May 2, 2008
Sam Bowling

Picture this. Your site finally hits it big. You’re getting 2000 hits per second and swimming in bandwidth. Everything is going great and then all of the sudden your dedicated server crashes. When the server is checked out it appears the hard drive has failed and all your data is lost. This is when you feel that lump in your stomach because you realized you just lost your entire site because you’ve never created backups of your site.

This is something that feels quite embarrassing and at the same time can always be avoided. It is in your best interest to always backup your data to a second location just in case extreme mishaps like this occur. If you had a backup in this situation once your server was reloaded all you would have to do is copy the backup over and restore it and your site is back to functioning. You will lose a few days of work of course but a few days is better than years.

Some of you are probably thinking “Well I have a raid 1/5/10 array in my server. This doesn’t apply to me. My hard drives are redundant.” This thought is very true but raid arrays can fail past recovery. The raid array themselves protect the hardware aspect of your array but not the actual software aspect. If say you have a raid 1 array which has 2 drives mirroring each other and one of them fails but you leave the server running anyways. Eventually corrupted data will mirror from the bad drive to the good drive causing the file system on both to become corrupted and you will have lost all your data.

It’s Easy!
Setting up your server to backup is quite easy. If you are using a cPanel server this can be done in the configure backups section in WHM. You can configure the server to generate backups on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and store them on a local hard drive or a remote ftp server. It’s a straight-forward form you fill out and once enabled your server will start generating backups.

Even on PLESK!
On Plesk you must login to your server via rdp and select start, programs, SWsoft, Plesk and then Plesk backup. Once the program opens select which portions you want to backup. Select file and then click schedule backup. Select the enable automatic Plesk backups checkbox to enable automatic backups. Once you have filled out all the necessary info once you click apply Plesk will start generating backups.

Did we mention that it’s easy!
These are easy steps that can be used to save your site from having catastrophic failure. I have been working in the hosting industry for quite some time now I can’t count the number of people who never backed up their data and get upset because they lost their site.

Please save yourself a headache and a lot of anger by simply enabling backups on your data. You won’t regret it.

Leave a Comment