A Backup System Unlike Any Other … Personal Backups for S3 Now Live (and Free)

You’ve told us backups are important to you and we’ve been listening.

That’s why we are so excited to officially announce the latest Synthesis innovation: Synthesis Personal Backups for S3, a backup system that truly is unlike any other.

It is now live and available for all Synthesis customers to use.

And did we mention it’s free?

We’re serious about backups.

We already back up your site using Linux-level technologies that we’ve been evolving for the past 4 years.  These backups are sent to our own enterprise-class storage in a data center that sits almost 1,500 miles away from our servers.  And we monitor these for success on a daily basis.

Yet no matter how professionally managed this process is, you’ve told us that you won’t be comfortable until you can have copies of your site’s backups sent to you.

You want your site backed up and in your possession. We agree with you!

So we recently released Database Snapshots as part of our Software Monitor must-use plugin. This allows you to easily backup your database before making WordPress updates.

Synthesis Personal Backups for S3 is the next step in this continued volution.

Synthesis Personal Backups for S3

This system allows you to configure files, directories, and databases that you want backed up.  Our robust server processes then push those files to your S3 account.

Unlike PHP-based backup plugins that have significant limitations, our processes are driven at the Linux level and use both file transfer and file synchronization technologies made available by Amazon.

We are a little bit different in our approach to backups. We are more concerned about fast and effective recovery than creating huge, unmanageable backups.  It is not just about the ‘activity’ of backing up; we view the end game as successful recovery from site issues.

Why restore your entire site and lose comments when all you need is a CSS file from 5 days ago?

Thus, we’ve created a user guide (available to Synthesis customers in your site’s dashboard via the Software Monitor plugin) that not only walks you through configuration but also provides you with disaster recovery strategy.

We’re content publishers too, and we live with the need for these solutions.  That’s why we develop them.

Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) is reliable and affordable.  There is no reason not to maintain a second set of backups for your site.

If you already a Synthesis customer, get started by logging in to your wp-admin, clicking on ‘Software Monitor’ (underneath the Dashboard tab), and then clicking on the user guide link in the Personal Backups for S3 section.

If you need some input, just ask us.

Answers to a few FAQs

Q:  I have a backup plugin I am currently using.  Why should I disable it and use Synthesis Personal Backups for S3?
A:  Backup Plugins are written in PHP and do fail. Moreover, they tend to backup your site locally on your hosting account, which makes no sense at all because IF you lose all the data in your site … you lose your backups as well.

You can use what you’d like, but we use Synthesis Personal Backups for S3 for our own sites and we encourage you to try it out.

Q:  How is Personal Backups for S3 different from Database Snapshots?
A:  Database Snapshots make a single copy of your database. This tool is designed to give you a known good copy of your database prior to making updates to plugins, themes, or WordPress that change the database.

Personal Backups for S3, on the other hand, is designed for disaster recovery. It allows you to backup files, databases, non-WordPress databases, and retain these for defined periods of time.

Moreover, Personal Backups for S3 has a synchronization component allowing you to synchronize parts or your entire site to S3 for maintaining a “hot copy” of the files.

Q:  Why does the Database Snapshots UI not have a restore button?
A:  We are in talks about that now. The technology to do this is easy. Still, we’d hate for you to lose post or comment data when all you need is to restore wp_options.

If you need to restore a DB Snapshot, open a support ticket for now and our Help Desk staff will walk you through the right course of action. Soon we hope to release a “Smart Restore” function to that user interface.

Q: What is Synthesis Plugin Snapshot Reports?
A:  Synthesis Plugin Snapshot Reports allow you to create up to 10 reports of the versions of plugins, both active and inactive, on your site at any given time. We highly encourage the removal of inactive plugins for security reasons and these reports allow you to reference versions of plugins you’ve had on your site at a given point in time.

We do not backup the plugins when you take the snapshot. It is just a picture of your site’s plugins and their versions at a moment time. So to bring a deleted plugin back, you would need to go to WordPress.org to download previous version of a plugin.

Q:  When will you support other cloud storage like DropBox or Azure?
A:  This is not in our plans. Storage is a commodity, and we chose Amazon primarily due to the quality of their Linux libraries as well as for their reliability and affordability.

An average Personal Backups for S3 configuration will cost less than $5 a month at Amazon.

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