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.

Funding Adwords with Adsense?

It’s been years since the first Adwords advertisers first commented on whether Google would ever release a funds transfer option for Adsense –> Adwords balances.

Just think how this would help cash flow in a company’s advertising budget – you could even call it renewable advertising.

Money In (from Adsense) = Money Out (from Adwords), and then of course you could throw an additional budget into the mix to further promote more visits, hence increasing the money made from adsense further – like a chain reaction.

This would greatly help us as a development and marketing company when working with our self managed customers. We set up all the marketing for them but use their accounts…so we’re constantly pushing for payments in and out of Google. Once funds have left the Adsense account it may be weeks (or on the odd occasion months) before the company accountants approve a push of funds back into the associated Adwords account.

There have been plenty of discussions over the years, outlining many of the problems of such a scheme, but we’ll keep hoping.

Another interesting problem is how Google deals with exchange rates when dealing with customer’s funds. I was reminded of this when reading a short article over at MEMWG on Adsense.

Whether this was down to how we configured Adsense or just how Adsense is, the whole system works in USD. I was reminded of Google’s binding to the American currency when the exchange rate for GBP-USD changed from the highs of less than a month ago, to new lows…where the Dollar is once again worth more against the Pound – meaning each USD in advertising revenue means more £GBP. Good stuff.

I then remembered that our Adwords accounts are all in GBP…which at the moment is favourable since we get more £ from our Adsense, and pay less for our Adwords than if our account was in Dollars.

That sounds about right. Point of the story there was that perhaps adoption of a single currency WOULD prove beneficial, else it could lead to people playing the currency markets through Google. Unlikely I know, but one has to take every opportunity one gets.

It would also remove most of the barriers to transferring balances between accounts.