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Enable Weekly DO Droplet Backups and Create Snapshot Image

Learn how to enable the weekly DigitalOcean backups, and also create custom snapshot images for recovery and migrating the Cloud VPS to a different region.

Generally, its good to have a backup of an online website. Thankfully, DigitalOcean has the feature to enable the weekly droplet backups at a nominal cost. If you’re running a WordPress Blog, then having a remote backup is also a must along with this weekly backup, by the way — this is for free.

Apart from the Backup, the DigitalOcean also supports taking a snapshot of the server in real-time. This snapshot can be used for recreating or spinning another droplet using the same settings and configurations.

In this article, learn how to enable the weekly droplet backups option which an in-built feature in DigitalOcean cloud console. And also taking the real-time snapshot image of the entire server.

If you’ve following us, this is the eleventh article and video tutorial in our #CloudServer series. We previously published about configuring the Object Cache using Redis Server in this series.

Without further ado, let’s get started with DigitalOcean Droplet Backups & Snapshot —

Enabling Weekly Droplet Backups in Console

Liked I mentioned, the backup is a built-in feature available in every droplet (server) in DigitalOcean. All we need is to enable the weekly droplet option to get started.

Follow the below steps to enable the Weekly Droplet backups in DigitalOcean:

  1. Login to DigitalOcean cloud console
  2. Select the Project and then Droplet that you need to enable backups
  3. Within Droplet, you’ll be having an option for Backups (in the left sidebar), click and navigate to the page
  4. Hit on [Enable Backups] command button
  5. That’s it! Weekly backups are now enabled

DigitalOcean Droplet Backups

Please note that Droplet backups incur the additional cost which I think is very nominal. The charges are 20% of your actual droplet cost. Say suppose you spin a droplet server of $10, then the monthly backup charges are 20% of $10 which is $2.

DigitalOcean retains around 4 to 5 droplet backup at an interval of 1 week. If the new backup is added today, then the oldest back is automatically purged.
DigitalOcean Droplet Backups and Options

Using these backups, you can perform 3 tasks:

  1. Convert into Snapshot
  2. Create a new Droplet
  3. Restore the Droplet

If you convert the Droplet Backup into Snapshot, this will further enable you to perform snapshot actions.

Power Off and Take a Snapshot of Cloud Server

While the Backups feature is automatic and not real-time, Snapshot is another option of backing up the server droplet. The snapshot is a manual process but in real-time.

The snapshot is really helpful when you want to immediately spin a duplicate droplet in some other region or change the ownership. Also, if you’re making a major upgrade on your server or website, then it’s a good idea to have a snapshot just in case if things go out of the way.

But when it comes to taking a snapshot image of your droplet, it’s recommended to poweroff cloud server to maintain the consistency in data. Hence, I personally do not recommend taking a snapshot on a live site. However, this shouldn’t be a problem of test or staging site.
Power Off Cloud Console in DigitalOcean

Also, we can power off the droplet from DigitalOcean console, however, it’s not recommended. Instead, we should power off from the SSH login on Cloud Server.

Follow the below steps to power off and take a snapshot of DigitalOcean droplet:

  1. Login to SSH client of your cloud server
  2. Run the poweroff command to turn off the server
  3. Next, log in to DigitalOcean cloud console
  4. Navigate to Projects and then select the Droplet
  5. Access the Snapshot tab available in the left sidebar within Droplet area
  6. Make sure that Droplet is PowerOff and hit on [Take live snapshot] command
  7. Wait* for the process to complete — a progress bar will be displayed
  8. Your snapshot will be ready once the process is completed

[*Processing snapshot takes around 1 min per GB]
DigitalOcean Droplet Snapshot ProcessingOnce the droplet processing is completed, do not forget to Power ON the droplet by toggling the power button available in the droplet console. You can also visit the Power tab available in Droplet to turn on the droplet.

Just like backups, the snapshot also incurs charges however they are charged on the basis of GB storage. Its charges are $0.05 per GB per month of actual files and data storage.

There is no limitation as to how long you want to retain the snapshot image in your cloud console. You need to manually delete the snapshot image to stop the overhead charges.
Snapshot Actions in Droplet

Like mentioned above, once the snapshot is created you can perform the following actions:

  1. Change Ownership
  2. Create a New Droplet
  3. Restore the Snapshot
  4. Add the Snapshot to new Region
  5. Destroy the Snapshot

Basically, we can use two types of migration technique in this —

  • Changing the Ownership
  • Migrating the Droplet Snapshot to a different region

But, you may not be able to migrate the snapshot out of DigitalOcean. However, you can use the scp command for migrating entire folders and files from one server to another.

Video demo of the DigitalOcean Droplet Backups

Watch the video tutorial on enabling the DigitalOcean droplet backups and also create a snapshot image of the live server.

Enable DigitalOcean Droplet Backups and Snapshots of Cloud Server

I hope you liked the demo tutorial, please subscribe to our youtube channel.

What’s next in the #CloudServer series?

We have now learned how to enable the backup in DigitalOcean cloud, next we are going to see how to keep and maintain Ubuntu Cloud server up to date.

Maintenance tasks like the server update, upgrade and schedule a reboot.

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