How to create a backup of DNN and the database

from Mitchel Sellers’ DotNetNuke, .NET, and Other Topics Blog

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.

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.

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 where dnn441 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: 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.
I believe the functionality is fairly similar using SQL Server Management Studio Express with SQL Server 2005