How we backup

I woke up to the terrible news that our good friends on another instance had lost their database during a software upgrade. Godspeed and good luck in bringing it back online. We’re pulling for you!

The Free Radical site backs itself up hourly to a private S3 bucket, and keeps a month’s worth of these snapshots. It’s configured to upload all media files to S3 and serve them from there. In the event of a complete server failure, I could – assuming all goes well – re-deploy the software on a new server and restore from backup without losing more than just users and posts created since the last hour’s backup.

Why I’ve automated deployments

Free Radical is running on a Digital Ocean VPS. Instead of deploying it manually, I turned the process into a couple of Ansible playbooks1 that do the right things quickly and repeatably.

I describe what it does in the README, but that’s just a feature checklist. So why would I go through the effort? There are several reasons:

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