tangor - 10:06 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
There have been a few reports over the last few weeks of large companies losing their hardware/software and having to restore from backups... not long ago Google lost a chuck of Gmail and Bing lost a chunk of Hotmail...
A. What backup methods do you use?
B. Have you ever needed to restore?
C. Have you even thought about it?
If you can't answer A or B above, be sure to read C below!
A. The website is one copy, then a Local copy (personal machine), a dev copy (development, but located in same building as personal machine), and a backup server with removable hard drives AND tape. While the machine is located in the same building as Local and Dev, these removable drives are stored in an off-premises location and the tapes are stored in a different off-premises location. Why tape? 1/10th the cost of disk drives... and I like belt AND suspenders.
B. Twice over the last 5 years. First time was via tape... which was a tad painful in time but spot on for accuracy. The second time was from hard disk and, with exception of one non-essential file, was accurate. These restores were done because at the time I did not have the other systems in place. These days any "restore" comes from the personal machine first, or the dev machine.
C. I learned the necessity of backups back in the DOS Daze and have been a fan of regular and "as frequent as needed" backups. That second part "frequent as needed" is determined on the amount of activity in either new content or UGC on the various websites. Obviously Evergreen sites do not require as many backups as new, in development, or highly active websites.
New webmasters, keep in mind all the time you've taken to develop your site, only to have it hacked/defaced. You have a copy on your dev/personal machine, right? Hope so! But what if that machine meets the same fate or coincidentially conks out. If you don't have a THIRD backup you'll be, as they say "S.O.L."... (look it up).
Consider this a PSA for webmasters... we sometimes forget to do ordinary house-keeping.