The Web Hosting Data Backup Cycle
After a long search, you finally procured a web hosting plan loaded with all the features you need to establish a credible web presence. You searched high and low to make sure the service was equipped with the latest security mechanisms and backed by a responsive support team. However, if your provider isn’t taking measures to backup your website data, all those impressive qualities won’t mean a thing when disaster strikes.
The Importance of Data Backups
It is important to know that data loss is something that can occur under a wide range of situations. Some of the common instances include system failures, corruption and accidental deletion. You also have to take natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes into account. For this reason, it is essential to make sure your hosting provider not only takes the appropriate measures to backup or your data, but has a system in place for restoring it as well.
In this article we will discuss the cycle most web hosting providers use to backup and restore data.
Prevent Data Loss
A respectable web hosting company utilizes various methods to protect the data on its servers. One of the most efficient technologies is RAID. Short for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, RAID helps to eliminate brutal downtime by providing redundancy over multiple physical hard drives. In the event that one happens to fail, the provider can simply swap out the bad drive with a new one all without interrupting the service.
The Backup Process
The intent of RAID technology is not to backup data; rather it prevents it from being loss due to hard drive failure. Though certainly useful, this method must be coupled with reliable backup procedures in order to be effective. Many hosting companies back up their RAID hard drives with storage facilities. An NAS (Network Area Storage) is a high-capacity repository that hosts use to backup and store website data. This generally includes everything from your email configurations to SQL databases. Most providers back data up on network storage facilities on a weekly basis though it advisable to find a host that does so as often as possible. Because disaster can strike at any time, you need the assurance that your data can be restored in its entirety.
A host that backups your data is great; however, without a way to restore it, they are essentially defeating the purpose. A thorough provider has clone backup servers available and ready to restore backups. These are machines designed with an identical hardware configuration. So, if one fails, the hard disk can quickly be swapped into a standby server. The backup server helps to prevent disasters caused by over-heated processors, burnt out motherboards and dysfunctional network cards. Without backup servers on hand, it could take hours or days for your data to be restored and even longer for your site to get back online.
Words of Warning
Don’t take data backups for granted. Anything can happen at any time and when it does, you need to know that your website can be restored. Do some investigating to find out what the host is doing to backup your data. The last thing you need is a disaster that prevents you from restoring your site to a recent working point.
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