Offsite Backups – Safety in Distance

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My clients will know that the last few months saw us take the big step to move away from our existing provider, which was based on shared hosting, to a new provider where we now run Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated servers.

Part of the fun of this is that you need to pay more attention to the management of the servers themselves as, unlike shared hosting, you are more in control of the daily housekeeping. Luckily, Linux gives us ample tools to run all of the automated tasks that we need to run in order to keep things ship shape.

However, one thing we needed to get in place was offsite backups. Our servers have the usual enterprise grade storage with mirrored Raid5 arrays etc, so it’s unlikely that the machines are going to suffer a failure of their storage systems – but what if the worst were to happen? What if a 40ft tidal wave swamped dorset, and filled our datacentre bunker with water? Or worse (I think we’re getting into biblical catastrophes here, but you get the idea). Well, the only way to ensure your data is safe, is to store it securely somewhere else!

Our Datacentre Bunker in Dorset

Our Datacentre Bunker in Dorset

We spent a while looking at different options, and finally we found the guys at rsync.net who provide a great service. We now backup your website data to their servers every night via an encrypted data link (SSH) so nobody can eavesdrop.

In fact, we decided to buy enough space for several rolling backups, so now we can restore data from any day in the past week! Yes, obviously doing such a restore takes a little more time than simply restoring our own local backups, so there will be a nominal fee for us doing this, but hey, at least you know your data is safe.

And where does our offsite backup facility exist? Switzerland! So rest assured, no matter what happens to Dorset, your data will be safe and sound somewhere near the Alps!

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