Thoughts on disaster recovery
Whether you are part of a large corporation that maintains thousands of servers or you happen to maintain just one personal website, you have probably heard of the term disaster recovery.
Disaster recovery can mean different things to different people. To experienced IT engineers within large corporations, it means having geographically redundant system solutions. If you have your primary servers and software running in city #1, you would also have a comparable solution running in City #2. If City #1 is “wiped off the face of the earth”, then the DR systems and applications at the secondary site would be brought online to fully replace 100% of the functionality of the primary systems that would now be unavailable.
This type of wholly geographically redundant solution is a worthwhile investment for businesses who make millions of dollars, but it is often not financially feasible for small operations.
For a personal website or for a small business, disaster recovery can mean as little as ensuring that your online data, such as websites and databases, are routinely backed up. Routine backups are an essential minimum level of protection that you need to employ if you value your data. Restoring data from a backup can be invaluable in many situations. Some of these recovery scenarios include; fixing human errors, restoring deleted content, moving to a new hosting provider, recovery from a malicious attack and website defacement.
If you are running a personal site or a site for a small organization, look into the different tools that are available that can help with the automated backup of your data. For instance, there are many free tools and plugins for the WordPress blogging platform that can be used to help protect your data and prepare you for a recovery situation.
Otherwise, some web hosting outfits offer their own data backup and disaster recovery solutions. Make sure that you know exactly what your hosting provider offers. If they are missing backup procedures or their processes are inadequate, consider switching to a new host or looking into solutions from other providers. For businesses that have larger budgets marked for protecting their data assets, they can look to one of many 3rd party providers who specialize in disaster recovery, such as Allstream’s Business Continuity.
What type of disaster recovery procedures do you employ for your personal websites or business?
Server rack photo above by Jamison_Judd on Flickr.