Jump to content

Home Dir Backup Issue


mbakshi
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to download a home directory backup from CPanel, but the file I get only contains some directories, and WinRAR gives me an 'unexpected end of archive' error.

 

The file size also varies if I try downloading it again, but it's usually ~79 or 115MB. I have about 800MB of files online in total.

 

So how can I get a full home dir backup that works?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like your backup file may be getting corrupted when you download it. If I remember correctly, the CPanel backup should be a .tar.gz file, which WinRAR should not have any trouble reading. Rather than downloading the backup file from your browser / CPanel, you might want to try logging into your account with an FTP program and use it to download the backup file. (Make sure to use BINARY mode to download the file!.)

 

The backup file (.tar.gz extension) is a compressed format, so it is not unreasonable for a backup file that is 80-120MB in size to contain 800MB in actual uncompressed files. Text files (such as .php, .html, .cgi, etc.) compress very well (often 80-90%). JPG images do not compress well, as this image data is already compressed, but unless you have a photo gallery type web site, JPGs will not usually take up a significant portion of the disk space used on your web site.

 

Hope this helps...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like your backup file may be getting corrupted when you download it. If I remember correctly, the CPanel backup should be a .tar.gz file, which WinRAR should not have any trouble reading. Rather than downloading the backup file from your browser / CPanel, you might want to try logging into your account with an FTP program and use it to download the backup file. (Make sure to use BINARY mode to download the file!.)

 

The backup file (.tar.gz extension) is a compressed format, so it is not unreasonable for a backup file that is 80-120MB in size to contain 800MB in actual uncompressed files. Text files (such as .php, .html, .cgi, etc.) compress very well (often 80-90%). JPG images do not compress well, as this image data is already compressed, but unless you have a photo gallery type web site, JPGs will not usually take up a significant portion of the disk space used on your web site.

 

Hope this helps...

Yeah it's a tar.gz file. I thought of doing a local backup on the server and then downloading it by FTP -- only issue is that I only have like 70MB free space on the account, so it wouldn't fit (until I upgrade the account in a bit). I also through of setting up a machine at home with an FTP server and do a full backup directly to it, but would I be able to access the files through it -- in other words, is it something like the home backup?

 

I have a lot of JPEGs -- at least a few hundred MB (as this was/is a cars/tech news site).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CPanel has to have enough disk space on your account to create the full .tar.gz backup file before it can send it to you through your browser. If there is not enough space on your account to store the file, you won't be able to create, let alone download, a backup.

 

I'm trying to download a home directory backup from CPanel, but the file I get only contains some directories, and WinRAR gives me an 'unexpected end of archive' error.
...only issue is that I only have like 70MB free space on the account,...

Now the problems make sense! CPanel starts building the backup file, but when your account runs out of disk space, the backup is abruptly halted with the backup file only partially constructed. This is why only some directories are present in the archive file and why WinRAR complains about 'unexpected end of archive''.

 

I also through of setting up a machine at home with an FTP server and do a full backup directly to it, but would I be able to access the files through it -- in other words, is it something like the home backup?

You would have the same problem - CPanel has to be able to create the full backup before it can FTP the .tar.gz file to a remote FTP server.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, that is quite disconcerting -- as it means that if one actually uses the space in the account, it cannot be backed up.

 

I would assume that the backup process, since it is not related to the actual space being hosted, would be run in memory -- a temp file somewhere on the server -- until the process is done. I don't see how it's logical to limit any backup jobs to working within the account space.

 

There should at least be a way for the backup operation to run beyond the allocated file space until it's done. I've done a full backup before (saving to the home dir), and the file at the time was 250MB IIRC -- that went over my remaining space, meaning that I couldn't view email etc. while it was present, but I downloaded and then deleted it. Can't some sort of system be put in for that to happen for regular (home dir) backups that are being directly downloaded?

 

Because otherwise, the account space cannot be backed up -- I think it's reasonable to expect that customers would want to back up what they have; with such a limit, one could hypothetically not be able to use more than, say, half of the disk space allotted if the data is to be backed up.

 

So how can I back up what I have on my TCH account?

Edited by mbakshi
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would assume that the backup process, since it is not related to the actual space being hosted, would be run in memory -- a temp file somewhere on the server -- until the process is done. I don't see how it's logical to limit any backup jobs to working within the account space.

If I recall correctly, disk quotas are calculated and enforced via the user ID who owns the files, no matter where they are on the server. This would include files within your hosting account space, but also includes files such as MySQL databases, which are owned by your user ID but not stored within your account space and do count against your disk space quota.

 

The backup process is being run under your user ID, so any files it creates would be owned by you, including any temp files created in the server's /tmp directory. Temp files owned by you should count against your disk quota just as any file owned by you would.

 

I don't see how not including backups in the disk quota limits would be logical. When you purchase a hosting account, part of what you're buying is 'X' amount of disk space on the server, for whatever purpose you decide to use it for. If backup files were not included in calculating disk quota limits, it would effectively render the disk quotas useless. TCH would not be able to control how much disk space customer accounts could take up on the server.

 

There should at least be a way for the backup operation to run beyond the allocated file space until it's done. I've done a full backup before (saving to the home dir), and the file at the time was 250MB IIRC -- that went over my remaining space, meaning that I couldn't view email etc. while it was present, but I downloaded and then deleted it. Can't some sort of system be put in for that to happen for regular (home dir) backups that are being directly downloaded?

I don't know that I agree that users should be able to create backups that clearly and excessively exceed their disk quota. It seems like something that could cause issues for other customers on the server, and something that could potentially be abused.

 

Because otherwise, the account space cannot be backed up -- I think it's reasonable to expect that customers would want to back up what they have; with such a limit, one could hypothetically not be able to use more than, say, half of the disk space allotted if the data is to be backed up.

If you want to be able to back up your account, yes, you have to have free space on your account in order to do so. A typical account should be able to be backed up with up to 80% of it's disk quota used, but the exact amount of free space required depends on the types of files that are being backed up.

 

It is usually not a good idea in any situation to use up nearly all of the free disk space. On a Windows PC, you cannot defrag a hard disk that is over 90% full (the system needs the 10% of free disk space to temporarily store files and fragments of files as it reorganizes the files on the hard drive).

 

Currently, I see only two ways to back up what's on your account:

1) Manually download your site via FTP, and manually backup the things that CPanel includes when it does a backup (MySQL databases, mail accounts, mail forwarders, etc.).

2) Upgrade your account to one with a higher disk quota, then backup your account normally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see how not including backups in the disk quota limits would be logical. When you purchase a hosting account, part of what you're buying is 'X' amount of disk space on the server, for whatever purpose you decide to use it for. If backup files were not included in calculating disk quota limits, it would effectively render the disk quotas useless. TCH would not be able to control how much disk space customer accounts could take up on the server.

The issue is that the backup file is not being stored locally on the server -- it is being directly downloaded, and the only thing that's happening on the server is the creation of the temp file, which I assume is deleted once the job is done.

 

I could understand what you're saying for something like a full backup or other job that results in a file being created in the user's space, but this is simply a temp file. When I click download home dir backup, the download starts immediately and generates the file on the fly (it's not even as if it created a file, stored it in my space and then sent it to me).

 

If you want to be able to back up your account, yes, you have to have free space on your account in order to do so. A typical account should be able to be backed up with up to 80% of it's disk quota used, but the exact amount of free space required depends on the types of files that are being backed up.

Theoretically, it could be a lot less than 80%. I'm paying for 850MB of space that I can use, which I assume means space that I can back up (based on the features advertised). I understand your perspective as the host, having to keep extra space for backup job temp files, etc., but it's not fair to advertise a certain amount of space and then have only a section of it usable for the customer (meaning able to be backed up).

 

Currently, I see only two ways to back up what's on your account:

1) Manually download your site via FTP, and manually backup the things that CPanel includes when it does a backup (MySQL databases, mail accounts, mail forwarders, etc.).

2) Upgrade your account to one with a higher disk quota, then backup your account normally.

1) I don't know if it's worth trying FTP due to the sheer time it takes to go through as many files as I have online, and with the timeout-type issues (FTP connection to my TCH account always drop out after I transfer a number of files -- can't replicate issue w/ other FTP connections; will try some other clients if it's an isolated issue with TCH/CuteFTP).

 

2) I was thinking of doing that just because I need more room, but if I won't be able to use the full space anyway, I don't know...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll second what David said. Even the temp file created by your backup counts against your quota, whether or not it is stored in your user account area (or even if it is to be downloaded immediately after creation). You are correct in that you purchased 850MB of space. If the backup file puts you over that 850MB of space, then you need to upgrade for more. In the IT world, the 80% rule is king. Never use more than 80% of your UPS systems. Never use more than 80% of your electric circuits (on a 20amp circuit, don't use more than 16amps, etc). That stands true for disk space as well. Not only does high disk usage cause problems in Windows, but on the ext2/3 file systems (*nix filesystem) it also causes problems to use more than 90% of available disk (but again, if you follow the 80% rule you won't run in to problems). If it were me, and I were within 50MB of my alloted space, I'd upgrade.

 

But then again, that's just my $0.02 :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issue is that the backup file is not being stored locally on the server -- it is being directly downloaded, and the only thing that's happening on the server is the creation of the temp file, which I assume is deleted once the job is done.

 

I could understand what you're saying for something like a full backup or other job that results in a file being created in the user's space, but this is simply a temp file. When I click download home dir backup, the download starts immediately and generates the file on the fly (it's not even as if it created a file, stored it in my space and then sent it to me).

I did some searching on Google for info about how the "Home Directory" backup link works. Assuming what I found is correct, what you download from that link is not a temp file nor is it generated 'on the fly'. The "Home Directory" backup link is a link to the daily backup file that CPanel automatically creates during its nightly backup procedure. The daily backup file is stored on the server's backup drive (not within your user account disk space).

 

The "Home Directory" backup immediately downloads when you click on the link because the file already exists, and it is not deleted when the download is completed. Note that it is also not a current backup - it could be up to 24 hours old. If you need a current, up-to-the-minute backup, you should generate one using the "Generate/Download a Full Backup" link in CPanel.

 

I don't know if this backup file counts against your disk quota or not.

 

It might be worth putting in a Help Desk ticket to see if the nightly CPanel "Home Directory" backups are being created properly for your account, and if they are not, see if they can determine why (by examing any log files that CPanel may have recorded during the nightly backup process). It's also possible that the backup file is being created correctly, but you are unable to fully download it without error for some reason.

 

Theoretically, it could be a lot less than 80%. I'm paying for 850MB of space that I can use, which I assume means space that I can back up (based on the features advertised). I understand your perspective as the host, having to keep extra space for backup job temp files, etc., but it's not fair to advertise a certain amount of space and then have only a section of it usable for the customer (meaning able to be backed up).

Disk space that is used for storage of backups is still space being used by the customer. I hardly think it would be fair to allow a customer to use the full 850MB in disk space for their web site, then expect that they would be allowed to use an additional 200-400MB of disk space for backups, no matter how long they exist on the server. While one customer could conceivable do this on a server without serious impact, the reality is that there are dozens of customers with accounts on the same server, and if they were all allowed to exceed their disk quotas by up to 50%, the server would rapidly run out of disk space.

 

The 850MB that you have for your account is for all purposes - web hosting, FTP hosting, e-mail, databases, backup files, etc. - not just web hosting. If you find that you need 850MB of disk space to host your web site, and another 200-400MB to properly back it up, that would indicate to me that you need a hosting plan with 1050MB of disk space (Deluxe plan) or 1250MB of disk space (Gold plan).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did some searching on Google for info about how the "Home Directory" backup link works. Assuming what I found is correct, what you download from that link is not a temp file nor is it generated 'on the fly'. The "Home Directory" backup link is a link to the daily backup file that CPanel automatically creates during its nightly backup procedure. The daily backup file is stored on the server's backup drive (not within your user account disk space).

 

The "Home Directory" backup immediately downloads when you click on the link because the file already exists, and it is not deleted when the download is completed. Note that it is also not a current backup - it could be up to 24 hours old. If you need a current, up-to-the-minute backup, you should generate one using the "Generate/Download a Full Backup" link in CPanel.

 

I don't know if this backup file counts against your disk quota or not.

 

It might be worth putting in a Help Desk ticket to see if the nightly CPanel "Home Directory" backups are being created properly for your account, and if they are not, see if they can determine why (by examing any log files that CPanel may have recorded during the nightly backup process). It's also possible that the backup file is being created correctly, but you are unable to fully download it without error for some reason.

Ok well if that's the case, I'll put in a Help Desk ticket. The timing doesn't really matter as long as it's within the past day or so -- I just need a file backup of some kind, which I currently can't get.

 

The 850MB that you have for your account is for all purposes - web hosting, FTP hosting, e-mail, databases, backup files, etc. - not just web hosting. If you find that you need 850MB of disk space to host your web site, and another 200-400MB to properly back it up, that would indicate to me that you need a hosting plan with 1050MB of disk space (Deluxe plan) or 1250MB of disk space (Gold plan).

Ok, but the other factor to consider (from my perspective) is that the 1000MB deluxe plan is nearly double ($98/yr vs. $55/yr) what I'm paying for 850MB, and the 1250MB plan is three times the cost ($164/yr vs. $55/yr).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...