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DotNetNuke 5 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: How to Backup a DNN Installation

clock Maart 28, 2011 09:06 by author Jervis

Another very common question that I see regarding DotNetNuke is when and how should I backup my DotNetNuke site. This topic is VERY important and requires a bit of planning, especially if you do not have direct access to your database server to perform your own backups. In the following sections I will first talk about what you must backup and why some of those items are very important. I will then discuss how to perform a DNN backup and SQL Server backup, both for SQL 2000 and 2005.  Finally I will discuss options available for third party modules for performing backups for individuals that do not have direct access to their servers.  This is a second revision of this article.

What to Backup?

Simply put, it is a best practice to backup your ENTIRE DotNetNuke directory on the web server as well as a full backup of the database. Some people will say that you can get by with only backing up the "portals" folder, this is NOT correct! To successfully restore a DotNetNuke installation you must ensure that you have all module .dll and other code files you also must have the same validation and decryption keys.  I have found that the only real method to keep your data safe is to create a backup with all files.  Given the limited file size of the core DNN installation I have not found this to be a hinderance, especially since the additional files that exist in my website are all related to the content available within and is something I must have a backup of anyway.

Performing the Backup

Performing a backup of DotNetNuke is a fairly easy two step process. First I will discuss backing up the DNN installation directory, then I will discuss options available for backing up the database.

Backing up the DotNetNuke Directory

You have two options when backing up the DotNetNuke directory. If you have direct access to the server, you can simply right click on the DotNetNuke directory and select "Send To:" -> "Compressed (Zipped) Folder". This applies for most versions of the windows operating system. You will then have a file named dnn.zip where dnn was your directory name. This zip file will contain all needed backup files, you will want to store this in a safe location.


If you do not have direct access to the server and can only access it via FTP you will have an additional step to obtain a zip file for your site. You will want to connect to your FTP site and COPY all files to a temporary location on your local computer. Once all files have been copied you will want to create a zip file including ALL files and folders that were just downloaded. 

NOTE: Depending on your hosting provider to save yourself time some will automatically zip your website up for you so you have only 1 file to download!

NOTE: if using a program such as WinZip for zipping, ensure that the "Use Folder Names" option is enabled so that the folder structure is preserved within your zip archive.

Backing up the DotNetNuke Database

To backup the database you must have access to the database server and the file system of the database server. If you are in a hosted environment you will need to rely on your hosting provider to obtain a backup, or you will need to look into a potential third party solution to backup the database from within DotNetNuke. If you have full access to the server please use one of the below sets of instructions to backup your database..

Backing up a Database with SQL Server 2000 and Enterprise Manager

Follow the below steps if you wish to create a databse backup file from Enterprise Manager for SQL Server 2000 using Enterprise Manager.

- Navigate to your specific database in Enterprise Manager
- Right click on the database and select "All Tasks" -> "Backup Database..”
- Ensure that "Complete" is selected for the backup type
- Click the "Add" button in the "Destination" section
- In this section provide a full file path to the desired backup file, typically named DATABASENAME.bak where DATABASENAME is your database name
- Click "Ok" to generate your backup, you will receive a success notice upon completion

You will now have a full backup file containing all tables and data for your database.

This process is very similar with SQL Server 2005.

Backing up a Database with T-SQL Commands (2000 and 2005)

The fastest method to backup your database is to use T-SQL commands.  You simply need to create a backup device which specifies where your backup file should go, then you simply perform a 'BACKUP DATABASE' call to perform the database backup.  The following scripts show you how to create a backup file called MyBackup.bak in your C drive which will contain the entire dnn441 database.  You will need to adapt this script to fit your configuration.

--Create Device!
EXEC sp_addumpdevice 'disk''MyBackupDevice'
'C:\MyBackup.bak'

--Now backup the db
BACKUP DATABASE 
dnn441
    
TO MyBackupDevice

Regardless if you used one of my methods above or had your hosting provider create a backup for you once you have obtained .bak file you have everything you should need to restore your site to its current state. How often you perform this type of backup really depends on the amount of activity, the frequency of actual changes, and the amount of loss you are willing to accept. A full backup plan is something that needs to be considered on an individual implementation basis and includes many factors.

Third Party Modules

Some third party backup modules exist on the market that will allow users to generate SQL Server backups without direct access to the database server. Below are a few links to these utilities. I have NOT used any of these utilities and do not recommend one over the other, I am simply providing these links as a starting point for your research into a solution.

-
XP Idea - Database and Site Backup Module
- Evotiva - BackupScript Module

Other Considerations

The above process outlines the common backup practices that are needed to backup your website to allow you to restore it to the same location.  If you are taking a backup to move the site to a different location it is very helpful if you add a new portal alias for the new site BEFORE you backup the database.  This will allow the restore process to be more streamlined.

For example if your production site it http://www.mysite.com and you are looking to restore it to http://localhost/mysite on your local machine, login as host and add the alias under "Site Settings" before you take the backup.

Reasons why you must trust ASPHostPortal.com

Every provider will tell you how they treat their support, uptime, expertise, guarantees, etc., are. Take a close look. What they’re really offering you is nothing close to what ASPHostPortal does. You will be treated with respect and provided the courtesy and service you would expect from a world-class web hosting business.


You’ll have highly trained, skilled professional technical support people ready, willing, and wanting to help you 24 hours a day. Your web hosting account servers are monitored from three monitoring points, with two alert points, every minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The followings are the list of other added- benefits you can find when hosting with us:

- DELL Hardware
Dell hardware is engineered to keep critical enterprise applications running around the clock with clustered solutions fully tested and certified by Dell and other leading operating system and application providers.
- Recovery Systems
Recovery becomes easy and seamless with our fully managed backup services. We monitor your server to ensure your data is properly backed up and recoverable so when the time comes, you can easily repair or recover your data.
- Control Panel
We provide one of the most comprehensive customer control panels available. Providing maximum control and ease of use, our Control Panel serves as the central management point for your ASPHostPortal account. You’ll use a flexible, powerful hosting control panel that will give you direct control over your web hosting account. Our control panel and systems configuration is fully automated and this means your settings are configured automatically and instantly.
- Excellent Expertise in Technology
The reason we can provide you with a great amount of power, flexibility, and simplicity at such a discounted price is due to incredible efficiencies within our business. We have not just been providing hosting for many clients for years, we have also been researching, developing, and innovating every aspect of our operations, systems, procedures, strategy, management, and teams. Our operations are based on a continual improvement program where we review thousands of systems, operational and management metrics in real-time, to fine-tune every aspect of our operation and activities. We continually train and retrain all people in our teams. We provide all people in our teams with the time, space, and inspiration to research, understand, and explore the Internet in search of greater knowledge. We do this while providing you with the best hosting services for the lowest possible price.
- Data Center
ASPHostPortal modular Tier-3 data center was specifically designed to be a world-class web hosting facility totally dedicated to uncompromised performance and security
- Monitoring Services
From the moment your server is connected to our network it is monitored for connectivity, disk, memory and CPU utilization – as well as hardware failures. Our engineers are alerted to potential issues before they become critical.
- Network
ASPHostPortal has architected its network like no other hosting company. Every facet of our network infrastructure scales to gigabit speeds with no single point of failure.
- Security
Network security and the security of your server are ASPHostPortal’s top priorities. Our security team is constantly monitoring the entire network for unusual or suspicious behavior so that when it is detected we can address the issue before our network or your server is affected.
- Support Services
Engineers staff our data center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to manage the network infrastructure and oversee top-of-the-line servers that host our clients’ critical sites and services.



DotNetNuke 5 Hosting - ASPHostPortal :: How to Upgrade DotNetNuke 4.x to DotNeNuke Cambrian 5.0

clock Maart 14, 2011 07:01 by author Jervis

If you're looking to try out the new DNN Cambrian package, you can upgrade previous DotNetNuke installations with the following steps. Remember, as of right now, the DNN 5.0 Cambrian package available for download is a Release Candidate and should not be used in production evironments. That said, upgrading to the new 5.0 version is just as easy as it's always been. Here's how:

The first thing you'll need to do is download the Upgrade package from the dotnetnuke.com website. As with any upgrade process, there are a few things you should do PRIOR to beginning any website upgrade.

- Backup Database
- Backup All Files
- Disable Compression Tools

Once you have done your backups and downloaded the package, you'll need to unzip the Upgrade package and upload the files on top of your existing DotNetNuke files. NOTE that the Upgrade packages do not include a web.config file  so you shouldn't need to worry about changing/modifying connection strings and other settings.

Once you have uploaded the files, all you need to do to trigger the upgrade is to browse to your website URL and you'll begin to see the Upgrading DotNetNuke screen along with the status of the process. When the process is complete, you will receive a link that will take you to the website.



During the upgrade, all the required files will be installed, but there may be additional files and features that are not installed such as optional skins or modules. You can quickly install these optional files after the initial upgrade by typing the following into your browser bar:

http://www.mydomain.com/install/install.aspx?mode=installresources . This will install all available resources that were not installed during the upgrade. For example, after my initial upgrade the above command resulted in the following resource installations:



To see what resources are available, you can look in the "Install" folder in the root of your directory where you can find the resources are organized by type. This is a great way to do batch resource installation. If you only want to install one or two items and not everything, you can either remove the files that you know do not want and execute the URL. Alternatively, you can rename the files you do want changing the ".resources" to ".zip" and then uploading the files through the default method of module or skin installation within your DotNetNuke portal or by using the new "Batch Install Extensions" feature found under the Host>>Extenstions menu item.

And that's it. You've been upgraded. Most upgrades are smooth sailing, but sometimes...not so much. Learning how to troubleshoot errors during installation can help save you a lot of headaches. Here's some tips to help you out.

Troubleshooting Upgrade Errors:

Check Assemblies

You may have two assemblies conflicting with each other as a result of the upgrade. Sometimes during the upgrade process, new assemblies are installed in the file structure, but the old ones aren't removed or overwritten. When this happens, delete or change the name of the suspect file. Go back to the browser and try again.

If you receive this error when upgrading to DNN Cambrian RC:

Method 'GetRoleGroupByName' in type 'DotNetNuke.Security.Membership.DNNRoleProvider' from assembly 'DotNetNuke.Provider.DNNProvider, Version=2.0.0.23759, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null' does not have an implementation.



Check the assembly folders. Most likely, you have the following conflicting files: \bin\DotNetNuke.Provider.DNNProvider.dll - 2.0.0.23759 and \bin\Providers\DotNetNuke.Provider.DNNProvider.dll - 5.0.0.20212 . If you have both of these files, delete the file in the \bin directory and leave the file in the \bin\Providers directory.



Click the link to continue to the portal where we can view the log files to try to track down the error. 

Go to Host >> Host Settings >> scroll all the way to the bottom and select the 5.00.00 log file from the drop down list and hit Go



From here you will be able to view the errors that were encountered during the upgrade process as seen here:



From the error message on the screen, you can begin to troubleshoot what your specific error is. In the particular message seen above, I have a feeling that this has to do with the ActiveDirectory provider that I have already installed in my portal. So, now that I have been given more information from the log file, I am better able to decide what to do now to resolve the issue.

Yep...in this case, it was the provider. I removed the existing ActiveDirectory package and installed the new ActiveDirectory package for DNN 5 manually.

Reasons why you must trust ASPHostPortal.com

Every provider will tell you how they treat their support, uptime, expertise, guarantees, etc., are. Take a close look. What they’re really offering you is nothing close to what ASPHostPortal does. You will be treated with respect and provided the courtesy and service you would expect from a world-class web hosting business.


You’ll have highly trained, skilled professional technical support people ready, willing, and wanting to help you 24 hours a day. Your web hosting account servers are monitored from three monitoring points, with two alert points, every minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The followings are the list of other added- benefits you can find when hosting with us:

- DELL Hardware
Dell hardware is engineered to keep critical enterprise applications running around the clock with clustered solutions fully tested and certified by Dell and other leading operating system and application providers.
- Recovery Systems
Recovery becomes easy and seamless with our fully managed backup services. We monitor your server to ensure your data is properly backed up and recoverable so when the time comes, you can easily repair or recover your data.
- Control Panel
We provide one of the most comprehensive customer control panels available. Providing maximum control and ease of use, our Control Panel serves as the central management point for your ASPHostPortal account. You’ll use a flexible, powerful hosting control panel that will give you direct control over your web hosting account. Our control panel and systems configuration is fully automated and this means your settings are configured automatically and instantly.
- Excellent Expertise in Technology
The reason we can provide you with a great amount of power, flexibility, and simplicity at such a discounted price is due to incredible efficiencies within our business. We have not just been providing hosting for many clients for years, we have also been researching, developing, and innovating every aspect of our operations, systems, procedures, strategy, management, and teams. Our operations are based on a continual improvement program where we review thousands of systems, operational and management metrics in real-time, to fine-tune every aspect of our operation and activities. We continually train and retrain all people in our teams. We provide all people in our teams with the time, space, and inspiration to research, understand, and explore the Internet in search of greater knowledge. We do this while providing you with the best hosting services for the lowest possible price.
- Data Center
ASPHostPortal modular Tier-3 data center was specifically designed to be a world-class web hosting facility totally dedicated to uncompromised performance and security
- Monitoring Services
From the moment your server is connected to our network it is monitored for connectivity, disk, memory and CPU utilization – as well as hardware failures. Our engineers are alerted to potential issues before they become critical.
- Network
ASPHostPortal has architected its network like no other hosting company. Every facet of our network infrastructure scales to gigabit speeds with no single point of failure.
- Security
Network security and the security of your server are ASPHostPortal’s top priorities. Our security team is constantly monitoring the entire network for unusual or suspicious behavior so that when it is detected we can address the issue before our network or your server is affected.
- Support Services
Engineers staff our data center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to manage the network infrastructure and oversee top-of-the-line servers that host our clients’ critical sites and services.



About ASPHostPortal.com

We’re a company that works differently to most. Value is what we output and help our customers achieve, not how much money we put in the bank. It’s not because we are altruistic. It’s based on an even simpler principle. "Do good things, and good things will come to you".

Success for us is something that is continually experienced, not something that is reached. For us it is all about the experience – more than the journey. Life is a continual experience. We see the Internet as being an incredible amplifier to the experience of life for all of us. It can help humanity come together to explode in knowledge exploration and discussion. It is continual enlightenment of new ideas, experiences, and passions


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