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How do I setup backups on my cloud server?

When you use a Cloud server and start hosting websites and / or host email on it, you want frequent back-ups for the day you need them. In this article we will explain the basics of how you can easily make backups on your Cloud server.

When you purchase a Cloud server, backups are disabled by default. Just like all other settings on the server, you have to enable and configure the backups yourself. When you set up backups, keep in mind that with the default settings these are always saved on the server itself. Also when saving the backups to another location, the backups are first created on the server itself, so always bear in mind that there must be sufficient space available on the Cloud server. If you need help you can contact our support. Making sure your server has enough free diskspace is of course your own responsibility, but we are always willing to point you in the right direction.

Steps Basic Backup configuration

Step 1. Log in to WHM as the root user.

Step 2. We start with checking how much space the server has available. To do this, go to System Health in the menu and click on Show Current Disk Usage.

Disk usage WHM menu

Step 3. WHM now shows the disk usage of the current server and how much space is available. Make a note of this to determine how many backups you can make. In the example below we use only 10%.

Disk usage

Step 4. Navigate to the Backup category in WHM and click on Backup Configuration.

Backup configuration WHM menu

Step 5. Check Enable Backups to activate the backups. Ticking this box will allow the settings to be updated.

Step 6. Under General settings we choose Compressed for Backup Type, this to ensure that the backups take up a little less space on the server. The disadvantage of this is that it takes more computing power and time.

Backup settings

Step 7. Check the Check Available Disk Space checkbox. In the first steps we checked how much space is available on the server, for backing up it is important that the server does the same check. Use this previously collected information to determine the percentage that must be available to make a single backup.

Available Disk Space


Step 8. By default, the value of Maximum Destination Backup Timeout is 7200 and the Maximum Backup Restoration Timeout is 21600. We will not change these values in this example.

Step 9. Using Planning and Retention you can set how often and at which times backups are made on the server. It is important to take into account the storage this will consume. For the Retention the number you set is how many backups will be saved. In this example we choose to make a backup every Monday because many changes are made to sites during the weekend. We set the retention to 5 so that the backups have a total retention of about one month.

Also read the official cPanel documentation on this: WHM Backup Configuration Retention behavior

Schedule and Retention

Step 10. With Files you set what exactly should be included in the backup. Consider the types of accounts and system files. The latter can be very useful if something goes wrong at the server level itself. We recommend the settings below for this.

Backup User Accounts

Step 11. In addition to the files, you also want to include the databases in your backup. It is possible to do this per account or to save everything as a single backup. A combination of both is also possible, but it takes twice as much storage per backup.


Step 12. With Configure the Backup Directory it is possible to set a custom path and directory for the backup. We recommend that you keep this at the default value /backup. With Retain Backups in the Default Backup Directory, we recommend that you to tick this box. The exception to this is when you use the advanced settings and write the backups to an external storage. If you untick this box, no more backups will be saved on the server itself.

Step 13. Click Save Configuration. Congratulations! You have now successfully set up backups. We recommend checking after the first scheduled period whether the backups are successfully made, you can see this via Restore Backup in WHM.

Advanced settings

In addition to the basic settings, there are a number of other settings that can be made. Because these are situation-related this falls outside the scope of this knowledge base article, but we will briefly explain the options because there are a number of things that you have to take into account.

Additional destinations

At the Additional destinations you can set that your backups are also uploaded to a remote location. Currently you can manually enter a location but also one of the presets such as Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Google Drive and more. When you set this you can also choose to save the backups only at that location and not on your server. You can do this with the previously discussed Retain Backups in the Default Backup Directory option.

Also read the official cPanel documentation on this: WHM Backup Configuration Additional Destinations

Additional destinations

Validation Results

If you use an additional destination for the backups, it is also advisable to do a check after setup whether you can log in and a connection will be established. In the Validation Results tab you can see whether this was indeed successful or not. In addition to this check we recommend that you periodically check whether your backups are also successfully saved.



This knowledgebase article was last updated on: 6 December 2019

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