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I currently have an "un-managed" (no help from hosting company) windows vps server. I am working on a good backup solution to return my site back online within a few hours. I am pretty comfortable backing up and restoring my database, however what is a good solution for backing up my VPS for easy recovery? Should I just use windows backup and create an image? I'm open to suggestions.

Additionally, has anyone had to restore an entire VPS before? Is it reasonable to have it back up and running in a few hours?

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If I were you , I would just install Plesk panel on the windows VPS server and then just configure the backups in the Plesk panel. You can create and download backups via the panel , as well as restoring them anytime.

All your need to do is the enter the Backup section and configure the time and the day when the backups are going to be created and uploaded to your server. You can even copy the backups automatically to your local server.

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Repos are inefficient for large chunks of data. Make sure your website and/or any custom software is backed up to a repo, and store your large chunks in Amazon S3. The easiest thing then is to simply replicate your stack (Operating System, Server, other software) in a cloud image (I'm partial to Amazon). When your main server goes down, you boot the image, clone your software to it from repos, and serve your large chunks of data from S3. It's a bit pricy compared to traditional hosting, but it has excellent availability and you only incur a cost if you are actively using it.

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For backup my idea would be to store your site somewhere on a repository system. You could use github or bitbucket (free private repos). Then I would just create a simple script in the programming language of your choice to dump the database to Amazon's S3. That way you can just reinstall the script and load in the SQL file.

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Any ideas for backing up configurations like IIS, or other services installed on the server? –  TravisK Jul 30 '12 at 17:53
    
I don't know too much about IIS, but if it is anything like Apache you could upload the config files to S3 too once and then they can be downloaded latter if you need them. As far as services, the only thing I can think of would be to keep a list and re-install them manually. Depending on what you need from the service you could get it partially up within a couple hours then work on the rest. –  Travis Pessetto Jul 30 '12 at 18:01
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