It is always a good idea to backup your VPS server or dedicated server on a regular basis so that if your server happens to crash and it is irreparable for whatever reason, you can easily reinstall the operating system can restore your data from a recent backup. Most dedicated server hosting services come with some sort of backup hosting account that can be configured easily, although for VPS server hosting you may need to pay extra for a backup hosting service. Depending on the importance of the data that you are storing on your server, you may want to consider a off-site backup plan because hosting your backups off-site will provide you with peace of mind that if it’s a data centre problem that is causing your data loss, you won’t have to worry about losing the data on your backup server because it will be hosted at a completely different location. In most cases you will only realize the true value of backups when you come to experience something that means that you need to restore from a backup; it is a good idea to put measures in place beforehand to make sure that you don’t have to experience the need for backups before you actually bother to put them in place.
You will find that any reputable web hosting provider will be using off-site backup servers for their own shared web hosting customers as when offering such web hosting products they have to be able to guarantee a high level of data security. If you are using UK web hosting services then it would be recommended that you consider a backup hosting service that is hosted in the US as this will provide you with a lot of confidence about the safety of your data if your UK based hosting server was to fail; if you are using US web hosting services then you may wish to consider a backup hosting package that is hosted on a UK based backup server for the same reasons. However, you don’t always have to go for backups hosted on a number continent; simply choosing a backup hosting package that is located in a data centre other than the one that your main web hosting service is hosted in is enough to guarantee safety for your data.
Connecting to a Backup Hosting Service
There are many ways in which you can connect to your backup hosting service to upload your backups to your space, but the method you use is likely to depend on the type of web hosting package that you are using. If you have chosen a simple shared web hosting account then the way that you’ll be able to configure your shared web hosting account to work with your backup hosting account will be over FTP; although FTP represents a good way of uploading files to your web space, when it comes to transferring a backup of your web hosting account it isn’t always going to be the most secure method available and is open to eavesdropping. If you have your own VPS server or dedicated server then you will be able to use rsync as a method of transferring your backup files from your server to your backup hosting space; rsync if a secure way of copying files over since all the data that is sent over the connection is encrypted which will make it hard for any eavesdroppers, and it can also be factored into your own backup scripts meaning that you will be able to create scheduled backups on your VPS server or dedicated server.
You should always consider the amount of disk space that is available with any backup account that you may be considering because you don’t want to find that you are running out of disk space quickly. It is a good idea to work out roughly how much disk space you are going to be using up over a certain period of time so that you can distinguish the type of backup account that you are going to require; if your disk space consumption is going to be large then you may find it more beneficial to consider using a completely separate VPS server for your backup requirements.
Any decent backup web hosting service will provide you with an unlimited amount of bandwidth and this is an important factor because if you run out of bandwidth, you will no longer be able to upload your files to your backup space. If you are going to be running regular backups that are very large then you are going to be using up a lot of bandwidth quickly. Similarly, if you ever have to download a backup to your server to restore a web hosting account or some deleted files then you will be unable to if you don’t have enough bandwidth available.
The price of a backup hosting account is going to vary depending on the disk space that you have available as well as the type of backup account that you have gone for. If you decide to use a standard shared backup account which will effectively just give you FTP access to some web space, you won’t have to pay that much because web space itself is fairly cheap to offer. However, if your requirements are slightly more complex and you have chosen to use a VPS server for your backup requirements then you should expect to pay a bit more as you are still purchasing another server hosting service.
In conclusion, you never really appreciate the true value of backups of your web hosting account until an event that causes you to lose data to some extent. The way in which you create backups of your web hosting service will be different between individual web hosting services; for a shared web hosting account you are going to have to rely on your web hosting provider’s control panel and use FTP in order to upload backups, although with server hosting services you have a lot more choices as to the methods that you can use to upload your files to a remote backup server.