Cloud Backup FAQ

Account services

Why do I get a 403 error when trying to migrate a vault?

When you use the API endpoint to migrate an existing vault to a new agent, you should not configure the new agent with any new backup configurations of its own.

You also cannot migrate an encrypted vault.

See the Migrate Vault API call for a description.

Why does my backup fail with the error “Container does not exist. Invalid snapshot id and engine, and check config_backup.json id?”

The Cloud Files container named z_DO_NOT_DELETE_CloudBackup is required for Rackspace Cloud Backup to work properly. If this container is deleted, you receive the error Container does not exist. Invalid snapshot id and engine, and check config_backup.json id when you attempt to do a backup.

This error can have the following causes:

  1. The Cloud Files container where your backups are stored has been deleted.
  2. Clicking View Configuration does not display the JSON configuration. This issue commonly occurs when you have corrupted backup configurations.

To resolve this error, ensure that you do not delete the z_DO_NOT_DELETE_CloudBackup container in your Cloud Files account because it is used for backups. If you accidentally delete this container, contact Rackspace Support.


What is Rackspace Cloud Backup?

Even though the cloud is engineered to prevent data loss, maintaining recent backups of your important data is still considered a fundamental best practice. Cloud Backup is a file-based backup solution that uses compression, encryption, and deduplication to ensure your data is protected and recoverable.

Cloud Backup should not be confused with the ability to image your servers, which is a strategy for horizontal scalability and not recommended for backup.

Cloud Backup is a service that enables you to select and back up specific files and folders from your Cloud Server. You can schedule any number of backup jobs, and restore to the same system or a different one, giving you the flexibility and power to work with your schedule and your data.

Cloud Backup has the following key features:

  • Select the files and folders that you want to back up from your cloud server.
  • Run your backups manually or on a schedule that works for you.
  • See the activity from all your backups, both current and previous.
  • Use AES-256 encryption with a private encryption key known only to you.
  • Restore individual files and folders from a particular date.
  • Save space with incremental backups that only save the changed portions of files.
  • Create unlimited backups.

For information on getting started with Cloud Backup, see our introduction to Cloud Backup.

Why do I have to keep offsite copies of containers on non-Rackspace media?

If you choose to keep offsite copies of backup containers, it provides an extra layer of protection from bad actors who might obtain your Rackspace account credentials from you and delete all your cloud assets.

To protect these offsite copies from the bad actor, they must reside on media that is not accessible by using the stolen credentials. Otherwise, the bad actor can delete them, too.

Can Cloud Backup change my system configuration file, even after I have modified it?

Yes. Some machines running the Ubuntu® operating system have older agents installed. To communicate properly with your system, you might need to overwrite the configuration file with a current version.

How does Cloud Backup handle corrupt files?

Cloud Backup double-checks to make sure files get written properly when they are backed up and restored. However, if an uploaded file is corrupt, it is backed up and restored as corrupted. The backup and restore processes themselves should never corrupt files. If file corruption occurs in Cloud Files itself, it might render the backup unusable.

What happens if I lose my encryption key?

Rackspace does not store customer encryption keys. Only you know and can access your encryption passphrase. If you forget your passphrase, you are not able to restore data from your backups.

For more information, see the section on Setting up encryption on your Cloud Backup system in the list of Cloud Backup actions.

How do I generate a Cloud Backup encryption key?

If you want to create your own encrypted key and bypass the default client-side encryption, see Generate your encrypted key in Cloud Backup.

Where are my Cloud Backups stored?

All of your Cloud Backups are stored in your Cloud Files account.

What if I never set up a Cloud Files account?

When you establish your Cloud account, a Cloud Files account is set up as well. You are not charged storage fees for your Cloud Files account until you begin storing things in it.

How many backup jobs can I have at one time?

You can create any number of backup jobs for each of your servers, and you can include a nearly unlimited number of files in each job.

For more information, see Creating a Backup.

What is deduplication?

Our block-level deduplication backs up only those portions of files that have changed since the previous backup. This means you don’t needlessly backup the same unchanged data again and again. This increases efficiency by reducing the amount of data that is transferred for each backup, and reduces your storage space by not storing duplicate data. An added benefit is that this capability enables you to retrieve previous versions of your files (up to the limits specified in your data retention settings).

See the section on Scheduling and Deduplication in the list of Cloud Backup actions.

Can I use Cloud Backup on my server?

You can use Cloud Backup on virtually any server in the Rackspace Cloud. Some exceptions are FreeBSD® 9, Debian® 5, and Windows® 2003.

Note: If you have servers that are not in the Rackspace Cloud that are running operating systems that are supported by Rackspace, the following installer links for more details.

Before you can use Cloud Backup, you must have the backup agent installed and running on your cloud server. Cloud servers with a Managed Operations service level should have this additional piece of software installed by default. If it is not installed, contact your Account Representative to get started. If you have an infrastructure-only account, you must manually install the agent by following these instructions for Linux® or Windows.

For more information, see the Rackspace Cloud Backup introduction.

How long are my Cloud Backups kept?

You choose how long your backups are saved: 30 days, 60 days, or indefinitely.

See the section on Retaining your Backup in the list of Cloud Backup actions.

How do I configure my cloud backups?

You set up your backups in the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel.

In the top navigation bar, click Select a Product > Rackspace Cloud, then select Backups.

If you need to create a new backup, click the System that you want to back up, and then click Create Backup. If you already have a backup and want to reconfigure it, click the gear icon next to the backup name and select Configure Backup. See Configuring a Backup through Backup Actions for more information.

You can set backups to run hourly, daily, weekly, or on-demand (manually).

Read more about Scheduling your Backup in the list of Cloud Backup actions.

Are 32-bit servers and agents on Linux supported?

No, 32-bit servers and agents on Linux are not supported.

Why does my backup fail with a 403 error from Cloud Files when the account has sub-users?


I am registered as a sub-user and am authorized for Cloud Backup and not for Cloud Files access. When I attempt to do a backup, all requests to Cloud Files return a 403 error. In this case, I attempt to authenticate again, but the new authentication token is the same as the old one.


Account administrators can manage permission levels in the User Management section of the Cloud Control Panel. Submit a request to your account administrator for Full access to your account or Administrative access to Cloud Files for your sub-user account.

What does Cloud Backup cost?

With advanced deduplication and compression capabilities built-in, Cloud Backup can save you money by using less storage. Standard rates for Cloud Files storage fees apply. For current storage fees, see the Cloud Files storage fees.

Why are the files that are being modified during backup missing or corrupted?

The following three types of files change as Cloud Backup backs them up:

  1. Files that are overwritten or deleted as we back them up.
  2. Files such as logs that get appended to as we back them up.
  3. Files such as databases that might have random updates to any part of them as we back them up.

If files are modified during backup, they might be handled in the following ways:

  1. Overwritten or deleted: These files are not guaranteed to be included in the backup.
  2. Appended: We make a best effort to back these up, but we expect to be able to restore a reasonable and usable form of these files.
  3. Randomly updated: We do not guarantee that these files are restorable, and even if they are restored, we do not guarantee that what is restored is not corrupt.

These file types either change too rapidly (databases, logs, caches) or don’t exist long enough to be backed up (session files). Session files should be avoided entirely. If the information is valuable to your business, log files should track it. Caches should also be avoided, as their data is meant to be discarded.

If you do need to back up these files, we suggest the following workarounds:

  • For databases: Take a snapshot of the database (a database dump) and back up the dump. See Rackspace Cloud Backup - Backing up Databases for full instructions.
  • For log files: Take snapshots of your log files and back them up. To avoid running out of disk space, rotate your log files periodically.

Does the backup agent accept incoming connections?

No. The agent only makes outgoing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to our API server on port 443.

Can Cloud Backup restore files across data centers?

This functionality is not officially supported, but it is physically possible to do it. See the following link for more information on cross-DC restore hacks.