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Technologies Review | March 24, 2018

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Backing up your data in the cloud

Nothing is more important and yet forgotten than backing up files to protect from data loss. Companies put off backups, and the importance isn’t realized until one day the data corrupts and the company loses transactions.

Rackspace offers a new backup system that allows users to back up individual files without the long, drawn-out process of complete system backups. The service, introduced in June, offers encryption, unlimited backups, and incremental backups for $0.15 to $0.10 per GB per month. Users can choose to save the backups for 30 days, 60 days or indefinitely.

The service was originally open to certain customers, but Rackspace has opened the service to all Cloud Server customers, and it is free for Managed Cloud users.

Backing Up with the Rackspace API

The most interesting advantage for this backup system is the API. Typically, companies need to perform backups on off-hours, so the backups do not cause too much downtime or performance issues. Backups take up several server resources, so customers and internal users can experience issues if the system transfers files to the cloud during peak business hours.

For this reason, a cloud backup API helps the business perform more smoothly while still having nightly transfers to the cloud backup system. The cloud backup system API allows you to use a cron job using Python or shell scripts. Additional to incremental file backups, businesses can use the API to back up MySQL database tables and data.

Some users have also introduced customized scripts for backing up WordPress blogs to the Rackspace cloud.  This script uses the API and automation to store the WordPress database, which is the main data component for any WordPress blog.

Since these backups are typically done at night, Rackspace has a service that sends a notification to the IT manager or business owner. This notification alerts the recipient to any errors during the backup process, and it also sends a confirmation when the backup completes successfully.

Cloud backups are an IT manager’s life vest when the hard drive crashes or the database just corrupts and no longer runs. With a cloud backup, the business can be up within a reasonable amount of time, provided the IT department has a good recovery plan. Without the backup, the business may very well lose money.