Why Weren’t There Any Backups?

(And how it can cause angry office scenes.)

remote backup services

Our remote backup service is a secure, highly customizable online data storage, access, backup/restore, and data sharing solution for consumers and businesses with several possible interfaces and options to backup, retrieve, and manipulate your data on the web.

Our online server backup supports connectivity from most operating systems–including Windows, Linux, Mac, & Unix. Our Data Center provides you with a secure location for storing your most important data–where you can have access to them anywhere, anytime, using any operating system which is at the core of our server backup strategies!

* Our remote backup service is not meant for use as heavy-duty file or data servers or web servers to unknown/anonymous users. This service is meant to provide online backups for a limited amount of known/authenticated users. For general public FTP use, please order one of our servers.

Free backups are for current clients only. Please contact us for a quote on larger storage space

  • 24/7 ACCESS – Always available access to upload/download to your account at any time of the day. Immediate access to recover data in the event a mishap occurs.
  • UNMETERED INCOMING BANDWIDTH – No limit to the amount of data that you can send for storage to your account. Generous outgoing bandwidth allocations permitting multiple downloads per month of the full amount of your storage space.
  • RAID – Virtual Storage accounts are based on RAID5 (Redundant Array) reliability, to protect against hard drive failure, to maintain the highest possible service availability and data protection.
  • SCALABILITY – Start with a small 10 GB SSD external storage package for no cost, with room to grow when you need up to 100GBD. (Contact us for more space)
  • NETWORK – Transfer your data via our network via Gigabit (1000MBPS) speeds. Private LAN access setup on all external backup accounts.
  • SECURITY – SSH (Secure Telnet Shell) connectivity for RSYNC and encrypted VPN connections provide for secure data transmission to your firewalled storage account.

Remote Backup Service Connection Methods

  • FTP – Compatible with most FTP clients (CuteFTP, WS-FTP, etc…) providing a powerful and flexible system for transferring files. Interfaces with CPanel, and other software, to accept incoming backup connection processes.
  • RSYNC – Synchronizing only your files that have changed since the last backup was performed. This efficient backup method saves time, resources, bandwidth, & storage space.
  • SAMBA – Map/mount your external storage account as a local drive/directory on your computer. Drag-n-drop, open, edit, and save files directly from your workstation (E: drive), or serve files directly to your Linux server (/mount).
  • VPN – Connect securely via VPN client to encrypt data transmission to your external storage account. Authenticates and allows secure, encrypted access to our backup network.
  • PRIVATE LAN – Option, and for a small fee, to connect via a non-public network interface. This provides additional security from the public Internet, as well as conserves utilization on expensive and/or limited bandwidth allocations.

Why Remote Backup Services are a Necessity, not an Option

Remote backup services is an important value-added service that should be utilized at all times. Either it be via basic FTP backups, RAID or secondary (third or fourth) backup hard drives, it is an important task that should be implemented. This process can be greatly simplified by automating the backups either via simple scripts, software or web-based control panels such as Cpanel/WHM.

 

Backups can be a lifesaver due to a security breach, hard drive failure or simply unsaved work. In the case of hard drive failure, it can be sudden and unexpected resulting in data loss or damage.  Hard drives are more prone to failure than other dedicated server hardware mostly due to moving parts. Hard drives can also have a tendency to fail shortly after manufacturing rather than after several months or years of use. In some cases, a hard drive scan can be run to determine if a hard drive failure is imminent.

 

Since dedicated server providers offering backups are accessed remotely by administrators it is advised to run S.M.A.R.T. scans on the drives from time to time. This stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. This feature provided by hard drive manufacturers can help predict an imminent drive failure but it is not 100% accurate. You can always ask your dedicated server provider for a hard drive S.M.A.R.T. test.

 

Creating a Backup Plan

 

It is important to make sure that your dedicated server backups come with enough space to backup the data you have. Also, make sure you are not scheduling backups to run during normal business hours when your server could start to run sluggish due to the resource-intensive backup process. If backups are run on a daily basis, it is best to perform them during very late or early hours while server traffic is at its lowest. If backups are performed on a weekly basis, weekends tend to be the best times for this.

Make sure that if you happen to have a sales or promotional event happening during a scheduled backup that the backups are postponed and rescheduled.

 

Confirming Backups

 

There is no point in running backups and realizing only partial backups have been performed or even worse, none at all. Check backups at random times to ensure this is not happening. It is also easy to receive a confirmation email or  

 

text that backups have been successfully completed and verified. Cpanel is good about this.

Backup Retrieval

In the event of data loss and the backups need to be retrieved, make sure there is a plan to retrieve the data quickly and effortlessly. How will the data be retrieved and how long will it take? Can you afford to lose a week’s worth of data or should you have set up daily backups?

Keep in mind that the amount of data going to the backup destination can take some time depending on how much data is needed to be retrieved. This is why we implement SSD drives to minimize transfer times as much as possible. If there is a lot of data, a secondary hard drive might be the fastest solution, however, if your dedicated server becomes hacked this will also mean your backup data is now also vulnerable. If you have a RAID1 system and one drive suffers from hardware failure, you will need to prepare for some downtime as the new working hard drive has time to receive the data from the secondary drive. A RAID5 system can resolve this issue as the two other drives can remain working while the third hard drive sends data to the fourth drive that failed.

Expansion

Data is well known for being able to take up a lot of space. Always be prepared for expansion and more space as your data grows especially if your backups are not being overwritten on each backup. If you are utilizing our external backups remember that you can always upgrade your storage space. If using a RAID1 system upgrading to larger drives will be more complicated but definitely attainable. A secondary hard drive upgrade will be an easy swap.

A good way to make sure backups are working and verified is to manually verify the data. An even better way is to actually perform a backup retrieval to replace existing data on primary or some other test drive. Was the procedure error free, quick and efficient?

Last but not least, creating a robust and redundant backup plan will be useless if the human factor is not considered. It is up to the dedicated server administrator to ensure the backups are setup, verified and retrievable in a secure and reliable manner. If backups are requested on managed accounts with us, we handle all backups.

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