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Configuring backups on your appliance

As part of a disaster recovery plan, you can protect production data on your GitHub Enterprise Server instance by configuring automated backups.

About GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities

GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities is a backup system you install on a separate host, which takes backup snapshots of your GitHub Enterprise Server instance at regular intervals over a secure SSH network connection. You can use a snapshot to restore an existing GitHub Enterprise Server instance to a previous state from the backup host.

Only data added since the last snapshot will transfer over the network and occupy additional physical storage space. To minimize performance impact, backups are performed online under the lowest CPU/IO priority. You do not need to schedule a maintenance window to perform a backup.

Major releases and version numbers for GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities align with feature releases of GitHub Enterprise Server. We support the four most recent versions of both products. For more information, see "GitHub Enterprise Server releases."

For more detailed information on features, requirements, and advanced usage, see the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities README in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.

Prerequisites

To use GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities, you must have a Linux or Unix host system separate from your GitHub Enterprise Server instance.

You can also integrate GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities into an existing environment for long-term permanent storage of critical data.

We recommend that the backup host and your GitHub Enterprise Server instance be geographically distant from each other. This ensures that backups are available for recovery in the event of a major disaster or network outage at the primary site.

Physical storage requirements will vary based on Git repository disk usage and expected growth patterns:

HardwareRecommendation
vCPUs2
Memory2 GB
StorageFive times the primary instance's allocated storage

More resources may be required depending on your usage, such as user activity and selected integrations.

For more information, see GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities requirements in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.

Installing GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities

To install GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities on your backup host, we recommend cloning the project's Git repository. This approach allows you to fetch new releases directly using Git, and your existing backup configuration file, backup.config, will be preserved when installing a new version.

Alternatively, if the host machine can't access the internet, you can download each GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities release as a compressed archive, then extract and install the contents. For more information, see Getting started in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.

Backup snapshots are written to the disk path set by the GHE_DATA_DIR data directory variable in your backup.config file. Snapshots need to be stored on a filesystem which supports symbolic and hard links.

Note: We recommend ensuring your snapshots are not kept in a subdirectory of the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities installation directory, to avoid inadvertently overwriting your data directory when upgrading GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities versions.

  1. To clone the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project repository to a local directory on your backup host, run the following command.

    $ git clone https://github.com/github/backup-utils.git /path/to/target/directory/backup-utils
    
  2. To change into the local repository directory, run the following command.

    cd backup-utils
    
  3. 若要更新到最新项目发行版本,请通过运行 git checkout stable 命令使用 stable 分支。

    git checkout stable

    或者,若要使用特定项目版本,请运行以下命令,将 X.Y.Z 替换为所需的发行版本。

    $ git checkout vX.Y.Z
  4. To copy the included backup.config-example file to backup.config, run the following command.

    cp backup.config-example backup.config
  5. To customize your configuration, edit backup.config in a text editor.

    1. Set the GHE_HOSTNAME value to your primary GitHub Enterprise Server instance's hostname or IP address.

      Note: If your GitHub Enterprise Server instance is deployed as a cluster or in a high availability configuration using a load balancer, the GHE_HOSTNAME can be the load balancer hostname, as long as it allows SSH access (on port 122) to your GitHub Enterprise Server instance.

      To ensure a recovered appliance is immediately available, perform backups targeting the primary instance even in a geo-replication configuration.

    2. Set the GHE_DATA_DIR value to the filesystem location where you want to store backup snapshots. We recommend choosing a location on the same filesystem as your backup host, but outside of where you cloned the Git repository in step 1.

  6. To grant your backup host access to your instance, open your primary instance's settings page at http(s)://HOSTNAME/setup/settings and add the backup host's SSH key to the list of authorized SSH keys. For more information, see "Accessing the administrative shell (SSH)."

  7. On your backup host, verify SSH connectivity with your GitHub Enterprise Server instance with the ghe-host-check command.

    ./bin/ghe-host-check
  8. To create an initial full backup, run the following command.

    ./bin/ghe-backup

For more information on advanced usage, see the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities README in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.

Upgrading GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities

When upgrading GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities, you must choose a release that will work with your current version of GitHub Enterprise Server. Your installation of GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities must be at least the same version as your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, and cannot be more than two versions ahead. For more information, see GitHub Enterprise Server version requirements in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation. You can upgrade GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities in a Git repository by fetching and checking out the latest changes.

Alternatively, if you don't use a Git repository for your installation, you can extract a new archive into place, or you can change your approach to use a Git repository instead.

Verifying the installation type

You can verify the installation method for GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities and determine the best way to upgrade your installation.

  1. 在备份主机上,导航到 GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities 目录,通常为 backup-utils

  2. To check if a valid working directory exists inside a Git repository, run the following command.

    git rev-parse --is-inside-work-tree
    

    If the output is true, GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities was installed by cloning the project's Git repository. If the output includes fatal: not a git repository (or any of the parent directories), GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities was likely installed by extracting a compressed archive file. If your installation is in a Git repository, you can install the latest version using Git. If the installation is from a compressed archive file, you can either download and extract the latest version, or you can reinstall GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities using Git to simplify future upgrades.

Upgrading an installation in a Git repository

  1. 在备份主机上,导航到 GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities 目录,通常为 backup-utils

    Note: We recommend creating a copy of your existing backup.config file in a temporary location, like $HOME/backup.config, before upgrading GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities.

  2. Download the latest project updates by running the git fetch command.

    git fetch
  3. 若要更新到最新项目发行版本,请通过运行 git checkout stable 命令使用 stable 分支。

    git checkout stable

    或者,若要使用特定项目版本,请运行以下命令,将 X.Y.Z 替换为所需的发行版本。

    $ git checkout vX.Y.Z
  4. 若要验证是否已成功升级,请运行以下命令。

    ./bin/ghe-backup --version
  5. 若要验证配置的 GitHub Enterprise Server 之间的 SSH 连接,请运行以下命令。

    ./bin/ghe-host-check

Using Git instead of compressed archives for upgrades

If your backup host has internet connectivity and you previously used a compressed archive (.tar.gz) to install or upgrade GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities, we recommend using a Git repository for your installation instead. Upgrading using Git requires less work and preserves your backup configuration.

  1. 在备份主机上,导航到 GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities 目录,通常为 backup-utils

  2. To back up your existing GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities configuration, copy your current backup.config file to a safe location, such as your home directory.

    $ cp backup.config $HOME/backup.config.saved-$(date +%Y%m%d-%H%M%S)
    
  3. Change to the local directory on your backup host where you want to install the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities Git repository.

  4. To clone the project repository to the directory on your backup host, run the following command.

    git clone https://github.com/github/backup-utils.git
    
  5. To change into the cloned repository, run the following command.

    cd backup-utils
    
  6. 若要更新到最新项目发行版本,请通过运行 git checkout stable 命令使用 stable 分支。

    git checkout stable

    或者,若要使用特定项目版本,请运行以下命令,将 X.Y.Z 替换为所需的发行版本。

    $ git checkout vX.Y.Z
  7. To restore your backup configuration from earlier, copy your existing backup configuration file to the local repository directory. Replace the path in the command with the location of the file saved in step 2.

    $ cp PATH/TO/BACKUP/FROM/STEP/2 backup.config
    

    Note: You can choose where to restore your backup configuration file to after cloning. For more information about where configuration files can be located, see Getting started in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.

  8. To confirm that the paths to directories or scripts in your backup configuration file are correct, review the file in a text editor.

  9. 若要验证是否已成功升级,请运行以下命令。

    ./bin/ghe-backup --version
  10. 若要验证配置的 GitHub Enterprise Server 之间的 SSH 连接,请运行以下命令。

    ./bin/ghe-host-check
  11. Delete your old GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities directory from step 1 (where the compressed archive installation was located).

Scheduling a backup

You can schedule regular backups on the backup host using the cron(8) command or a similar command scheduling service. The configured backup frequency will dictate the worst case recovery point objective (RPO) in your recovery plan. For example, if you have scheduled the backup to run every day at midnight, you could lose up to 24 hours of data in a disaster scenario. We recommend starting with an hourly backup schedule, guaranteeing a worst case maximum of one hour of data loss if the primary site data is destroyed.

If backup attempts overlap, the ghe-backup command will abort with an error message, indicating the existence of a simultaneous backup. If this occurs, we recommended decreasing the frequency of your scheduled backups. For more information, see the "Scheduling backups" section of the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities README in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.

Restoring a backup

In the event of prolonged outage or catastrophic event at the primary site, you can restore your GitHub Enterprise Server instance by provisioning another GitHub Enterprise appliance and performing a restore from the backup host. You must add the backup host's SSH key to the target GitHub Enterprise appliance as an authorized SSH key before restoring an appliance.

Note: When performing backup restores to your GitHub Enterprise Server instance, the same version supportability rules apply. You can only restore data from at most two feature releases behind.

For example, if you take a backup from GitHub Enterprise Server 3.0.x, you can restore the backup to a GitHub Enterprise Server 3.2.x instance. You cannot restore data from a backup of GitHub Enterprise Server 2.22.x to an instance running 3.2.x, because that would be three jumps between versions (2.22 to 3.0 to 3.1 to 3.2). You would first need to restore to an instance running 3.1.x, and then upgrade to 3.2.x.

To restore your GitHub Enterprise Server instance from the last successful snapshot, use the ghe-restore command.

Note: Prior to restoring a backup, ensure:

When running the ghe-restore command, you should see output similar to this:

$ ghe-restore -c 169.154.1.1
> Checking for leaked keys in the backup snapshot that is being restored ...
> * No leaked keys found
> Connect 169.154.1.1:122 OK (v2.9.0)

> WARNING: All data on GitHub Enterprise appliance 169.154.1.1 (v2.9.0)
>          will be overwritten with data from snapshot 20170329T150710.
> Please verify that this is the correct restore host before continuing.
> Type 'yes' to continue: yes

> Starting restore of 169.154.1.1:122 from snapshot 20170329T150710
# ...output truncated
> Completed restore of 169.154.1.1:122 from snapshot 20170329T150710
> Visit https://169.154.1.1/setup/settings to review appliance configuration.

Note:

  • The network settings are excluded from the backup snapshot. You must manually configure the network on the target GitHub Enterprise Server appliance as required for your environment.

  • When restoring to new disks on an existing or empty GitHub Enterprise Server instance, stale UUIDs may be present, resulting in Git and/or Alambic replication reporting as out of sync. Stale server entry IDs can be the result of a retired node in a high availability configuration still being present in the application database, but not in the restored replication configuration. To remediate, stale UUIDs can be torn down using ghe-repl-teardown once the restore has completed and prior to starting replication. In this scenario, contact GitHub Enterprise 支持 for further assistance.

You can use these additional options with ghe-restore command:

  • The -c flag overwrites the settings, certificate, and license data on the target host even if it is already configured. Omit this flag if you are setting up a staging instance for testing purposes and you wish to retain the existing configuration on the target. For more information, see the "Using backup and restore commands" section of the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities README in the GitHub Enterprise Server Backup Utilities project documentation.
  • The -s flag allows you to select a different backup snapshot.