Some Handy Backup Solutions

In my previous post I shared some horror stories about about lost data like websites and family photos. Reflecting on these stories lead me to want to share some backup solutions I use or am familiar with. That’s what this post is about. If you have some great backup solutions that are sharable please blog about them and post about it in the comments. Or, just post them in the comments. Without further banter, here we go.

Backup and Migrate + HP Cloud

An easy way to regularly backup sites in Drupal is to use the Backup and Migrate module. Being an HP Cloud user I use the HP Cloud module enabling Backup and Migrate to put my backups in object storage. Using Backup and Migrate I don’t just want to backup my database but my public and private files as well. To do that there is the Backup and Migrate Files module.

Note: I’m a fan of having backups in multiple locations. Don’t just store your backups with one provider but maybe also have them in a second provider or copy them locally. I’ve seen it where a backup goes bad and you need it.

Store It In Git + Bitbucket

Part of backups is the codebase to our sites. If there are custom themes, custom code, or something else with the site that isn’t just a straight project (like Wordpress or Drupal) you can have a problem if you think you can reconstruct it.

My solution is to store all my sites in git repositories. I’d first thought of using Github for all of these but the basic (free) accounts don’t allow you to have private repos. While I like sharing as much code as makes sense there are things I want to keep in private git repos. For this there is Bitbucket. You can have a lot of private repos.

For anyone familiar with the past for Bitbucket you might not know that it is now owned by Atlassian who is quite successful with their products. They appear to be a strong parent company who has grown to be strong without shady sales people (or even good ones).

Note: there are lots of other good git repo management solutions. For enterprise there is Github Enterprise, there are open source solutions you can install on your own server, and other competitors to Bitbucket and Github. I’ve chosen Bitbucket for personal things because it was the most cost effective solution for my case that I found.

Backing Up Personal Computer Files

I’m a Mac and Linux user which means I can’t just use time machine on the Mac to do backups. But, that is where I start. I do use time machine to create backups for some of the Mac computers in my home. In addition one some computers I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make duplicate images of my hard drives. This is great for the case that a hard drive goes bad and I can literally remove the bad one and swap in the cloned drive to be back up and running.

For personal files suck as markdown documents (I only use word documents when I have to) I keep them backed up and shared between computers with Dropbox. This comes in handy beyond backups.

The scripter in me has come up with several scripts that use rsync to keep backups of files in other locations as backups.

There are also a number of services that do backups. Of them the most highly recommended one shared with me is Crash Plan. It does cross system as a reasonable price.

What Do You Use?

These are the solutions in my arsenal. What do you use and how well does it work?

Disclaimer: I work for HP on HP Cloud and work on the Drupal module providing the integration.