Back up Your Backups
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Can you afford to lose all your data? Of course you can't. And if you can't, then not paying good money to back it all up just doesn't make sense. In this article, we examine some of the options every online business should be considering for backing up its data, in case the worst happens.
Back up your backups! Say that ten times fast. This is a life lesson as an Internet business owner I have learned repeatedly and way too often – more times than I care to count. Just when you think you have enough data backup safeguards in place, one of them fails and all your data is gone, your web site is down, your business is dead. That is probably one of the most catastrophic things that can happen to most businesses, where many jobs and incomes are on the line. There really is no room for error, and you will not realize just how extensive the damage is until it's too late. So it is my hope and intention to give you some food for thought on best practices for backing up your web site/server so that you may hopefully avoid the pain and distress I have experienced first hand.
In this article it is my hope to point out some of the obvious and maybe not so obvious ways that people and businesses alike back up their websites; then we will discuss what can go wrong with those concepts, and finally we will cover some backup/data protection concepts that have worked for us and may work for your business. The key to getting the most out of these ideas is keeping an open mind. I can almost guarantee you that some of these concepts might seem overly redundant and even a bit obsessive compulsive – and if that’s the case then it’s a good thing. And if you are budget conscious – and these days who isn’t – many of these solutions are going to sound overly expensive. The comparison I try to run in my head is the cost of backing up data versus the cost of being out of business. That's usually a very easy computation to make.
The concepts and ideas we are going to cover will apply most to anyone who is leasing or owns a dedicated server or two or twenty. Even though it is possible to apply some of this article toward shared accounts, most of the techniques discussed will not be applicable. For the simple, straightforward web sites, chances are you will be fine with a simple host-offered backup service. What we are aiming to cover in this article is the more complex backup scenarios which involve a lot of mission critical data, files, programming, and even possible customer information such as credit cards, addresses and other sensitive information.
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