World Backup Day 2013

World Backup Day is March 31st!

Lessons learned from someone who should know better.
by Joshua Knapp, Manager of Engineering

We all know we should keep good backups; just like we all know we should eat healthy and exercise; and remember to call our parents…the list goes on. We do it when we remember, but most of the time, day to day stuff gets in the way, and by the time we remember, it becomes “I will remember to do it tomorrow.” The problem with this mentality is, “What if tomorrow, all of your data is gone?”

I am extremely paranoid about backups, after almost losing some of my most precious data a few years ago, I adopted the phrase, “If it doesn’t exist in 3 places, it doesn’t exist” as my motto. So, now I backup to new backup software, perform weekly backups to a server in my house and I backup my really important stuff to a cloud storage service.

Back before my brush with near digital death, I manually backed up when I remembered, and if it ran longer than I expected it to, I would pause it (and forget to re-enable it), then go about my business. I never thought data loss would happen to me. That’s when my laptop hard drive just died; complete and total failure, no hope for recovery (it didn’t even spin up). After my initial reaction, which is not appropriate to discuss in this blog, I scrambled upstairs, grabbed one of the old laptop drives I had, and started installing the OS on that drive. While it was running, I started to go through the backups I had been running to my desktop at the time. I discovered most of them weren’t even 10% complete. At this point I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach. I had lost all my data, and I was the only one to blame.

Rebuilding after that was tough. I had contacted some friends and co-workers to see if they had copies of files that I had been working on – some did and some did not. I managed to find a CD copy of the project from 2 months prior, but I still lost a lot of data. Most of the photos I had taken on a recent trip were lost; all of my tax data for the year was gone (which created a whole new mess for the next tax season), and worst of all, was the time I sank into trying to retrieve the data that was inevitably gone.

Now there are services that can help pick up the pieces after a catastrophic failure, like Drive Savers, but what if it isn’t hardware related? What if the problem is human error or human malice? “Un-Delete” programs are far from being perfect, can take a long time to locate deleted files and have an even harder time reverting changes to files. Your first step should be to ensure you have good backups of your data, and keep version control on important documents.

How long can you function without your data? It is kind of like asking, “How long can you hold your breath?”

I know some people are thinking “But backups are complicated and time consuming.” Which is why, for your servers hosted at HostLabs , we offer services that provide completely managed backups. Since we are close to World Backup Day, we want to encourage you to start backing up your data by selecting one of our managed backup services below.

Managed Backup Service

Dedicated and Scalable Cloud Hosting Plans

With World Backup Day coming up we thought we’d share with you some of the technical features of our Managed Backup Solution.

The Managed Backup Solution starts with the install of a client application that communicates with a backup server and uses AES-256 Disk Safe Encryption which protects the data while being transmitted over the network. It starts by making an initial replica of your data. Once the initial replica is complete, the Server backup stores block level deltas. This method reduces I/O and backup time.

The server backups are kept for 3 days and can be restored at the file level or server level, otherwise known as a Bare Metal Restore.

It is a Multi-Platform system which means it will work on Windows, CentOS, Virtual or Physical systems.

Window’s Microsoft Shadow Copy service is used to provide Disaster Recovery for MSSQL as well as point-in-time snap shots which protect locked or open files.

We manage and maintain the backups for you. Although we do recommend doing periodic backups yourself, you have the peace of mind knowing that your system is being backed up even when you forget.

The price of the Managed Backup Service is $75.00 per month for 50 GBs of backup space. Additional backup space can be purchased in blocks of 10 GBs for $10 per month.

Contact Dedicated Support today to sign up. Phone: 877-452-7337, option 1. Email: [email protected].

Premium Restore Service

Business, Basic, Reseller Hosting Plans

Our Premium Restore Service allows our customers to restore files from their account from nightly backups, which are stored for up to 3 days. This service provides peace of mind for those times when you lose data or want to undo changes.

To add the Premium Restore Service to your account, contact our billing or shared support departments. They will be happy to assist you.

Billing: 877-452-7337, option 2. Email: [email protected].

Shared Support: 877-452-7337, option 1, then option 3. Email: [email protected].