Backup of remote systems: Is it possible and what's the best approach?

Hi there,

on one of our VMs we have a Virtualmin installation running which grew over the years in form of data and importance to us. The data on it is backed up daily (and we need a daily schedule) to a remote FTP by the standard Virtualmin backup feature. However meanwhile this takes a very long time (2 to 6h), eats up quite some CPU and generates a lot of disk activity - over all a quite severe performance impact.

In our setup the VM on which Virtualmin is installed is also HA. So there is another dedicated server to which it (and some other VMs of no importance for this scenario) are mirrored and which basically does nothing but to wait for an failure and take over.
As it has nearly no load it would be ideal to use this server for the daily backups as well.

I can think of two approaches here:

a) Set up another Linux VM which mounts the mirrored HDDs of the Virtualmin installation (as clone or in read only) and creates a backup. Which data would I have to backup in this case? Because backing up the whole system would be possible but would for sure get a lot bigger than the current Virtualmin backups - which would be okay but it would be a lot better if we could backup only the Virtualmin related data.

b) Set up another Virtualmin (Cloudmin maybe?) VM which would connect to the actual Virtualmin System on the other dedicated Server and perform a real Virtualmin backup whereby it relieves the other System as it at least takes care of packing the data (the read only access should have nearly no noticeable performance impact on the running main Virtualmin system). But I’m not even sure if something like this would be possible with Virtualmin/Cloudmin?

Has anyone some tips/recommendations/insights on this?

Thanks a lot and best regards.


There’s certainly multiple ways to go about what you’re after, and it’s tough to say that one is better than another.

One way I’ve used in the past when there’s a lot of files, and the backup takes a long time to run, is to configure the Virtualmin backup not to touch the home directory data, but to backup everything else (all the accounts, metadata, MySQL databases, etc).

Then, I setup rsync from a remote server to pull down everything in /home, along with the Virtualmin backups.

Would something like that work in your case?


Hi Eric,

that sounds like a good approach. And maybe I can use the mirrored HDD instead of a remote rsync setup.
Anyways, I’ll set it up in this fashion and thanks a lot for the input and the fast reply!

Best regards.