Website Backups – is your site safe?

Website Backups – is your site safe?

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If you own a business, the words “disaster recovery” and “data backup” are phrases you have most likely heard and that caused some concern.  We live in a digital age where computers have replaced paper, and where business comes to a schreaching halt when our servers or PCs go down.  So now is the perfect time to ask a question – do you have a backup routine in place?

While you think about that question, here are some statistics related to data backup and disaster recovery that you need to be aware of:

  • In the past two years over 50% of businesses experienced an interruption of their systems, and 81% of those interruptions caused the business to close for at least 1 day!
  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control
  • 80% of businesses suffering a major disaster went out of business within 3 years.  When the disaster was fire, 44% of the businesses failed to even reopen while 33% failed to survive more than 3 years.
  • 40% of small and medium sized businesses don’t backup their data at all!  Considering the numbers above, do you think that is a good idea?
  • 35% of computer users have never backed up their computer.
  • 51% of computer users backup less than 1 time per year!
  • 60% of data for small businesses are stored on devices that are not backed up (e.g. PCs, laptops, tablets, servers).
  • In the United States, 140,000 hard drives crash every single week!

Those numbers should be shocking to everyone, but would you be surprised to find out that even when you backup that things can go wrong!  Take this statistic for example:

  • 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, of the companies that do test them, 77% have found failures that would result in a failed restore!

A good friend of mine worked in IT for a government contractor and experienced first hand how backups aren’t always reliable.  They religiously backed up their servers to tape and randomly a few times a year they would mount up the tape drive and verify that files were indeed on the tape, and they always were.  Then the unthinkable happened, a server crash, and they needed to restore from their reliable tape backups.  There were certainly files on the tape, and the sizes seemed correct, but upon restoring nothing would open properly, until they realized that every file that was on the tape was just a file that was full of zeros!  Yes, text files full of zeros named to match the files that were backed up!  You could imagine the heartbreak when this was realized and they knew that gigabytes upon gigabytes of data was gone forever.

 

So what can be done?
If you have a hard drive fail and you do not have a back up, there are data recovery centers that can possibly retrieve your files off of the dead hard drive.  This does not come cheap, starting prices are around $1500 per drive and can go much higher.  If that does happen to you, we can help!  Laymance Technologies is a Certified Partner with Kroll OnTrack® data recovery specialists, they truly are the top data recovery specialists in the world!  So if you lose a hard drive, contact us, we can help in recovering that data.

But…. the trick to keeping your data safe is to have reliable backups BEFORE something goes wrong!  You should always have an off-site backup as well.  What is an off-site backup, that simply means that the backup copies are physically kept away from where the machines are that were backed up.  Why is this necessary?  Here is the scenario, you make tape backups of your server in the evening right before you leave, and then you put those tapes in your desk drawer and head home.  How reliable will those tape backups be if you arrive the next morning to work to find that the building burnt down overnight?

The best rules to follow when it comes to data backup is (1) backup often, the more often you backup the less data you will lose in a disaster  (2) verify your backups  (3) backup off-site, a backup kept in a burning building is of no use to you  (4) be consistent, an automated off-site backup can help with this!

So I’ve mentioned a lot about data loss and PCs, and servers, but there is one area that some businesses never think to backup – their website!

 

Website Backups
For some businesses losing a website would be a inconvenience and a financial burden to pay to have it rebuilt, but for others, especially those with database driven backends or ecommerce sites, losing your website data could be disastrous and could bankrupt your company.  So why take a gamble with that data?

When it comes to backups and web hosting providers, it’s a mixed bag.  Some hosting providers mention nothing about data backups, that should be a hint, that means that they do not backup your data!  Others say that backups are “periodically” taken, which translates to: we do it every now and then, we may have your data, we may not, I would lean toward the “not”.  Other hosting providers advertise that they backup regularly, but the truth is that I have seen many hosting providers who “backup regularly” tell their customers that their data is gone and could not be recovered, in fact, I had a client that had this happen to them a year ago (they hosted with someone else – we truly do backup our servers!).

If you are a large company or have a business website, you may have a dedicated server or a virtual server (usually referred to as a VPS or a VDS).  Did you know that 99% of all dedicated server plans and VPS plans have absolutely ZERO backup capabilities included!  Those that do have backup abilities usually amount to a link in a control panel that will generate a backup and send you a link to download, but this has to be done manually, which means you have to remember and you have to be consistent in doing it.

Every site owner needs to be doing regular, automated off-site backups to a service outside of their hosting provider!  If you have an ecommerce site, or the majority of your business is online or via your website, this is IMPERATIVE!

 

We now have a website backup service!
It was exactly this reason, and the experience of our client last year that lead us to create our own backup service!  We can handle your website backups for you, the backups will be off-site and safe in the event of a disaster, and your backups will be easily accessible via a special web app 24 hours a day 7 days a week!

Each backup setup is different, we custom develop a solution to match your site and your business specifically, but below you will find a small list of what we can do for you:

  • Automated backups of your website files
  • Automated backups of your databases (MySQL and Postgres)
  • Incremental backup options if you desire
  • FTP access to your backup files
  • Web portal access to your backup files
  • Flexible backup schedules (monthly, weekly, daily, hourly or custom)

So, you have seen the statistics, you know the importance of your data, and now you know that we have a plan to help you… the time to handle your site data backups is now, dont delay!  Contact us today and we’ll work on a custom backup solution specific to your needs and wants, its easy, affordable, and provides peace of mind.