I like to think of my web hosting company as a bucolic server farm in the sky. It’s imagined as a peaceful, warm, and safe place. The reality is that these web hosting companies are under constant attack from hackers who want to do horrible things. This past May a web hosting company that I once used was crippled by ransomware. Thousands of websites were all locked up and unavailable, held for ransom. I’m glad I did not have to tell my clients that their website was … gone. Or wait around for the hosting company to dig out of the mess by restoring backups. Understand that the hosting service provides 30 day rolling backup of the web sites — a tool that works great when it works. But what if something truly catastrophic happens? I can hear you asking me … hey Scott do you have another copy of my website somewhere? Gulp.
Well … I do have two backups of your site. Your site benefits from the hosts 30 day rolling backup AND we take a snapshot of your site at least every 30 days (some sites more frequently if they change often) and stash an encrypted copy of it in what’s called an Amazon S3 Bucket. These Amazon Buckets are “designed for 99.999999999% (11 9’s) of durability, and store data for millions of applications for companies all around the world.” I’m not saying it would be super easy to restore these backups on a different web host, but it is something that can be done, giving us options for restoration.
Why … So … Paranoid? For one, it’s scary out there. Every minute we spend admiring our server farm, the hackers and bots are out there in the bush, getting stronger. I can feel the walls getting higher. Time to make another backup I think.