Godaddy FTP Backup Servers – Dedicated Plesk Server

One of our clients recently had an issue where his Godaddy FTP Backup Server was full – causing his seperate dedicated Plesk Server to fill up it’s own Drive with Temp files, while at the same time use a lot of resources trying to put files to the full FTP backup server.

You can sign up for a remote backup server when you order a godaddy hosting service, and it does sound a good idea considering it should keep your data safe. You can only access the data on the FTP server from within the Godaddy network – stopping any outside access.

When Plesk attempts to connect to a remote FTP server, it first tries to place a file on the server – which is a no-go if the server is full. This fails of course, so you can’t even get a directory listing of the remote server through Plesk.

Easy solution though – connect to your server through SSH and then use commands to connect to the remote FTP through your server.

  1. Open your SSH application of choice (we use PuTTY, available free from greenend.org.uk) and connect to your server. Use your main IP address or your hostname (domain name), depending on what your host supports. For dedicated servers from Godaddy, either can be used.
  2. Once you’ve logged in with your root username and password, simply enter

    FTP XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX (where xxx…. is the IP address of the FTP server) and hit enter.
    then your login username, hit enter and then your login password (also followed by enter). For Godaddy all of this is available in your Server Management Area.

  3. Now you should be logged on to the server. Type DIR and hit enter to produce a list of the directory contents. This also shows file sizes and other details.
    1. You can DELETE individual files on the server using the DELETE command. For example, to delete info.php use DELETE info.php and hit enter.
    2. To change directories type CD directoryname/ and hit enter.
    3. To copy a file to your local server type WGET filename.file and hit enter. If you don’t specify a directory then the file will be copied to your server in the /root/ directory. You can access this directory by connecting to your server using PuTTY and typing DIR and hitting enter when you’ve logged in. (It will be in the default directory).

That’s a basic guide, there are many better out there but this follows the basics. There are a couple of useful SSH commands on this site, including how to set specific options.

Where are Plesk Backups Kept?

Plesk incorporates a useful backup utility which allows an easy backup of your server, on a schedule or just when you please (AKA log in and click backup…). You can choose between local backups and remote backups too, allowing you to co-locate your backups for safety.

When the backup process is interrupted there can be huge temporary files left which will soon fill up your server and cause it to cease all processes. You won’t be able to access Plesk or any MySQL, for example. We had this problem recently on a client’s server where his FTP server was full – but the system had continued making backups in the temp folder. These were not moved or removed so it was a matter of days before these 20GB+ backups filled his HDD.

There’s an easy way to solve this problem.

Using a SSH client (such as PuTTY), log into your server with the root account. This will allow you unrestricted access.

You will then need to navigate to the /var/lib/psa/dumps/ directory as this is where the backups are stored by default.

In this directory is a folder for each Client on the Plesk server (these are the numbers) and a temp folder. If you cd to the temp folder you can remove (using the RM command) any old files, and failed backup files. For example, to delete backup.backup from the current directory:

rm backup.backup

If you’re looking to move the backups to a new server, or download them, you can find them in /client_number/domain_number/ as large backup files. You can use the move command to move it to a web accessible location. For example, to move the file backup.backup from the current directory to a top website directory, you would use:

mv backup.backup /var/www/vhosts/3cc.org/httpdocs/backup.backup

I would then be able to access backup.backup from http://www.3cc.org/backup.backup.

These commands were useful quite recently when a server needed reinstalling. We simply downloaded a backup of every site on the server, reinstalled the server, added all the domains back into Plesk and uploaded the files into their former positions. The Plesk backup agent then restored the sites.

Simple & effective.