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Rsync Incremental Backups

Question: How can I easily perform incremental backups on my dedicated server?

Answer: There are few tasks more important than backing up your server. Because of the nature of computers and especially the nature of the Internet, you are bound to have problems. They may or may not cause data loss, but that is not a chance you want to take.

Rsync is a tool that simply syncs the files in one directory with another. What makes it ideal for backups is that 1) it can archive files and compress them and 2) it can use SSH to perform the backups to remote servers.

To run an rsync backup, just execute the command like this:

rsync -avz ~/public_html username@hostname.com:/home/user/backupfiles/

This will backup, archive, and compress the files found in public_html on your server. Finally, it will send those archives to the remote server in the directory specified. The best part about rsync is that, the next time you perform a backup, it will only backup the files that have changed (i.e. incremental backups), saving you bandwidth and time.

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