[SOLVED] Backup strategy


Active Member
Jun 1, 2019
I'm running ProxMox VE on an Intel NUC, hosting some Linux VM's. I need to define and setup a backup solution that is easily manageable and "good enough". Open source software is the way to go, and know of several (Bacula, Amanda to name a few). But how do you guys think when setting this up? What strategy do you follow? Are you backing up the bare-metal server running ProxMox, or just the data files of the VM's? To online storage? What about offline storage?

I know this can be a huge topic, but generally, all I need is to secure that I with minimal effort can restore my setup, if that should become necessary.

I'd really appreciate your ideas as this is a new topic for me.

Hello there,

You not going to get tips here. Maybe look for other forums?


The backup approach highly depends on the nature of the data. Based on the data importance and disaster tolerance you can choose the approach that works best for you. Here are a couple of ideas that i came up with while using Proxmox:
  1. if the daily backup works just fine and a potential data loss that can occur during the time between 2 backups can be recovered fairly easily (think static websites or services e.g. VPN), i'd suggest setting up periodic automatic backups of VMs and limit the number of backups stored per VM. E.g. you can set up daily backups that run at 1AM and have a limit of 7 backups, which would grant you a backup per every day for the last week. Depending on what is your constraint, you can optimise for space (gzip compression), speed (no compression), or something that is in the middle (LZO). Personally i have daily backups for the past week stored on a virtual drive of the server, while storing weekly backups offsite on a NAS (due to bandwidth limitations it makes more sense).
  2. if your data on the VMs gets obsolete in a matter of hours, i suggest looking into snapshots. You can set a cron job running hourly. Keep in mind that plenty of RAM and decent SSDs (best NVMe/PCIe) are necessary if you want to store the VM's state (RAM), since it can take some time.
  3. if your machines are mission critical, you should look into getting a second server and creating a HA cluster. In most of the cases this may be an overkill, but it saves you from many issues related to single-point-of-failure devices breaking down.
  4. there is no out-of-the-box backup for Proxmox OS itself. On the other hand, from my experience, it's not an issue deploying Proxmox from the scratch. It may result in 15-30 minutes of downtime, but if the OS died, usually there are greater issues that are more urgent and difficult to solve.
To sum up, i see the following hierarchy:
  • HA cluster - most reliable, most expensive
  • hourly snapshots - resource heavy, does not address hardware failure fully
  • VM backups - cheap, but space hungry and fairly slow
I'd start with backups and work my way up, based on how critical is the data.

As for Proxmox backup, i'd suggest writing a script that would be as close as possible to one click setup. This would allow you to redeploy the OS within 15 minutes easily.
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Thanks for your informative answer! By the sounds of it I think the way to go will be VM backups on a daily basis. Agreed, installing proxmox is no big deal. And as long as restoring the VM's and re-importing them works, then that's it I guess. Second thing would be to figure how to handle backup of the nas. Probably a simple rsync will do the job there. Anyway, thanks again!
The easiest approach would be adding the NFS access to the NAS and adding the storage via the Proxmox GUI. Works great and takes like 10 minutes to set.
Agreed. I have that setup, so in a sense I already have a bit added security there, hardware wise, as it runs a raid 0. For the data security part I was thinking of doing a so called "cold-backup" of the nas itself to another, maybe monthly if I bother keep that up. I have an old nas which has passed its end-of-life, or reliability anyway. That could be set up for this and if it works well, may be upgraded some day.


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