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  1. #1

    Angry I am supposed to have my own backups???

    So the SQL database on my host's website melted somehow. I don't know how, because I just set up the site last week and all I had installed was Gallery. Anyway, their on-server backups seem to be corrupt so they are looking to see if a remote backup is available.

    What is really bothering me is that they asked if I had any backups. When I said that was their job, they responded that usually the user is responsible for backups and their backups are meant for cases of server failure. This sounds like a load of crap to me, especially when I did not do anything which would cause the system to go down. Fortunately I had only uploaded a handful of photos. However I was fully expecting the size of the site to approach 1GB over time. Is it normal for users to be responsible for backing up their 1+GB web-sites?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Yes, you're supposed to have your own backups. It's common sense. Stuff happens. Hard drives fail, servers crash, etc. If you don't want to lose data, you keep your own backups.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Illustrious View Post
    Yes, you're supposed to have your own backups. It's common sense. Stuff happens. Hard drives fail, servers crash, etc. If you don't want to lose data, you keep your own backups.
    Actually, common sense to me is a professional hosting service backing up their user's stuff. Maybe I am being a little naive in trusting the company to be properly protected in case of failure.

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    It is certainly a black eye to the hosting company to have had this happen. However, it is still ultimately your responsibility to have your own backups for cases like this. Many people assume it's not their responsibility, but if your data is that important, then it's best to have your own backups or use a third party backup service.

    Many providers will put into their TOS that backups are the responsibility of the customer, even though they state that they backup their data! Asking exactly how your hosting provider backs up their data is a great question when looking for a host.

    In your case, since you plan on having such a large database, you should look into replicating your database or doing a nightly synchronization of the data to another server. I would certainly start considering a different host since that's not a great start to your customer relationship!
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_M View Post
    A lot of hosts have something in their Terms of Service that says the client is responsible for backups. You should check the hosts TOS and see what it says.
    Thanks for the tip. I'll take a look at a few hosts and see what they say.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chenetwork View Post
    In your case, since you plan on having such a large database, you should look into replicating your database or doing a nightly synchronization of the data to another server. I would certainly start considering a different host since that's not a great start to your customer relationship!
    Is there any way to do this in an automated fashion? Are there back-up services available which can automatically connect to my hosted site and back up everything?

    I have been using this host for many years, and I have a couple sites with them. I never had a problem like this. Now seems like the perfect time for me to consider moving to a larger host which will allow me to host multiple domains on one account for a reasonable price.

    This wouldn't be such a bad problem except it's been around 7 hours and still no resolution...and they are very bad about keeping me in the loop. Unless I poke them they don't tell me what is going on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Is there any way to do this in an automated fashion? Are there back-up services available which can automatically connect to my hosted site and back up everything?
    There are some that do this, for example http://bqbackup.com/ . It just depends on your access to the server. Some NAS systems have such features also.

    Most hosts will have perfect backups, but essentially it comes down to the customer like others have said. Besides, as the old IT saying goes, you can never have to many backups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    This wouldn't be such a bad problem except it's been around 7 hours and still no resolution...and they are very bad about keeping me in the loop. Unless I poke them they don't tell me what is going on.
    Poke them with a sword maybe this time (if u can find a sword these days ) .

    But most hosts have "Not responsible for user data" clause , as they have no real control over when the hdd will fail, how many of them will fail, or over a truck driving straight into their server etc etc. So, best option is to have your own backups as the best solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Is there any way to do this in an automated fashion? Are there back-up services available which can automatically connect to my hosted site and back up everything?
    Yes, there are automated ways to do this. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but with MySQL 5, you can setup replication on individual databases across many servers. I believe that in older versions of MySQL, you had to replicate all databases or none at all so it may now be easier to find a host that can do this for you.

    Another method is to have a script that does a nightly database dump and copies it to another server.
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    Regarding the automated process -- it depends a bit upon what control panel you are using. Different control panels have different capabilities. As we don't know what host you are using, or which control panel they use, we can't really offer you anything more specific... for instance it would make no sense for us to give you cPanel advice if you're on a host using Plesk.

    I understand totally how frustrating this must feel... I went through the same "awakening" early on in my internet days ... and I didn't enjoy it either!! As others have said, it depends upon what the TOS says. What your host has told you, however, is pretty much standard handling for most hosts. Now you know, so now you can move forward accordingly.

    Bailey
    Last edited by bithost(NET); 01-28-2008 at 02:20 AM.
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  12. #12
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    To be honest, i'm still fairly shocked that alot of hosts don't take their own backups.

    I know it is extra expense, and for starting businesses it can seem like its not needed - but if they have a total server failure, how are they ever going to recover?

    I'm sure their clients would just move elsewhere in a flash!
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  13. #13
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    Dan, the OP stated the host did have backups, however, the database backup appears to be corrupt.

    Bailey
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  14. #14
    They loaded their remote backups from the 25th and they are also corrupt. Which is very very strange since I was just using the site yesterday without any problems. Anyway at this point I am going to move on.

    Chances are pretty good that my next host will have cPanel so any automated solutions for that would be appreciated.

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    ozziegt, if your host is using cPanel, corrupted MySQL database backups are not at all unheard of ... it's not that the original files were corrupt, it's that the backup process puked.

    That, or they don't really have backups, and they're just telling you they were "corrupt."

    I've seen both cases, during my time in the industry impossible to say which is the case, as none of us has access to the raw files.

    Bailey
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    Whoops - I didn't read that.

    Besides, its their responsibility to make sure that doesn't happen. How many backups do they keep? Are they all corrupt?

    I hope this isn't construed as self advertising but we have compressed backups kept on the server for a minimum of 7 days. We also have an uncompressed version of the whole OS and users files offsite. Its highly unlikely that we'll ever be left without a working backup.
    We've had to restore a few sites where the client has either accidentally wiped it or accidentally deleted the wrong database.

    If we didn't test our backups and had a massive failure - I'm fairly certain we wouldn't be able to recover from it.

    Anyway, its early here in the UK and I might be talking rubbish.
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    I would suggest looking at host backups as a potential bonus backup of your own backups rather than something to "count on". If your sites and data are important to you, then YOU will back them up... it's just that simple.


  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bithost(NET) View Post
    ozziegt, if your host is using cPanel, corrupted MySQL database backups are not at all unheard of ... it's not that the original files were corrupt, it's that the backup process puked.

    That, or they don't really have backups, and they're just telling you they were "corrupt."

    I've seen both cases, during my time in the industry impossible to say which is the case, as none of us has access to the raw files.

    Bailey
    Since it took them 8+ hours to figure this out I am guessing they aren't telling me the whole truth. Anyway, yes they are a cpanel based site. Why do you mention cPanel? Are cPanel sites more prone to database corruption for some reason? Is there some other control panel which is better than cpanel?

    What is the difference between a third party backup company and finding a host that actually does proper back-ups? In the end, it seems that I am paying someone to make sure they don't lose my data. If I could do this at home I wouldn't need to pay someone to do it.

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    Dan, there's really a lot we don't know here. Actually it is not all that unlikely that all of their backups are corrupt... I have seen this many times over on cPanel boxes. Usually it is the same account's db backups that are corrupt, because by the time the server gets to that account to run backups, the conditions are such that the server cannot complete the db backup successfully, so it outputs garbage. And since backups on that account are run at about the same time every day, with the server conditions roughly the same at about that time every day -- ta-da, now you have 7 lovely copies of .... junk.

    This is why I was all-too-happy to ditch the built-in cPanel backup utility for r1soft's CDP system. It totally bypasses the cPanel backup script and does incremental backups all on its own. We have yet to find a failure or corruption. And it is the kind of product where you can set up multiple backups each day, and keep as many copies going back as you like (or as you have space for) ..... it's really sweet.

    Bailey

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    cPanel is a great control panel system, it's a matter of finding a company that is proficient with it, and perhaps find a company that has set up their operations to bypass the less reliable bits.

    I mentioned cPanel simply because it is one of the most popular control panel systems on the market ... and it's what I am most familiar with, personally.

    Bailey
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  21. #21
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    That's unfortunate that this happened to you. I'm surprised that they weren't running RAID1 or something similar on the server.
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  22. #22
    webzpro.com seems to offer built in r1soft backups for a reasonable price. I am going to do more research, but from what I have initially found here, it seems that I might have found my new host.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Actually, common sense to me is a professional hosting service backing up their user's stuff.
    If it's common sense for them to do it, then it should be common sense for your to do it, so you don't have to rely on others.

    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    I'll take a look at a few hosts and see what they say.
    It shouldn't matter what any host says. ALWAYS keep your own backups anyway. Even if your host backs it up and you have an offsite backup service... make your own backups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Actually, common sense to me is a professional hosting service backing up their user's stuff. Maybe I am being a little naive in trusting the company to be properly protected in case of failure.
    Yes, the hosting company should keep backups AND you should keep backups. What if the host goes out of business, what if they're down for awhile and you need to move to a different host, what if they have a failure and their backup system didn't work, what if they have backups, but they're corrupt and useless?

    Simply put, if you want it done right, do it yourself. If that data is valuable to you, then back it up.

    Just to confirm, I am not saying the host has no responsibility here, they SHOULD have good backups, but it doesn't mean they will, things happen. Ultimately, it is your data and you're responsible for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bithost(NET) View Post

    This is why I was all-too-happy to ditch the built-in cPanel backup utility for r1soft's CDP system. It totally bypasses the cPanel backup script and does incremental backups all on its own. We have yet to find a failure or corruption. And it is the kind of product where you can set up multiple backups each day, and keep as many copies going back as you like (or as you have space for) ..... it's really sweet.

    We used to just use Rsync but switched to R1Softs offering too, I agree it is an amazing product.
    The first time we used it, I couldn't believe how easy it was to restore files!
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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    Yes, the hosting company should keep backups AND you should keep backups. What if the host goes out of business, what if they're down for awhile and you need to move to a different host, what if they have a failure and their backup system didn't work, what if they have backups, but they're corrupt and useless?

    Simply put, if you want it done right, do it yourself. If that data is valuable to you, then back it up.

    Just to confirm, I am not saying the host has no responsibility here, they SHOULD have good backups, but it doesn't mean they will, things happen. Ultimately, it is your data and you're responsible for it.
    Like I said...am I really supposed to download 1gb of data on a nightly basis using my at home cable connection, back it up on my desktop machine, and then ship it off site myself to my own personal off site location? Sorry but that sounds quite absurd for someone who just wants to host their family's photos.

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to find a host who has a decent backup system and maybe having a secondary system in place, and I didn't do that with my current provider. Obviously I am going to change that, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that I am just a consumer and I need to pay someone to keep my data backed up.

    Of course I have the core data (aka the pictures) backed up myself, but the site is a different matter.

  27. #27
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    I suspect that many hosts, especially the unlimited disk space ones dont' make backups.

    However, it's pretty normal for a host to only make nightly backups and not keep archives. The host's backups are for a completely different purpose than the users, and that is to restore the server in case of hardware failure.

    If the user accidentally deleted a database, don't expect the host to be able to restore it unless the user contacts the host immediately and is willing to pay to just restore specific data. Although a customer service oriented host might do it the first time for free depending on the work involved.

    In summary, make your own backups for archival purposes. Even storing them in your own disk space on the account would meet most of your needs, and save you from downloading them from the server.

    It is kind of scary when a host says that their backups are hosed, but if they do nightly backups, they're likely to have fresh ones the next night. Hopefully they didn't have any hardware data loss that day. You have to appreciate their honesty though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Like I said...am I really supposed to download 1gb of data on a nightly basis using my at home cable connection, back it up on my desktop machine, and then ship it off site myself to my own personal off site location?
    If you had, you wouldn't be in this position now. So, only you can decide whether or not your data is important to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Obviously I am going to change that, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that I am just a consumer and I need to pay someone to keep my data backed up.
    I doubt you'll find a host willing to take responsibility for the well-being of your data. Even if they offer backups, things happen... as you're finding out now. And when that happens, count on being pointed to a section of their TOS that says they're not responsible for it--whether they back it up or not.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Like I said...am I really supposed to download 1gb of data on a nightly basis using my at home cable connection, back it up on my desktop machine, and then ship it off site myself to my own personal off site location? Sorry but that sounds quite absurd for someone who just wants to host their family's photos.

    I think it is perfectly reasonable to find a host who has a decent backup system and maybe having a secondary system in place, and I didn't do that with my current provider. Obviously I am going to change that, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that I am just a consumer and I need to pay someone to keep my data backed up.

    Of course I have the core data (aka the pictures) backed up myself, but the site is a different matter.
    If the real amount of data, the pictures, are on your computer already then what is the problem? Unless the database actually stores the pictures inside it, which would be an idiotic manner of doing it in regards to resource usage, then the size of the database itself should be quite small, a couple MB at the most.

    If you don't want to believe us, don't, and just be surprised again when/if this happens again. We're not saying the host shouldn't have backups, but things happen. Crazy things can happen and no host will be prepared for EVERYTHING that could happen. What if the data center got taken over by man eating and server eating bears? What if aliens abducted the servers? What if the host just goes out of business? What if the host just got a bad batch of drives and several fail right in a row? Some of those things are more likely to happen than others, but in the end, if the data is valuable, keep it backed up.
    Last edited by KarlZimmer; 01-28-2008 at 03:40 AM.
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  30. #30
    Well first of all my cable connection only has an upload rate of 384kbps so restoring a 1gb backup from my home machine could take a whole day. It just isn't reasonable, period.

    Second, Gallery keeps it's own copy of the photos on the file system. They aren't in the database but they are stored on the disk, and the software internally maps the images to the data using the database tables. This isn't that unreasonable. What it means though, is that backing up the database itself isn't enough. Furthermore, even things like themes are stored on the file system but the settings for those themes are stored in the database.

    The problem for me is that if I am going to spend days customizing my gallery only to lose it, I am going to be an angry customer.

  31. #31
    I would like to add that I haven't lost my pictures. But I am royally upset that my photo gallery is gone and I have to set everything up again. I would have been even more ticked off if I had gone through the trouble of setting up all the access control lists for friends and family.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Well first of all my cable connection only has an upload rate of 384kbps so restoring a 1gb backup from my home machine could take a whole day. It just isn't reasonable, period.
    If you're saying that it's worse than staring at a blank page where your site used to be, then it sounds like you have a great plan there.

    No one said it should be your first choice to restore from, but in an emergency, it's better than having to post here about your site being gone.

    There's an order to follow:

    1. Does your host have a good backup?
    Yes: Use it.
    No: Go to step 2.

    2. Do you have a working backup at a remote backup service?
    Yes: Use it.
    No: Go to step 3.

    3. Do you have a working backup at a secondary remote location?
    Yes: Use it.
    No: Go to step 4.

    4. Do you have a working backup of your own?
    Yes: Use it.
    No: Go to step 5.

    5. Post at WHT about how your site is gone and you don't have a backup, so people can point out how important it is for you to keep your own backups.

  33. #33
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    My host uses CDP do backup the servers 4 times a day.
    Then on a nightly basis I run my own backup that then gets sent to a remote backup server(service) via SCP.
    Then on a weekly and monthly basis I use the Control Panel backup system to backup and send it to the remote backup server.

    On a nightly basis my SFTP client will connect to the remote backup server and download the backups to an extra HD that is in my system. I also verify that the backups are good. It does no good to have a backup that is no good. This is all automated so I don't have to manually do anything.

    This is all for my business site. Now for my personal site I do a backup about once a week.

    OP, No matter how you slice or dice it, it is up to "YOU" to make your own backups. That is the way it is with the web hosting industry so get use to it! It is like paying $0.99 a month for 500GB of hosting and expecting to get Premium Hosting. That just isn't going to happen. Just like you expecting that it is the web hosts job to do "YOUR" backups and maintain "YOUR" backups. To be honest the backups the host does is "mainly" for them and not the customers.

    Another thing that you need to consider is say that one day your host decides they want to suspend you for no good reason at all or you are having big problems with your host. If you have your "OWN" backups, you can easily move to another host without having to worry if the old hosts will allow you to make a backup, or hold your site hostage per say.

    Do a search here on WHT and you will see several stories of that very thing happening.
    Charles

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Actually, common sense to me is a professional hosting service backing up their user's stuff. Maybe I am being a little naive in trusting the company to be properly protected in case of failure.
    They did back up your stuff. It isn't their fault if they replicated your database and it was corrupt. They probably underwent standard procedure with regarding backups.

    If you want to host 1 GB's worth of data, it's your responsibility to manage that 1GB's worth of data. There are plenty of backup services you can purchase if you want the extra security. There's nothing "absurd" about it. Accidents happen. While it certainly isn't a favorable outcome, it doesn't mean that you have no responsibility. If you choose to have 1 GB of material that you need to back up, then it's your responsibility to take care of that 1 GB of material. Very few hosts will take responsibility for your lost data.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Well first of all my cable connection only has an upload rate of 384kbps so restoring a 1gb backup from my home machine could take a whole day. It just isn't reasonable, period.

    Second, Gallery keeps it's own copy of the photos on the file system. They aren't in the database but they are stored on the disk, and the software internally maps the images to the data using the database tables. This isn't that unreasonable. What it means though, is that backing up the database itself isn't enough. Furthermore, even things like themes are stored on the file system but the settings for those themes are stored in the database.

    The problem for me is that if I am going to spend days customizing my gallery only to lose it, I am going to be an angry customer.
    1) No one is suggesting you backup everything to your home computer, at least that I have seen. Some people have even mentioned specific backup services, etc.

    2) I was assuming the pictures were the valuable commodity. The work done on the site can be replaced, the pictures cannot be. If you're then saying the work you did isn't worth the $5 a month or so to back it up, then your time must not be worth much, thus that shouldn't be an issue to redo it.

    3) We are trying to help you so this does not happen again. Don't take offense, etc. No matter what a host tells you, your data CAN be lost. The way to prepare for that is keeping your own backups. it is a rare event, but if it is this upsetting to you to lose that data, then keep it yourself, simple as that. I honestly don't get what you're arguing. We're agreeing, yes, a host should keep backups, but you should also keep your own backups. That is just the way it is, there is nothing to argue about. Stuff happens. Why not be prepared for a possible billing dispute, an account suspension issue, an unreliable patch with your host, etc., etc. There are countless reasons why an additional backup is useful other than your host not having a valid backup.
    Last edited by KarlZimmer; 01-28-2008 at 03:56 AM.
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  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in FL View Post
    If you're saying that it's worse than staring at a blank page where your site used to be, then it sounds like you have a great plan there.

    No one said it should be your first choice to restore from, but in an emergency, it's better than having to post here about your site being gone.

    There's an order to follow:

    1. Does your host have a good backup?
    Yes: Use it.
    No: Go to step 2.

    2. Do you have a working backup at a remote backup service?
    Yes: Use it.
    No: Go to step 3.
    Well, I think I would have been fine in this case even with steps 1 & 2. I think I have mentioned that a couple times in this thread that I realize I didn't have those set up. It would have to take a pretty catastrophic and bizarre chain of events even for 1&2 to not be enough.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Illustrious View Post
    They did back up your stuff. It isn't their fault if they replicated your database and it was corrupt. They probably underwent standard procedure with regarding backups.

    If you want to host 1 GB's worth of data, it's your responsibility to manage that 1GB's worth of data. There are plenty of backup services you can purchase if you want the extra security. There's nothing "absurd" about it. Accidents happen. While it certainly isn't a favorable outcome, it doesn't mean that you have no responsibility. If you choose to have 1 GB of material that you need to back up, then it's your responsibility to take care of that 1 GB of material. Very few hosts will take responsibility for your lost data.
    I think all this has been covered already and I have acknowledged it. Why do you need to repost it?

    Like I said, their backups from the day before I actually had a working site apparently are corrupted as well. Something is really fishy with this hsot and they basically suck. I'll find one that doesn't. Thanks.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    3) We are trying to help you so this does not happen again. Don't take offense, etc. No matter what a host tells you, your data CAN be lost. The way to prepare for that is keeping your own backups. it is a rare event, but if it is this upsetting to you to lose that data, then keep it yourself, simple as that. I honestly don't get what you're arguing. We're agreeing, yes, a host should keep backups, but you should also keep your own backups. That is just the way it is, there is nothing to argue about. Stuff happens. Why not be prepared for a possible billing dispute, an account suspension issue, an unreliable patch with your host, etc., etc. There are countless reasons why an additional backup is useful other than your host not having a valid backup.
    Yes, and thanks for the advice. I will definitely pick a host with a good backup solution as well as set up a secondary host to store daily or weekly backups. However, what I am taking issue with is the suggestion that it is unreasonable to expect the host to have some kind of backup system in place. It is pretty irresponsible for a professional hosting company to have that attitude in this day and age. I can fully understand that they would not want to be held legally responsible, and that is fine. But there should be some reasonable expectation and the secondary backup system should only really be necessary if things really go south.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    326
    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    I think all this has been covered already and I have acknowledged it. Why do you need to repost it?

    Like I said, their backups from the day before I actually had a working site apparently are corrupted as well. Something is really fishy with this hsot and they basically suck. I'll find one that doesn't. Thanks.
    I don't know who your host is but because they had a backup that was corrupted doesn't mean that they suck. You can just as easily run into the "SAME" problem at another host. Does that mean that the new host sucks? NO Corrupted backups happen period! It is not like the host wanted a corrupted backup! Geeeezzz

    You need to face the fact that if you don't want to loose your data or redo your site, it is up to "YOU" again it is up to YOU to do your own backups. There are numerous people on WHT that have said this in several other threads.

    If I sound a bit harsh, I am just trying to get you to understand the way things are and for your benefit and so are several other people in this thread. You just have listen to what we are telling you.
    Last edited by Neosmith; 01-28-2008 at 04:09 AM.
    Charles

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    6,889
    Quote Originally Posted by ozziegt View Post
    Yes, and thanks for the advice. I will definitely pick a host with a good backup solution as well as set up a secondary host to store daily or weekly backups. However, what I am taking issue with is the suggestion that it is unreasonable to expect the host to have some kind of backup system in place. It is pretty irresponsible for a professional hosting company to have that attitude in this day and age. I can fully understand that they would not want to be held legally responsible, and that is fine. But there should be some reasonable expectation and the secondary backup system should only really be necessary if things really go south.
    Yes, and from what has been said, the host did have a backup, but then things "went South" and the backup was corrupt. It seems you've gotten the point though, as you indicated you'll check the hosts backup policies and keep your own remote backups. That alone should cover 99%+ of all cases of data loss, assuming you verify the remote backups, so you should be fine.
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