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Why you should make backups

Backups are critical for preventing and/or mitigating data loss. In order to assure that software and hardware problems do not result in massive data loss, backups of your server should be conducted and tested on a regular basis. In addition to preventing data loss, backups may also enable you to restore your system back to a previous point in time if something goes wrong; this prevents the system administrators from having to spend time and energy reinstalling the server components. 

In addition to backups conducted to prevent data loss, backups should also be conducted before any significant changes occur to your machine. Before any significant software changes or physical changes occur to the server a backup should be created in order to enable the restoration of the system to a non corrupt state. 

How to make backups

Server Level Backups

Server level backups consist of taking snapshots of the whole machine. This type of snapshot facilitates the restoration of your complete machine to a previous state. 

  • Backup Instructions
    •  All servers are backed up on a daily basis. There are scripts that determine if a server has been backed up in the past 24 hours. If it has not, a script is invoked that will take a snapshot of the entire server and upload it to a redundant object storage platform.
  • Restore Instructions
    • The snapshots can be completely restored to a point in time backup of the entire server using tools provided by the object storage platform provider as well as some custom scripts.

Component Level Backups 

Component level backups consist of backing up individual parts of the DATIM4U system. With this type of backup individual components can be restored to a previous state without affecting other parts of the server.

OpenHIM and medaitors

  • Backup Requirements
    • Configuration Files for the OpenHIM-core, OpenHIM-console and each mediator need to be backed up. These are all just plain JSON files and are located in a /config directory in the installation directory of each tool.
    • MongoDB - the entire mongodb database should be backed up regularly, the mongodump and mongorestore tool can be used to perform these actions.
  • Backup Utility



  • Backup Requirements
    • DHIS2 Database
      • For DATIM4U servers, a database dump is performed every 6 hours via a script and it is compressed and automatically uploaded to the same redundant object storage platform. 
    • DHIS2 war file
      • The DHIS2 database backups are timestamped and name stamped with the specific version of the version of DHIS2 that was running during the backup. All the war files are stored on a separate redundant object storage platform bucket and can be restored from there using custom proprietary scripts.
  • Backup Utility
  • Restore Requirements
    • DHIS2 Database
      • DHIS2 backup databases can be downloaded from the object storage platform and loaded into a database using custom scripts.
    • DHIS2 war file
      • The DHIS2 war file can either be downloaded from the object storage platform directly to the server or compiled directly on the server and then restored using custom scripts.
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