Rackspace Cloud Backup vs. Cloud Server Image Backups

  • Last updated on: 2016-04-11
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

Some users are used to taking snapshots of their Cloud Server as a backup. If you have a solution where you want to save the server’s state or configuration, or want to keep gold copies of your system, then you can create an image backup of the server. Because it is an image of the whole server, there is really no control over the individual files. You cannot, say, recover a single file from that image, or update a single file. But, on the other hand, having a single file to manage (the image) allows you to easily recreate a new server with that identical configuration and state.

Note: You can learn more about scheduling images from the Scheduled Images FAQ.

Rackspace Cloud Backup, on the other hand, is a FILE-BASED backup. This means that you can specify what folders or files to backup or restore. As usual, you can choose to backup or restore the whole system with all its folders, but the distinction with image backups is that the granularity of Rackspace Cloud Backup is at the file level, as opposed to it being at the whole server image level.

Moreover, Rackspace Cloud Backup is also an INCREMENTAL backup tool in that it only copies the portion of the files that changed for those files that actually changed. This gives you some flexibility because, with the exception of your first complete backup, every subsequent backup is just a “delta” of the previous backup, which makes for faster backup and restores operations and also reduces the storage required. As you probably know, image backups are not incremental: they copy the whole system every time.

Rackspace customers now have two options for backing up their Cloud Servers. Below is a summary of both:

  • Rackspace Cloud Backup - Rackspace Cloud Backup is a fully integrated, file-based backup solution that helps protect your data on cloud servers. For additional information, see the Cloud Backup introduction.

  • Cloud Server Image Backup - Cloud Server Image Backup is a copy of the entire state of a Cloud Server stored either on Cloud Files or on the Cloud Server’s host, depending on the environment. Images can be scheduled or created on-demand. For additional information, check out Creating A New Cloud Server From A Saved Image

Note: With General Purpose and I/O-optimized Cloud Servers, only the system disk is captured when using an Image Backup. If you require backups of your data disk or disks, use Cloud Backup so you configure your backup to include the specific drives and directories you want to retain. To determine which product best suits your backup needs, visit the links below:

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