This tutorial provides steps to properly enable automatic file backups on your Cloudinary account. For further details about Cloudinary's backup capabilities, we recommend reviewing our documentation sections on backups and revisions.
- Watch a Video
- Understanding the Purpose of Automatic Backups
- Enabling Automatic Backups via the Cloudinary Management Console
- Using Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage for Backups
- Testing Your Enabled Backup Processes
- Additional Resources
Watch a Video
Understanding the Purpose of Automatic Backups
One very useful feature of Cloudinary’s service is its ability to backup your files, such as images and videos. This includes revisions of your existing assets, as well as deleted files that you can restore.
Cloudinary handles the backup process by copying each original file to a secondary write-protected location. If you have enabled Automatic Backup without setting a designated Amazon or Google bucket, the storage will count against your Cloudinary storage threshold. This has the potential to double your storage. Keep in mind that if you are approaching the top of your plan’s available managed storage, adding backups will likely cause you to exceed the allotted amount.
Our Customer Success team is always available for consultation and assistance, if you have any questions or concerns before implementing our backup feature. This feature is also available for all service plans.
In either case, all newly uploaded assets will be automatically backed up after you turn Automatic Backup on for your account.
Enabling Automatic Backups via the Cloudinary Management Console
Note: If you are planning on using your own Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage buckets instead of Cloudinary’s storage, we recommend setting up those buckets with your Cloudinary account before proceeding with the following steps. This will help to ensure all files are properly backed up to your account. You can learn how to do this later in the tutorial.
To set up Cloudinary’s Automatic Backup feature, take the following steps:
- Log into your Cloudinary Management Console.
- Select the Settings icon, which resembles a gear.
- Select the Upload tab.
- At this point, you should able to start setting up the account backups. This can be done by clicking the Automatic Backup drop-down field and choosing Enabled. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click the Save button.
- Directly under the Automatic Backup drop-down field is a new link labeled Perform initial backup. Select it.
If you have successfully done this, a popup window labeled Initial Backup will appear. Additionally, the email address associated with your account will be added to the window’s Notification email field. Verify or change the address, then select the window’s OK button.
Once you do this, the Perform initial backup link will change to a Successfully initiated backup confirmation message.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select the Save button.
If you have followed these steps, you should receive an automated email from firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be sent to the address specified in Step #5 of this process.The email will state that the backup has been completed successfully and include details on the total amount of assets that were stored in a specific account.
Using the example screenshot above, 75 assets were backed up for the account/cloud named “sambrace”.
The amount of time for this process to occur will depend on the amount of assets stored in your Cloudinary account, as well as the actual file sizes of those assets. However, you can always send us a support ticket if you do not receive the confirmation email within an hour of taking the proper steps.
Using Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage for Backups
Instead of Cloudinary’s own write-protected location for backup storage, you can set up your own cloud storage bucket to store your backup files. We support backups through Amazon Simple Storage Service (e.g. Amazon S3) and Google Cloud Storage. However, this service is only available for accounts on any paid plan.
Amazon S3 Setup
If you want to backup to your S3 bucket, please proceed with the directions provided by Amazon Web Services.
It is important to follow the proper naming conventions for your S3 bucket. You can find further details about doing so in our Knowledge Base.
Once you have confirmed your S3 bucket is set up and working, please follow the steps outlined in these Knowledge Base articles to link it to your Cloudinary account.
- How do I grant Cloudinary with the permissions to backup on my private S3 bucket?
- How do I allow Cloudinary to read from my private S3 bucket?
Further details on setting bucket and object access permissions in your S3 bucket can be found in Amazon Web Services’ official documentation.
Google Cloud Storage Setup
If you want to backup to your Google Cloud Storage bucket, create a dedicated new GCS bucket that will be used for backup.
For Cloudinary to know that this is a Google Storage bucket, the name of the bucket must end with “-gs-cld”. In our example, the bucket name will be "sambrace-gs-cld". When following the directions provided by Google, make sure to select the Fine-grained access control method, as seen below:
Once you have confirmed your Cloud Storage bucket is set up and working, please follow the steps below to link it to your Cloudinary account.
- Log into your Google Cloud Storage account and select the More Options icon/kebab for your chosen bucket. Then, select the Edit bucket permissions option.
- Add email@example.com as a member with the Storage Object Admin role.
- Follow the steps outlined above to access your Cloudinary Console’s Upload Settings.
- Type the name of your Google Cloud Storage bucket into the Backup S3 bucket field.
- Click the Save button at the bottom of the page to confirm your changes.
Further details on controlling access to Google Cloud Storage buckets and objects using Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions can be found in Google’s official documentation.
Testing Your Enabled Backup Processes
Once you have properly set up your Automatic Backup feature, your selected asset in the Cloudinary Console should have a new View backed up versions button.
To find this button, follow the steps outlined in our Retrieving Images, Videos and Other Assets from Backup with Cloudinary’s Management Console tutorial.
After enabling Automatic Backup, there are several areas you can manage with your Cloudinary account. This includes retrieving backed up versions, as well as restoring previously deleted files. We have full tutorials on these subjects that we recommend reviewing:
- How to Restore Deleted Assets with Cloudinary’s Management Console
- Retrieving Images, Videos and Other Assets from Backup with Cloudinary’s Management Console
Further details about Cloudinary’s backup and revision options, including ways to specify the backup boolean parameter in our Upload API, can be found in our official documentation.
If you have any questions or comments from this tutorial, you can always send those to us as a support request.