How do I back up my Urchin configuration on a nightly basis

Question: How do I back up my Urchin configuration on a nightly basis?

Answer: It is more than likely that you are backing up your website to guard against a hard drive failure, a hacker, or some other unseen disaster. If you are not backing up your data, stop reading, and go setup a basic backup system now.

Most system backups copy vital files to a remote device that can be used to restore missing or damaged files in an emergency. But what about application settings, are those backed up? If your server goes down, could you re-build your Urchin installation?

Rebuilding an Urchin installation can be a fairly simple task if you have a few profiles and filters. You can log in and re-create the profiles and filters manually without much trouble. But what if you have 50 profiles with numerous filters? Could you remember all the settings to rebuild Urchin and get your reports back? This is where a backup of your Urchin configuration becomes useful.

Urchin provides a number of command line tools that can be used to back up and restore an Urchin installation. Using these tools, you can create a simple script that dumps your Urchin configuration into a text file. This text file can then be imported back into Urchin to rebuild settings, profiles and filters.

To completely backup an Urchin installation you will need an Urchin Configuration backup file and the log files that are processed by Urchin. Backing up your log files is not covered in this article but is equally as important as backing up your Urchin configuration. I cannot stress enough how important it is to back up your log files. Without them, there is no way to rebuild your Urchin reports.

Please note that this article assumes you have some knowledge of the *NIX command line interface.