TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Newbie Help

Hi, I should start off by saying that I am not strong with my knowledge of servers/backups and managing them. I have learnt what I need due to necessity.

I have just come across Turnkey and wanted to ask a few questions.

As I understand it Turnkey is an application which uses Amazon AWS. I am assuming that anything built on Turnkey can only be accessed through Turnkey or can you also access it through the AWS panel? With that in mind the current charges for Turnkey are just the charges that Amazon bills for the usage of their services.

Is that all correct so far?

My next questions are about running instances. I understand that I can manage backups and EC2 cloud servers through Turnkey (which is the purpose) but is it possible to backup non Turnkey/Amazon servers using Turnkey?

Assuming my understanding above is correct, then if Turnkey goes down for some reason is there another way to access backups and servers? Assuming you cannot access through the AWS panel of course.

I currently have a dedicated server with Liquid Web and am considering moving over to EC2 but it seems the structure is slightly different and was wondering if I could ask for some more advice. I have a number of websites on the single server, all the websites are built using Wordpress. As well as that I also run 5 independent MySQL databases that some of the websites access. One of these databases is quite chunky and the scripts that update it can take quite a lot of processing load. All the websites are fairly lightweight otherwise.

Would the best structure be to have a small server to host the Wordpress websites which I then install the Wordpress app on and a seperate server for the MySQL databases that are seperate from any singular website and a bit chunkier?

Then I would backup both of these servers into S3?

Any help would be very much appreciated.

All the best,

Michael

Jeremy's picture

A few answers

Firstly hi Michael and welcome to TKL! :)

As I understand it Turnkey is an application which uses Amazon AWS.

Ok firstly, TKL is a complete operating system that is preconfigured for a specific purpose - ie a software appliance. It can run nicely on AWS, but you can also install it to a local VM (great for development and testing work) or even local hardware.

I am assuming that anything built on Turnkey can only be accessed through Turnkey or can you also access it through the AWS panel?

I have no experience with vanilla AWS console (I have only ever used the Hub) so I can't help you much there, but AFAIK you can still use AWS panel (but why would you? - The Hub is so easy!)

With that in mind the current charges for Turnkey are just the charges that Amazon bills for the usage of their services.

No, Amazon do the billing, not TKL. All usual AWS charges apply, plus for TKL EC2 appliance usage on AWS there is an additional charge. Currently there are 3 usage plans:

  • Hobby - $0/mth, only S3 backed servers + 10% usage premium
  • Budget - $20/mth*, S3 or EBS backed server, no usage premium
  • Business - $140/mth, S3 or EBS backed server, no usage premium, 2x priority email/phone support requests/mth (not including TKL bugs).

* - if you only want to use Micro servers you can get a free 14-day trial or invite a friend and get free access.

Have a read here.

I understand that I can manage backups and EC2 cloud servers through Turnkey (which is the purpose) but is it possible to backup non Turnkey/Amazon servers using Turnkey?

So you got the first bit right, yes you can manage TKLBAM (TKL Backup And Migration) and TKL EC2 appliances via the Hub. But no, you can not use TKLBAM to backup non TKL servers, see here.  But TKLBAM doesn't care where TKL is installed, can be local VM or hardware or AWS or some other install - as long as it has internet access you can migrate back and forth...)

if Turnkey goes down for some reason is there another way to access backups and servers?

Your TKL servers are independant of the Hub and can be accessed and administered directly (just as you would if it were a remote server running on hardware). TKL appliances have a handy WebUI Admin tool preinstalled called Webmin as well as other pre-configured options (such as SFTP/SSH access). In regards to EC2 appliances, the Hub really just provides an easy way to launch and initially configure appliances. Once your server is up and running, then there is little need to access the Hub/servers area.

As for backups, TKLBAM will still work (for backups and restores) even if the Hub goes down. Have a read here.

Would the best structure be to have a small server to host the Wordpress websites which I then install the Wordpress app on and a seperate server for the MySQL databases that are seperate from any singular website and a bit chunkier?

Then I would backup both of these servers into S3?

Personally I'd be looking to have all your data on one server and scale it up as required (prob start with Small? Maybe even a Micro server would do?) 

What I'd do if I were you, would be download the WordPress appliance (as a VM or ISO) and install locally to a VM (VirtualBox is my desktop virtualisation tool of preference). I'd set the virtual hardware to be similar to a Small (or even Micro) instance and see how it performs. Play around with it and get a feel for it. Unfortunately there isn't currently a multi-WP appliance, so you'll need to configure that bit yourself. Also the WP appliance includes MySQL already.

Although you could do all that stuff straight off with an EC2 instance if you wanted...

Then I would (manually) migrate your data into your VM (or testing EC2 instance) to make sure it is all working as expected. Once you have it all working as you want, you can then use TKLBAM to back it up. Then launch your new server (with all your backed up data and config). Once you confirm that it all works on EC2 as it should, close your existing account...

Awesome Thank You

That is 100 times clearer now, thank you for the detailed reply.


Jeremy's picture

You're most welcome :)

Hope that TKL fits your needs and you find it useful.

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