We like big downloads

Blade server, server case, server blade, open ...

Some blade server somewhere.

And we cannot lie, but when we were trying to give people restore files over 1 GB, we ran into an obscure bug in our systems stack. No longer! Now you can download your restore files to your heart’s content.

Long-term, however, I think having to download your restore files sucks. Why? Because to actually restore it you’d have to upload it all back someplace again. For a few megs, not a big deal, but what about when your site is 20GB? It could take weeks!

We have two things on the roadmap to address this. The first, and most important, is server-to-server restores. That means instead of you being in the middle, you give us a SFTP login and destination for your account and our high-speed servers talk directly to your high-speed servers and do in minutes what would take you hours or days. This is a high priority for us.

The second, to get around the archival problem, is allowing people to subscribe to get their backups on physical media, like a Blu-ray disk shipped to their office, or a USB stick. I love things that mirror the digital world to the physical so this will be a fun project, but more in track for next year.

About Matt

In 2002 I started contributing to Open Source software, and life has just gotten better from there. Co-founder of WordPress, founder Automattic.
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12 Responses to We like big downloads

  1. I was just talking to WP Engine about this (although the conversation resolved more on “data dumps” and finding ways to import the data to one’s server).

    One question though: if something horrible were to happen (say your server takes 70,000 blogs offline because Osama started embracing WP), would hosting companies be cool with you dumping 20 GB of data upon their servers immediately?

    Or would there be a way to do it in increments so they wouldn’t think that you were turning their server into a personal storage device? (okay so that was 2 questions).

  2. manmohanjit says:

    That’s great, it would be good for big sites.

  3. Viki says:

    Both these initiatives are excellent Matt.

    I especially love the idea of VaultPress being able to do server-to-server transfers. I am currently in process of shifting my blog to another server. Since I am already a VaultPress subscriber, this feature would have helped me a lot in the transfer process.

    Instead of a restore, one can use this feature for transferring data to a different host too, right? Or is my assumption incorrect?

    If it does work for transfers – everything would have been done automatically, which I have to do manually at present.

    Really looking forward for this feature to go live. It would be a valuable addition to VaultPress features.

    Another thing is, I would really like to read a knowledge-base article that shows a step-by-step process for a complete restore via VaultPress. Is it available somewhere?

  4. Max says:

    Great idea/feature. Being able to move the site quickly from host to host is one of the main interests for me.

    Cool to see that demand is shaping the product.

  5. Mark says:

    I’m in the middle of my first backup. It’s been going for about 18 hours now. It was zipping along just fine until it got to the database. About 12 of the last 18 hours has been spent on the database, which is only 9% done now (I have 3,900 posts in the database).

    What I don’t understand is all this “examining” of database rows. Can you explain this (you need a comprehensive FAQ that really explains some of these technical details). I assume it will be about another 3-5 days to finish.

    But I’m thinking about canceling the download and use something else, because I’m now wondering, what happens if I have to restore the system? It it going to take just as long to restore as it is to download? I can’t have my site down for a week while its restoring.

    Please explain more about the restore process, if it takes as long as the backup process, and I’d also like to understand the “examining” part.

    • Apokalyptik says:

      It looks like your backups have, indeed, finished (you can see the first good snapshot was 1:00pm, Sat, August 14 PST.) Are you still only seeing 9% in your dashboard? If so, please submit a support request and we will be glad to check it out. As for the restore process, you are provided downloadable archives that contain all your files and dumps of your database. Using these will generally be a one shot operation per table. The reason that it takes so long to do the initial backup is because we have to go over every single row in your database individually. It’s a delicate balance sometimes because we want to do it as fast as possible, but we cannot go too fast when it would actually be harmful to the responsiveness of your site to visiting traffic. So while we have to carefully balance how we rail against your server while we back up, you have no such restriction imposed when you use the backups files to restore. I hope this helps.

  6. shawn says:

    I don’t see it mentioned anywhere as to how much storage we are given?

    Is there a maximum amount listed for each site anywhere?

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