Many hosting companies offer business packages that tout the use of cutting-edge hardware and software, but the fact of the matter is that any top-notch hosting provider should use the latest and greatest technology. Business leaders should expect this as a minimum requirement but, an even more important question is: Does my hosting provider employ an intelligent backup strategy to ensure that my data and information are safe from loss?
Are You Protected?
Ask your hosting provider if a business continuity solution is included with your hosting plan. Surprisingly, many companies do not include basic data backup as a standard service. Offering high-quality, guaranteed data loss prevention can be complicated and expensive for the hosting company, but this is protection you cannot afford to go without.
Already Protected? To What Extent?
If your hosting provider offers backup services, do some research to prevent unexpected headaches and future frustrations. Verify that you can trust your provider to consistently and properly backup your data. Consider the following:
How long it will take to restore from backup?
Your current hosting provider may offer backup services, but you should understand the technology they employ to protect you. If they use tape backup, it could be hours before you get your data back when you need it. Your business may find itself at the bottom of a long list of customers waiting for restoration of servers, applications, and data if a problem occurs. Take the steps to understand what you can expect of the hosting provider if restoring from backup becomes necessary to avoid a disruptive business emergency.
What does the backup plan cover?
Check the type of data and information that is backed up. Not all providers enable you to restore individual files or your entire server. If you need to recover quickly, you want a provider that gives you the option of restoring individual files or the entire server. In addition, find out how far back the backup goes. There is a big difference between 4 days and 4 weeks.
Is there an additional backup off-site?
Ask your provider if their business continuity solution includes an off-site component. True business continuity solutions include replication of all data and virtual servers to a production data center in a form that allows them to be booted up there in case of a long term outage.
Application-consistent or Crash-consistent?
If you are hosting virtual servers, this could be the most important question. Make sure your hosting company takes application-consistent snapshots of your server. If they don’t, you may get a perfectly unusable restore. Crash-consistent snapshots are a point-in-time backup of your server. All Exchange, SQL, and disk transactions are left incomplete, leading to damaged databases and files. An application-consistent snapshot quiesces or closes all transactions to disk, enabling you to restore the server with zero corruption.
Quick Checklist for Acceptable Backup Provisions
If you’re overwhelmed with questions to ask and not sure of the answers to look for, you can start with this quick reference checklist of minimum provisions:
• The provider should perform a daily backup of your entire server.
• Data should be retained for at least 4 weeks.
• You should have the option to restore anything from a single file to an entire server.
• Data should be replicated off-site.
• The provider should take application-consistent snapshots.
To learn more about hosting plans with 100% guaranteed server uptime and intelligent backup schemes, contact Infinitely Virtual by phone at (866) 257-8455 or visit www.Infinitelyvirtual.com. Infinitely Virtual offers hosting plans designed to meet the needs of companies of any size and structure.