Disaster recovery for hosting??

  • retro101
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I run a small web hosting company
- about 50 sites on 7 servers – some doing 5-10 gigs a month.
- dedicated SQL server, domain controller, firewall.

My CTO and I have been deliberating what we should have in place for disaster recovery - tape back up is not adequate.

Our proposed options:

Set up a file sever with an 8 disk raid 0 – 4 mirroring.
Use 4 for to hot swap the mirroring disks and store off site.

We also discussed having another server off site contected to broadband – is it realistic to mirror over the internet?

Any other suggestions or comments will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Retro
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You need to define your quality of service (QoS) requirements before deciding on solutions. Do you want four nines (99.99%) uptime, or would you settle for less? How much time are you prepared to blow recovering a system?

Disks are not ideal for data storage purposes.

You can mirror over any connection. The question is how much bandwidth you require. Why mirror? can you re-direct traffic? can the single mirror replace seven servers?

What about other aspects of your facilities? do you have redundant network connects? dns? mail? ...?

You need to re-think your approach.
  • retro101
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for your feedback rjmthezonenet,

To clarify…

Do you want four nines (99.99%) uptime – we can settle for less.

How much time are you prepared to blow recovering a system? 4 hours

Can you re-direct traffic? – yes, we have redundant DNS off site.

Can you recommend a basic recovery plan?

Thanks,
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How much bandwidth will mirroning consume? If you can mirror, switching over will be very simple. I am, however, left with the original question: can a single mirror replace seven servers? (If yes, than maybe you should consolidate those servers.)

Four hours should allow for recovery from tape for an average system that has a detailed disaster recovery plan. By this, I mean you have conducted recovery drills and know exactly what steps an administrator must perform.

What ever you decide, you really should send tapes off-site just in case of a serious disaster. Even if you are depending on mirrors for failover.

By suggesting that tape restores are unsuitable, I'm guessing you mean the lack of real-time data redundancy will leave you with some unprotected data. Can you apply a hybrid approach like sync'ing databases real-time while backing up or mirroring content nightly?

This is a basic framework for a recovery plan. You will have to put a lot of work into the details. These things aren't easy... unfortunately.

You should also consider a security plan. What if your equipment is working fine, but you've been root compromised?

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