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Maximum Uptime solutions [how to stay online most of the time?]

How do you do it? Failsafe hosting, Cloud hosting, how do you do it?



3:11 pm on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Hi Webmasters, how would you make your sites stay online most of the time? I'm close to release my kind-of-cloud-solution and there isn't much we as webmasters can solve in terms of uptime. I took the time to think about it: local vs cloud solutions. There are a lot of benefits for certain apps to stay on the server instead of in one computer, and depending on the niche it might be by far the best choice.

What I've been doing to stay online:
  • Hosted on a company that offers *failsafe hosting* (they have specific name for it, lets just keep it that way, *FH*). So far pretty happy with this.
  • *FH* means whatever kind of redundancy for load, data, backup and connection, so if something goes down we would never notice it, but in true life that is never the case, the server goes down from time to time for whatever reason. Again, so far the uptime has been great but in more than 5 years with this company I faced dark days with no access. Things fail, no problem with that, just trying to minimize.
  • I have two servers there, the more important sites are up to date on a backup server. Another backup goes to a third server outside this company.
  • Having the same DNS, if something goes down for too long I just tweak the internal stuff to redirect everything to the other server. *This needs some basical access to the primary server*. I don't need to login into the registrars to modify DNS on each domain (some are on the client side, not mine). Is very important to me not to ask the clients to modify their DNS on their panels.
  • If I can't access the primary server I can ask the staff to do the redirecting to the secondary server.
  • If things turn ugly I use the backup data of any of the servers (2nd or 3rd) to bring the sites back again, I could do it on the 3rd server itself or a new server if needed.

I know it might sound absurd to some of you but it worked, it works so far.

And, I don't have all the eggs on the same basket. Important sites are half on one server and half on the other. If something goes down, I'm in fact 50% down. This has been amazing for me to stay up with my clients and keep earnings stable, most of all, stay up ahead of my competitors.

Why not cloud hosting?
I know people using Amazon cloud hosting and they experienced two major-heavy downtimes this year. I do not trust what they offer, I think you remember the news and the problems many clients faced even because of a lightning (storm).

I would love to hear your comments on this. Hope this is the right area of the forum to discuss it.

The long story:
The benefits:
Real time data, reports, you name it. They can login from wherever they want to: smartphones, netbooks, house, work, while traveling, etc. No need to install fancy software, you just need a browser. No need for complicated hardware, a netbook is just perfect. Backups are easy, automated for all clients and the backed data is sent to backup servers, ETC.

The internet connection goes down: no more honey, everything goes down. (you can always go for backup internet services, two ISP, balanced signal, etc). That's kinda fine as infrastructure is not something we offer to the client, is up to them, just as when their computers crash.

<panic>The server goes down...</panic>
No matter what internet connection the client might have, no honey again. No services, no data, no nothing. This time the client *might* blame us and the solution will not be in my hands, being unable to offer a clear answer on "when" the services will be back again.

We all have seen good hosting services go down from one day to the next one with no return, having to migrate everything on a tight schedule. I know this might be unavoidable but I'm trying to prevent this from happening.


7:07 am on Aug 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I have a couple of dedicated servers that currently have 498 and 671 days of non-stop uptime at Server Beach and one of the old servers I shut down a while back had been up 3+ years.

As a matter of fact, my alarm monitoring service on a 5 minute test interval hasn't reported anything in over 2 years now.

The secrets are simple, solid hosting with top notch hardware, RHE OS, constant software updates to avoid getting hacked and plenty of server side software to stop outside abuse from overloading server resources

Going with low power cheapo servers or shared hosting is the easiest way to invite downtime IMO, a quad-core minimum, dual-quad preferred and enough RAM to handle burst traffic



12:50 pm on Aug 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The secrets are simple, solid hosting with top notch hardware, RHE OS, constant software updates to avoid getting hacked and plenty of server side software to stop outside abuse from overloading server resources

It's as simple as that.

I keep my own hardware at a colo center that has something like 30 seperate fibre feeds and huge peer sharing. The owner knows his stuff, he spends money on double and triple redundancy on everything and watches keeps an eye on the traffic. The competency of the owner helps ease my mind a lot, when problems arise I don't stay up at night worrying about it - because I know that he's doing that instead.


2:35 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Thanks for your comments, very important info.

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