How To Backup a Magento Store How To Backup a Magento Store

Why do you need to implement full Magento backup?

Did you know that there are two types of shop owners? Those who backup their stores and those who already backup their stores. It may sound funny at first, but you actually realize the value of the lost data only when you lose it forever.
When it comes to a Magento store, there are numerous possible reasons of data loss:

  • Staff mistake;
  • Equipment failure;
  • System breach;
  • Natural disasters;
  • and more.

Grieving over the lost data is painful and helpless at the same time, that’s why I suggest you start making backup copies or recovering one of them right now. In the long run Magento backups must be saved and checked regularly if you want your data to be 100% safe.
If you’re still not sure it’s an absolute must, just imagine there was a fire in the data center, and your website including the database with orders, client base and catalog is gone. Or a server was damaged and you’ve lost the information on the new orders for the past week. That’s why backups are a question of avoiding threats to your business and reputation.

1. (not only) Magento Backup Basics

When developing a backup strategy for you website, you need to be aware of two important terms:

  • RPO (Return Point Objective)
  • RTO (Return Time Objective)

RPO is a time point where you can go to if you recover your backup copy successfully. Say, you backup your Magento store daily at 4 AM. In that case you will always turn to 4 AM regardless of the time data loss happened. Also, if you are in need to restore the backup file at 3:58 PM, you’ll face almost 24 hours data loss.
RTO is the time you need to successfully restore the data from your backup file. If the database consists of tens of gigabytes, you’ll need up to several hours for a complete recover.
Thus, when you choose backup methods pay attention to RPO and RTO parameters so that your strategy fits your business needs.
To give an example, that’s how we organized full backup on one of our websites:
The size of a single backup file is 6Gb, the site is backed up once in 24 hours at 7 AM (RPO). The time needed for a complete recovery is 25 minutes (RTO). In case there’s a need to recover the backup copy at 11.30 AM, we’ll lose 4,5 hours data, and the website will be down for 25 minutes.

2. Backing up your Magento website

The safest variant is to save and store the full backup copy on a server that is physically situated in other data center/city/country/on some other continent. It is called offsite backup. This variant dramatically lowers the chances of losing the backup file if to compare with the case when the original website and the backup copy are stored ‘next door’. It is absolutely not an option to have your backup files on the same server with your original website, as in case of the server failure both copies will be gone, and your hair will become grey.

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