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So you have a dedicated server, congratulations! You finally moved from a shared hosting account to your very own server with no one else, a great step for improvement but there’s one big thing many new and existing server owners seem to overlook which is

Second Hard Drive Means Life or Death

By: Steven Leggett

So you have a dedicated server, congratulations! You finally moved from a shared hosting account to your very own server with no one else, a great step for improvement but there’s one big thing many new and existing server owners seem to overlook which is a secondary hard drive for backups.

Most people seem to think that having a dedicated server puts you on this kind of pedestal, where you pay more and get more so you’re safe in every way possible and the hosting company or datacenter will take care of everything and anything that arises. In fact, this couldn’t be farther from reality and here’s why.

Don’t Put Your Assets in the Hands of a Stranger
Your hosting company is not backing up your server. The datacenter is not backing up your server. I don’t care what they tell you. So when your hard drive crashes, or someone hacks into your system, or that kernel update goes terribly wrong – who and how will you restore all those critical user accounts, websites, databases and email accounts?

Hosting Companies and Datacenters Backups Don’t Work
As the owner of a dedicated server you’re responsible for the contents of the data and the safety of the data no matter what. I don’t care if your hosting company claims its being backed up to an outside server using their fancy $10,000 backup system. Chances are when you ask for the latest copy of your website this is how they’ll respond. “Our backup system was currently undergoing maintenance so we don’t have any backups of your website”, or something like, “We only have a partial backup but it’s a month old.”

Have you ever read ANY hosting company’s terms of service? The number one thing they emphasize is they are not responsible for data loss. The hosting company is not responsible for losing your website, the database or your emails so we want to be sure you take that responsibility early on, before an event happens when you need it most and there isn’t a backup.

Panic When Your Data is Lost
Then the panic sets in. Oh my god. They don’t have a backup! How is that possible, I pay them for service every month! They don’t have a backup! WHAT!?

This kind of loss can cost your business and reputation a lot of time and money, lose you a big client and even put you out of business altogether. Don’t be a victim of your own ignorance or what someone else claims to be doing with your data. It’s your reputation and free time on the line, why would you put something like that in jeopardy for a lousy $20-40 a month for a secondary hard drive?

Final Words
Don’t be up the creek without paddle; get a secondary drive for backups now. Call your provider and discuss it with them. Some providers do a one time fee and others an additional monthly charge, usually there’s also a setup fee. Order the drive and make sure they know to configure it to do backups daily. Once they tell you its all said and done, check it yourself to make sure that its working. Make sure the data is there and that you can restore it and know how. After that come back in a week and check again to make sure its still working, check it at least once per week depending on the frequency you change things – more frequent if you have a database such as a forum. These things change by the minute and by having a week old backup can set you back big time.

Knowing you’re safe will make you better sleep at night and know that you’ve taken the proper steps to protect your business/website.

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