How to Choose the Host with the Most - Quality Equipment
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I know more than fifty clients who have lost every piece of data on their web server due to faulty equipment and policies provided by their hosting company. The company (who is now out of business) didnít have redundancy or backup policies of any sort. They were in fact reselling the service without even knowing where the equipment was housed. In this instance the equipment happened to be located in the World Trade Center and when 9/11 came along all of the clients on those servers lost everything. This can be avoided by anyone willing to take a little time to do a bit of research.
Always find out where the physical servers are located and how the company handles backing up the data on those servers. Is the backup performed on separate drives or a separate server altogether? Most important is that you know your data IS being backed up at all. Also be sure to find out their policies in the event that a server goes down, such as what their guarantee is for bringing the information back up. If the server is down past the guaranteed time, then at a minimum you should receive a credit to your account.
That rule also applies to the network connection that the server has. If the connection is down for longer than a certain period of time past the agreement, then it's more than likely that the hosting company is getting credited -- and that means you should be as well. Verify with the company that there is existing network redundancy. If there is only one T3 and no network redundancy, then I wouldn't even think about using that company. If you do, you are begging to fight day after day with receiving email and constantly having your visitors tell you that your site is unreachable. On that same note, make sure to find out some of the clients hosted by that company and visit their websites. Too many companies oversell their bandwidth and the last thing you want is to have a website that takes 10 minutes to load.
In addition to everything listed above I strongly recommend always keeping a backup CD of your own. It doesnít take a lot of time and it is certainly worth the trouble! Too many people think it canít happen to them, and with the amount of marketing power a website has, it is just not a chance worth taking.
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