Today we are excited to announce that BackHub is now available on GitHub Marketplace. It’s an all new version of BackHub that comes with a new feature called “Backup Snapshots” and is built as a GitHub App for a more solid integration, allowing granular, read only permissions in order to easily create backups of your repositories.
Read on for more details or start right away to use the new BackHub.
Earlier this year GitHub has introduced GitHub Marketplace. A platform to find integrations and put them to work within minutes in order to help you evolving and customizing your workflow. This was great news, because for us as integrators that means we can spend more time on core functionality of our apps rather than wasting time on building payment integrations that doesn’t really add value for our users.
Over the last couple of month we have been working in close collaboration with GitHub to integrate our service with GitHub Marketplace and got lots of support from GitHub along the way.
The great thing with BackHub on GitHub Marketplace is that you don’t have to setup a new billing account with us. You can simply use your GitHub account to purchase a plan for BackHub. Besides that, all our plans on GitHub Marketplace come with a 14 day free trial.
BackHub on GitHub Marketplace is not just BackHub on a different distribution channel. It’s a newly built software that comes with additional features and is setup on a whole new infrastructure for an even more robust and reliable service.
With BackHub on GitHub Marketplace we are introducing Backup Snapshots. It’s basically a time machine for all your repositories including the metadata like issues and pull requests associated with it.
BackHub creates daily snapshots and keeps them for the last 30 days. That means you can rollback to a previous state of your repository from any of the past 30 days. This can be important when the history of a repository has been changed with git-reset or git-rebase and data has been lost due to a forced push.
Above that, since metadata like issues etc. are not part of the repository itself and are therefore not being versioned, it can easily happen to loose important data. With Backup Snapshots you can recover any metadata included in the backup from any of the past 30 days.
This has been one of the most requested features to date. It adds an extra layer of security to your backup strategy.
Together with the Marketplace, GitHub has also introduced GitHub Apps (formerly Integrations). They have granular permissions wich allows us to ask only for those we need in order to create backups for you. We have separated the backup service from the restore utility (to be released soon) in order to be able to limit our acccess to read-only permissions on your repositories while creating backups and only ask for write permission in case a repository needs to be restored.
GitHub Apps are also able to take actions themselves directly through the API. That means no user impersonation is required which is critical in case roles in your organization change. For example when an organization admin has created the account and is no longer admin of that organization, in the past, backups couldn’t be updated and another admin was required to login. The new BackHub GitHub App however is operating independently to avoid any interruption of service.
You can install BackHub on an organization or user account, then give access to the repositories of your choice. If you give access to all repositories, BackHub will create backups of all current and future repositories in your GitHub account. If you prefer to backup only select repositories, simply limit access to those you want to backup during the installation process.
If you’ve got questions or thoughts on our new product or face any issues using it, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can now download the full repository including all branches directly from BackHub.
Until now it was only possible to download a checkout of the latest commit in your master branch as a zip file. However, many users found it irritating that the download contains only files from one branch and thought the backup was incomplete.
That’s why we have changed things and it is now possible to download the complete repository directly from BackHub. That comes in handy if you don’t want to restore the complete repository back to GitHub but still want to work with the repository on your local machine or transfer it to another service.
Another minor thing we’ve changed is the filename of the downloaded zip file. It’s now using the repository’s name as a filename.
In future we are planning to support cloning directly from BackHub servers via https.
While building and running BackHub the last three years, we got lots of user feedback and learned a lot about how a backup solution for GitHub should be like.
One major concern of larger organizations is often to hand over their most valuable data to a young and small startup in a foreign country for the purpose of creating backups.
A distributed version of BackHub that is being run on site behind the firewall could solve this issue but would have many drawbacks in terms of maintainability and convenience.
We’ve decided to go with a solution that lets you use your own, separate storage account with an independent third party company (Amazon S3) to keep all the convenience of a service that is run in the cloud while keeping full control of their data. Another big advantage of this solution is that your data can be accessed anytime, even if GitHub AND BackHub is unavailable.
For BackHub Enterprise we’ve also developed a new way to store backups incrementally. That means you can restore a repository from the last 30 days.
If you are interested in using BackHub Enterprise for your organization, please leave your email address and we will notify you when it’s available.
We’ve been running and improving BackHub since 2014 as part of our web development agency /gebrüderheitz GmbH & Co. KG. We’ve been growing and learning ever since and are now moving things over to a separate business entity, the so called “BackHub UG”, based in Berlin, Germany. From now on, BackHub.co is being run by BackHub UG (limited liability).
Happy New Year everyone.
The BackHub Team
We have renamed a couple of things in the list of repository backups and introduced a new differentiation between archived backups with upstream to the original repository at GitHub and archived backups without upstream.
Let me explain in detail what these different states mean and how they look like:
This section contains all repositories you have at GitHub that do not have any backups. Depending on whether you have automatic backups activated or not, you will either see “Backup scheduled” or a button “Backup”. “Backup scheduled” means automatic backups has just been activated, but backups are not yet created. This usually happens between 2:00 – 6:00 am CET.
This section contains all repositories with active recurring backups. “active recurring” means we are updating the backup for this repository once a day between 2:00 – 6:00 am CET.
This section contains all repositories with backups that have been archived. Archiving means, the backup is not being updated on a daily basis. On the right side of each repository you will find the information, when the last backup has been made.
Now there are two different cases for archived backups. Firstly, a backup for a repository that is still existing at GitHub and secondly, a backup for a repository that has been removed from GitHub. When a repository at GitHub with an active backup at BackHub is being deleted at GitHub, BackHub automatically archives the backups since the upstream is no longer available.
Backups with upstream to the original repository at GitHub do have a solid border and a link to the repository at GitHub as well as an option to reactivate recurring backups.
Backups without upstream to the original repository at GitHub do have a dashed border without link to GitHub since the original repository is no longer available.