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VPS Backups: Protecting Your Server

by Tim Attwood on September 23, 2011

Hard DriveOne of the most critical aspects of keeping your data secure is ensuring that you have a viable backup solution should a power failure, security breach or other catastrophic event occur. Not only can basic files and documents be lost in such an event, but any projects that are being worked on, apps being developed or large collaborative ventures can disappear in an instant without a backup solution that is not only immediate but that can provide you with the assurance that your data loss will be minimal thanks to multiple saved images or constant updating. There are a number of options for protecting your Website and its data, including an expanding set of options for those hosted under a VPS.

The Basics of Backups

Disaster recovery backup solutions come in a wide variety of forms, and provide different levels of security for your company. Some make complete copies of every file and document on your server – local or otherwise. Others are able to create an “image” of your information, one that can be stored on a separate server or device so that if a crash occurs, only your live data will be lost. The closer in time your backup is to the moment of the crash, the less data you will lose. Different recovery options will also require differing amounts of time to get you back up and running – some will take less than a day.

VPS Backups – Added Security

If you are managing your own VPS server, you will have a number of choices in order to backup your data. In addition to your disaster recovery backup, you may want to maintain your own backup solution, which will allow you more fine grained control on when the backups images are taken, be it on a specific schedule daily or weekly, or on-demand, after you have made updates to your server. Such backups will also be stored on a separate server from your VPS, ensuring that if data is lost on your server, your backups will be kept safe. This allows you to keep both your files and your recovery options secure.

Other Options for VPS Backup Control

In addition to the backup services provided by your VPS host, you can also take matters into your own hands with the addition of cPanel or Plesk. Both of these VPS control panel options will give you the ability to make regular backups of your data that can be stored in the location of your choice. You could choose to store them on a local server you keep for that purpose, or on another portion of the VPS you purchase. You can also choose to buy a secondary, offline backup option in order to keep your data secure, as when it comes to backups, having too many can never hurt, but having one too few can mean work and data lost for a period of a day, a week or a month.

The Role of VPS Backups for Reseller Hosting

If you are going to be reselling the VPS space you purchase, having a reliable backup option will act as a selling point for customers and by helping to ensure that their data is secure. Whether you choose to allow them backup access through their version of Plesk or cPanel or if you simply allow them to use the backup and recovery options provided by the VPS host, having a backup that can be counted on in the case of a system-wide failure will be crucial for reselling your VPS and competing in the reseller market.

While uptimes are now regularly running at over 99%, and VPS options provide a great deal of security to users, there is still the possibility of a disaster that is far beyond the bounds of the norm – the recent Japanese earthquake is a good example – that can suddenly make backups of data crucial to getting your company back on its feet. The more backups you have, both attached to your VPS and offline, the better.

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WrigleyF September 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

An earthquake can really strike anywhere in the world. Don’t ever get complacent about disaster backup plans.

PotsNPans September 23, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Some people don’t realize that some backup plans will take longer to get back up and running than others. This can be a major factor if you need your documents back absolutely as fast as possible.

Rusher September 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

You’ve convinced me to get a secondary backup system — and maybe even a third!

Randy5 September 27, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Yes, the secondary backup system is crucial. You never know when a backup arrangement could fail, and the losses can be devastating.

Texas2Step October 3, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Is there any kind of insurance you can buy to get paid in the event of a backup data system failure?

OhDonna October 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Texas2Step, check with your insurance company. There are professional liability insurance plans that should cover that sort of event.

silkysmooth February 14, 2012 at 8:56 AM

i hadn’t thought of vps server backups as being good selling points, but it’s true: advertising that fact will attract new customers!

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