[backup] Worst case scenario - What Is A Good Crash Plan?


What would be the proper backup/recovery method for this situation.

Lets say you have only one VPS with Virtualmin. And suddenly there happens a critical hardware error at hosting provider and you loose access to your server and sites/emails.

What would I do next?

  • get new VPS and install virtualmin
  • then copy & restore all “Virtual server backup” copies
  • fix DNS records to match new server ip

I guess that would work.

But would that would skip all server configuration files?

  • .ssh keys
  • fail2ban rules
  • virutalmin server templates
  • nginx sites-available configurations (is this covered by Virtual server backup?)

Does webmin backup all those files?


I guess better way would be to have two servers - production & backup. Is there already a simple way to sync all data/configurations between two virtualmins? I am thinking about having “backup” server at different hosting provider - I would sleep better that way.

Thank you.


I’ve been renting an actual physical box (HP Proliant DL120 with 4x500gig HD) sitting in a server farm in Virginia for about 6 years (the box was 5 years old when I started using it). It is configured in Ubuntu as software RAID 10. During that time it has had 4 hard drive failures, 2 happened in the same month on the same RAID 0 so the system died and could not be recovered. Thus it ultimately had to be rebuilt from scratch. The drive failures can be predicted to some extent using the Webmin SMART drive status readouts based on number of hours, raw read error rate and temperature.

I have been backing this system up occasionally to my home server, but that is a really tedious process.

I immediately acquired a second box in Amsterdam from the same provider and began to build up that system as the primary, adding it to my DNS provider’s records. Then I began to bring up the Virginia server as the backup and ran the two together for 3 years. It was a real pain to keep them both in sync.

As time went on, a cost analysis revealed that I would save money by cutting back to 1 server and adding a daily Acronis backup service to the account. That has worked really well for the past 2 years. It something goes wrong and needs restoration, I can go into Acronis and incrementally restore just one file, a folder or the entire system.

Nothing is perfect - things will always happen. It is always best to have a combination of online and offline backups, preferably in different locations.

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