Let's say you have some dedicated rented servers and your provider just happens to get shutdown due to their own payment issues. How do you prevent them from then wiping out all of your data? Do you have to get a court order to do something like this?
Court Order is usually the way, but it's such a lengthy battle that they can restructure and re-organize long before you ever get your piece of paper to say don't do it. I've seen hosing companies go down over night and sell the equipment within 2 or 3 days in order to stay afloat.
Your best bet is to always have a remote backup (somewhere). Court Orders do work, but it takes time (and money) and at the end of the day you still may not be able to retrieve your data.
Conor has the right idea. You can never be too careful nowadays and you need to plan for the worse.
Always make sure you have backups in several places: on site, offsite and offline (USB stick or CD/DVD media). This isn't just in case of your host going bankrupt but also in the case that your data becomes corrupt or hacked by an intruder.
This is crucial since your reputation depends on it. When a customer sees that their data is gone, they don't care why, they care that you didn't take the proper precautions to have it back up and running in a timely fashion. Can't pass the buck here, you just have to watch your back and hold yourself accountable for all possibilities.
Hope this helps.
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How often depends on how valuable you consider your data and how often the website changes.
For example, if you have a static site, chances are you only need to make a backup whenever you change a page. If you're running an online store, what would happen if your ORDERS table crashed or you were not able to review order history for 2 days. Is every 2 days acceptable - willing to lose the orders/history/contact information for those 2 days that you didn't make a backup?
The forums here at Hosting Discussion are backed up every HOUR. Content here is put at a higher value than for some other sites. If we were to loose 2 or 3 days worth of postings that a few hundred postings of information that are gone forever as people rarely re-post the info.
At our hosting company we make backups of all websites for all users every hour and store them for up to 4 weeks. HostingDiscussion Forum is also on a similar plan.
So how often should it be done? It depends on what you have to lose really. I know people that never make a backup and just rebuild from scratch if things fail, and I know others that make backups every 15 minutes with the r1soft CDP software (the same program we use).
It's unfortunate when providers go belly up with your data, but it happens in this industry all too often. Conor's advice should be taken to heart. Statistics are fairly clear - up to 80 percent of businesses that lose their data (no backups) go out of business within one year.
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