Backup and Disaster recovery procedures (DR).
Onsite backup. This refers to dedicated NAS storage devices located at the same data center but NOT on the same hardware. (FreeNas and Synology). The NAS devices are all with redundant disks (RAID), and behind a dedicated firewall with strong password protection and very limited and controlled access.
Offsite backup. These are hard drive disks, that get removed from the Data Centre and stored in secure office locations. The location is more than 25Km from the data center. Disks are encrypted by backup software and password protected for extra security.
Explanation and abbreviations
Backup software. We make use of the EaseUS Todo Backup Enterprise solution for our backup. This software encrypts and compresses the data for secure fast retrieval.
Recovery time. This refers to the time it takes for a backup to restore to its original location.
Recovery process. This refers to the steps that are taken to recover the data from backup locations.
D.R. This is the Disaster Recovery Process and refers to the steps that are taken to restore data to an original state after some event. The events include data corruption, malware attacks, ransomware, hacking attempts, a decision to restore, and many more.
Retention. This refers to the period of time or quantity of backups we keep.
Differential backup. This refers to the way data is saved from one instance to the next. The idea is that only the changes from one backup to the next are saved. This makes subsequent backups smaller.
Most of our data backups. (Unless specified) will be stored in differential backup states over a certain number of iterations. Iterations depend on each environment. As an example. Hosting servers are backed up 3 times a week and we keep 4 instances of this backup. This means that if we backup on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the backup will contain 4 backup days at any point in time. So on a Saturday, we will have Friday (previous week), Monday, Wednesday, and Friday backups available.
Backup process and retention based on the type of service hosted
(Your website/mail/database and related hosting data is on a shared server)
- Window server hosting is backed up 3 times a week, differentially and backup retention is 4 instances.
- Linux Direct Admin hosting is backed up every day and the retention is 10 days.
(Linux and Windows Servers)
- VPS servers are backed up once a week (on a weekend), differentially and backup retention is 3 instances.
- Panel software (DirectAdmin, SolidCP, cPanel) provides its own backup facilities and is out of scope for this discussion. (Those backups can be internal, externally on-site, and externally offsite. We do not have full control over these as clients can control it)
Disaster Recovery Process
- When a DR needs to be performed we require an official request from the client (from system email) to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the required server, hosting space, or Database to recover. Please note that this needs to be approved by your service provider. (The company that you pay each month for your hosting)
- DR is initiated within 2 hours of receiving the request.
- The recovery time is completely dependent on the size of the restore and the number of files. Bigger data takes longer to recover as well as the increasing number of files (such as mail accounts).
- Website recoveries are typically completed in about 30 minutes from the start of recovery. (Average website size)
- VPS typically takes about 2-4 hours to recover. (Size dependent)
Backup storage and principles
- We backup the data to onsite backup devices, as per each service specification, typically during non-peak times. (after hours).
- Backup device data are taken offsite on 3 monthly bases. Offsite storage.
- Backup storage devices are protected by a dedicated firewall and not accessible externally to the data center.
- Devices are protected with secure login credentials and require elevated access to open, this applies to all operating systems in our network.
- Clients that opt-in for an internal server backup solution will be given access to the enterprise software and the location of the data configured by one of our technicians ahead of time. Recovery of this data is under the full control of the administrative users on those virtual servers. The storage itself is not accessible except through the backup software and is password protected.
- VPS and Shared Hosting backup processes are all monitored and reported back to our support team for failures.
- Panel backups will be reported to the administrative user of that server and must investigate this should there be any issues with their backups. (We are only responsible for the backup storage and the integrity of that.)
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