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13th May, 2020 | WHM |

How to configure backups on your cPanel server via WHM

It's essential to have backups of the cPanel accounts on your server in case you ever need to restore / roll back to resolve an issue. WHM provides a built in and flexible backup configuration option so that you can ensure accounts are backed up and retained for as long as required.

Note: This guide is for setting up standard cPanel server backups within WHM.

If you currently have a cPanel server with us, along with the Enterprise Backup addon then you will not need to follow this guide as the system will instead be using Jetbackup. The Enterprise Backup addon will backup the most recent 7 days, followed by 4x weekly backups and then 3x monthly backups, which are stored on a separate backup server.

If you would like to purchase the Enterprise Backup addon for your cPanel server, or would like to double check if you already have this on your account, please submit a support ticket via the Open Ticket option within your client area and we can assist further.

By configuring backups using this guide, it will enable WHM to take and store backups locally on your server, which will also add to your overall server disk space usage.


Configuring backups:

Firstly, log into your server / WHM account. If you are unsure on how to do this, please view the following help article - 'How to log into WHM'

Once logged in, from your WHM home screen type in 'backup configuration' within the search box, located in the top left of your WHM area, then click on 'Backup Configuration'


This will then take you to the backup configuration page.

Firstly, if you have not already enabled backups, click on the 'Enable Backups' tick box.

By default WHM will then set the backup type to 'Compressed', this is normally the preferable option to ensure you have a full cPanel account backup, but also conserve disk space.

Alternatively you can select 'Incremental' if you'd only like to backup information which has changed, or been added since the last backup.


Next you can adjust whether WHM checks to ensure enough disk space is available on the server before attempting to backup.

By standard this is enabled, and set to 5% - so the server would need at least 5% disk space available in order to start the backups.

You can also adjust the Backup and Backup Restoration timeout, which will stop the backup (or restoration) process if it reaches this limit.

By default this is set to 7200 seconds for each backup, which is 2 hours,  and 21600 seconds for backup restoration, which is 6 hours.


If you continue scrolling down the configuration page, you will then see the 'Scheduling and Retention' section.

Here, you can select whether you would like WHM to backup daily, weekly or monthly (or if needed you can select all / any combination of these).

By default this is set to Daily Backup, and will backup on 4 days: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. You can however select / deselect the backup days as needed.

If you choose Weekly Backup - you will be able to select which day of the week this will take the single weekly backup.

If you choose Monthly Backup - you will be able to select if you would like to backup on the 1st of the month, or 15th of the month.

For each backup choice (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) you will also see a 'Retention' option. This determines how long the system will retain the backup before removing it from the server.

By default this is set to: 5 days for Daily backups, 4 weeks for Weekly backups and 1 month for Monthly backups, but this can be changed to the length you require.

Note: By selecting to backup on additional days, or retain for longer, you may find the server disk space fills up quicker. Backup / Retention options however can be adjusted at any time until you find a suitable balance.

The next section within the backup configuration is for 'Files'

Here you can select what is backed up on your server.

By default WHM will select to Back up User Accounts (all of the cPanel accounts on the server), Back up Bandwidth Data and Back up System Files.

You can manually select / deselect which cPanel accounts are backed up though by clicking the 'Select Users' button.

You can also opt to Back up Suspended Accounts, as well as Access Logs if needed.


Next is the 'Databases' section.

By default WHM will select to backup the MySQL databases on a per account basis, which is the preferred option so that you will be able to restore account databases if needed.

Alternatively if you would prefer to simply back up the entire MySQL directory (or a combination of the whole directory + individual accounts) this can be selected here.


Finally, is the 'Configure the Backup Directory' section.

Here you can set the directory you'd like to use on the server when taking backups and storing backups.

By default the system sets these both to '/backup', however you can change this if required to a directory of your choice.

The system will also set 'Retain Backups in the Default Backup Directory'. This will ensure that backups are kept within the directory you have chosen (for as long as the retention period you have set).

Note: If you have configured backups to send the backups offsite to another server / location, you can opt to turn this off, unless you would like to keep a copy locally on your server

Once done, click on 'Save Configuration' to save your options and enable backups.


The system will then show a message to confirm that is has successfully saved the backup configuration.

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