Now is the best time to get onboard with ServerSuit. Our web panel has been going through changes these past few months. We've expanded OS support for the latest Debian, CentOS and Ubuntu releases. We've bolstered ServerSuit's functionality by adding server cloning and replication, which is extra helpful now that you can rent a virtual private server directly from ServerSuit! Not only do you save the time and energy getting a server up and running yourself, but now it's easier than ever to expand or, often more importantly, backup your server.
While your mileage may vary, most people hold critical data on their servers. If it's just a server for personal use, that's still time, resources, and effort invested in setting it up and keeping it running. Time that now has to be backtracked and spent again on reconfiguring everything.
If you're running the server for business or research, there will be a lot of people directly dependent on that server being up. Going down means losing money and losing trust, on top of the resource and time investment I already mentioned.
How ready are your servers for hardware failure? Electrical outage? Natural disaster? A good backup strategy will account and compensate for as many potential interruptions as possible.
Types of backup
Depending on your needs, you'll have several potential solutions available. Some of the more common ones are:
External Hard Drive - pretty basic, and probably the most common. Allows you to backup files or clone your hardrive to have a bootable restore disk. Not an elegant solution, but probably the cheapest and most straightforward one.
Physical Storage - this is an old school solution to backups, but keeping them on physical media like tapes, CDs, and Blu Rays. Blu-rays may be the best currently availble option today, with standard formats holding 50gb per disc, and the BDXL format holding up to 128gb.
Network Attached Storage - a storage device, sometimes with it's own mini OS, that connects to the same network as your servers or PCs. Allows things like file syncronization. Requires a little more work to set up, but is a lot more flexible in the long run.
Cloud Storage Services - quickly becoming more common, as there's usually a very low cost of entry without the need for hardware. This is stuff like Google Drive or Dropbox. They're not very flexible either, allowing you to only save files and directories; this means that they can't be used to restore settings, installations or anything like that.
Cloud Backups - these are the services that allow true backups. Services like replication, cloning and file synchronization. (ServerSuit added these capabilities in our latest patch.) Using cloud backups is probably the best remote backup option.
Best Backup Guidelines
If you have a server running providing some kind of service with the expecation that it's "always available", you absolutely need to maintain a series of backups. If you're using a server or PC for personal, everyday, use then you should still maintain a backup lest you be one of those people that becomes the bane of support centers everywhere as you desparately ask for manager after manager trying to get your family photos back. There is a generally applied guideline for keeping backups which goes as follows:
Rule of 3
The idea goes that you need 3, mixed media, geogaphically scattered backups. Three (3) backups tends to confuse some, because people make the common mistake assuming that their working PC or server is one of those backups. They don't count. This needs to be 3 backups on top of your "live" device.
Mixed media refers to the fact that every kind of backup has it's advantages and limitations. Cloud backups is my favorite version, but what do you do if your internet is down? What if the backup service provider is down? This is why mixing media is important. Diversity is key to survival.
When I say "geographically scattered", I mean that the physical locations of at least one of those backups needs to be offsite. Maybe two. It really depends on your operation.
An ideal configuration, in my mind, is one where you have a network attached storage device (with internal redundancy using RAID if possible), a cloud backup, and a hard, physical, backup at another location away from your office. At minimum. Perosnally, I'd also have a USB drive for file backup and another USB drive as a cloned recovery drive.
If you're using ServerSuit, then you have at least one cloud solution covered. With our new cloning and sync capabilites, it's easier than ever to set up secure, private, cloud file backups and full server restore points. If you're not using ServerSuit, you can try it for 30 days free! If you don't have a server set up to accept backups, now you can rent a Virtual Private Server from ServerSuit that will be ready for syncing or cloning immediately.