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Restic Backups Overview

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Restic is a backup client written in Go language, it is highly secure and efficient.

Each Restic backup is a snapshot of the server/files/directory, deduplicated from what was stored before. Any restore to a given backup will restore the server/files/directories to the exact state they were at that time. To save some space, older backups can be deleted. Upon ‘purge’ of the deleted backup, Restic will combine the information in the deleted backup with the next newer one so that it can still restore the server to the state it was. Restic can also be used to restore single files or directories from a larger backup.

Restic at Hostwinds

With Hostwinds’ Cloud Backups, your server is backed up by Restic to an Object Storage container for your service. You can view these containers in your Cloud Control under Storage -> Object Storage. From there you can view the files that Restic stores, but they aren’t particularly human readable.

By default, Hostwinds configuration takes full backups daily. You can add to this, remove and replace this policy, or keep the policy as is at any time. We also log the output from the backup system to a log file in /var/log/ which can be checked in the event that any issues happen with the service, and to track the last time backups were taken.

Restic allows for users on both Linux and Windows machines the ability to restore their backed up content, mount their backed up content to their local server, as well as completely manage their backups all through command line (PowerShell in Windows).

With Windows backups, we have enabled VSS (Volume Shadow Copies, or Volume Snapshot Service) to take FULL backups of all of your data, including system files, and opened programs. This also allows the ability to properly backup Microsoft SQL databases.

The backups taken are deduplicated, meaning that if the content has not been changed, and is available in one of your previous backups, it will not back up the file more than once. This saves disk usage on your Object Storage service and ensures that your backups are taken quickly.

By default, 60 days of backups are kept. Thanks to Restic’s ability to delete snapshots, before the oldest backup is deleted, it is merged with the 2nd oldest so there will always be a baseline that includes files more than 60 days old (back to when backups started).

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