UpCloud provides several ways to restore data from your disk backups. Most commonly you can either revert the entire disk to a previous backup snapshot, or you can clone the backup to a standard disk and restore individual files.
Restoring a backup replacing the current disk
This method will overwrite the existing disk entirely with the selected backup. All data on the disk will be returned to the point at which the backup was taken. This is very useful for reverting major changes to your current system.
Start by going to your Server Settings at your UpCloud control panel and open the Backups tab. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a list of backups that have been taken of this server. On each backup line, you can find the date and time of when the backup was taken and controls to restore or delete the backup.
Press the Restore button to open the restoration options.
Select the Restore the storage resource with the backup option, and then click the Restore backup button to confirm the action.
The backup restoration might take some time depending on your storage size and type, MaxIOPS is considerably faster at all storage procedures than an HDD of the same size. You can follow the progress on the Backups tab at the bottom of the list. Once the restore has finished, you can start the server as normal.
Cloning a backup to a new storage disk
It is also possible to clone a backup onto a new standard storage device. You can then attach it to the original server, or to any other, as a secondary disk. Attaching a backup clone to your existing server allows you to access individual files from the disk without needing to revert the entire system.
To start, go to your Server Settings at your UpCloud control panel and open the Backups tab. Find the backup you wish to access on the list at the bottom of the page and click Restore.
Select the option to Clone a new disk from the backup, and click the Start the cloning button.
In the following setup dialog, give the new disk a name, something you can easily recognize later when attaching it. For disk type, the MaxIOPS is ideal for a temporary backup clones, as it is much faster at data transfer than the HDD option. Keep the clone on the same zone as the server you wish to access the backups and press Accept to start the cloning process.
The cloning will take some time depending on the size of your backup and the disk type you selected as the target. You can check the status at your My disk resources section. While cloning, the disk actions will show Disk operation in progress. Once the operation has finished you’ll see the same controls as for the other storage disks listen on the same page.
Once the cloning is complete go back to your server’s settings and open Disks tab. Under attached disk resources you’ll find an option to Attach new disk.
Click on the line that says Attach new disk, this will open a new setup dialog for creating and attaching storage devices.
Select to Attach Existing disk, find the disk clone you made earlier and select it as Disk Resource, keep the Disk Controller set to virtio for best performance, and finally click Accept to confirm the action.
Afterwards, you’ll see the cloned disk shows up as an attached disk resources, you can now start up the server again.
Linux systems will require you to mount the new disk to access the files from the backup clone. Do this by first creating a mounting point to your file system with the following command.
sudo mkdir /media/backup
Check the disk name and partitions you just attached to the server with the command below.
lsblk -io KNAME,TYPE,SIZE
The output will show a list of disks usually named like vda, vdb or vdc and their partitions such as vda1 and vdb1.
If you are not sure which of the partitions is on the cloned backup, you can check your current system partitions with this command.
The command will list the partitions and their sizes currently configured on your server. Select a partition from the lsblk printout that is not yet in use, for example, if your system partition is called vda1, select vdb1 for mounting.
Then simply mount the new storage disk partition to the directory you just created with the following command.
sudo mount /dev/<partition> /media/backup
After mounting the disk you can restore any and all files you wish by simply coping them over.
Windows servers might require you to take a couple of steps before you are able to access the backup files. Start by connecting to your server, for example, through Remote Desktop. Once logged on type in diskmgmt.msc to the Windows search and open it by pressing Enter.
In the Disk Management, you’ll see the previously existing disks and the newly added backup clone that will likely show as offline. Right click the clone disk and select Online.
Depending on your Windows server version, you might get a pop-up asking to scan the new drive, you can skip this by clicking Continue without scanning.
With the disk online, you can now access it normally through the file browser to copy over any files you wish to restore.
Removing extra storage disks
Once you have got everything sorted, it is as simple as shutting down the server again, detaching the backup clone and deleting it. Go back to your server’s settings again and open Disks tab.
Under attached disk resources you’ll find an options to Detach or Delete.
If you do not wish to delete the backup clone just yet, you can simply click Detach and leave the disk for later use.
If then again you do not need the cloned disk any longer, you may just click Delete and the disk will get detached in the process.
Don’t forget to make regular backups of your server again after restoring files.
Notes on the backup technology
The steps required to restore and access files in backups might seem complicated, but we aim to make the process as simple as possible. The backup technology focuses on data integrity while being fast and easy to operate. However, it comes with a couple of main differences to some other backup models.
It is not possible to restore individual files automatically
We handle storage disks and their backups as full media images. Access to individual files would require knowledge of used partitioning, file system and possible disk encryption, which would reduce your data privacy. Due to this, it is not possible for us to either restore backups for you or provide a graphical user interface to access or browse contents of the backups.
Backups cannot be attached directly to a server
Backups are stored in separate storage systems which maximize storage capability over IO and access properties. Due to these limitations, it is not possible to directly attach backup as a disk. Instead, a new standard storage can be created by cloning the backup. Note that cloning is usually possible only to the same storage tier as the original disk image was from.