud-based solutions, you can focus on your core operations knowing that your data is safe.

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