A few weeks ago, a small issue I had been thinking about crept up on me. I supposed I had been ignoring it for too long and kept tucking it away in the back of my mind, hoping it would go away. Unfortunately, it reared its ugly head once more as I was reviewing my latest dedicated server monthly invoice. I asked myself how long I was going to let them charge me so much for an enormously under utilized server. Especially when this particular hosting company’s support was sliding off the edge of a cliff. Actually, I wrote more about this situation over in this post, so I won’t rehash it in this one.
Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar – you look for a hosting provider, find one, read all about their bells and whistles, especially about how they back up the universe and finally sign up for an account with them. Things go swimmingly for months and months until you decide to look into that backup thing you read about way back in the beginning. You begin to inquire and poke around in your hosting or server admin panel and come to realize that your backups have never been configured. Since the get-go, you’ve been flying solo with absolutely no recourse if something catastrophic had happened. I’ve gone through this and trust me when I tell you, it’s no fun to realize that your hosting provider’s “backups” aren’t really what you think they are. If you want data protection, you better get on it yourself and make sure you know exactly what’s happening.
Let me get back to my initial story.
Last week, I decided to set up a server with WiredTree. Awesome company. I can’t say enough good things about them. Now, this time, I was sure to configure the server for internal backups as well as external. While this is great, I thought I better find an alternative solution, since both of my configured backups were on-site, meaning, all my data was being stored in WiredTree’s data center. I’ve never been to their data center and I don’t know what it looks like. It’s not that I don’t trust it, I’m simply unfamiliar with it and that’s why I felt it would be in my best interest to take advantage of an additional layer of security.
I started searching around for remote data backup solutions. I did this for a while and really didn’t find what I was looking for. Since I’m truly not a technical person when it comes to server configuration, much of what I found didn’t make sense to me. My eyes glazed over as I read about Amazon’s this and Amazon’s that. Even though I loved the idea of having my data stored in Amazon’s cloud, I really had no idea how to make it happen. And I certainly was past the days of downloading website files through FTP to my personal computer. If you’ve ever done that, you certainly know what I’m talking about.
At the eleventh hour, I somehow bumped into a company called, “CodeGuard” that seemed to offer me exactly what I was looking for. From what I read on their website, they utilize Amazon’s cloud to store client data. Sort of like what I mentioned above, but with one big difference. They do it. Apparently, some folks, who are a heck of a lot more intelligent than I am, have come up with a fairly fool-proof user interface that takes all the pain of writing scripts to back up your data, making the whole process feel like a walk in the park.
At first, I didn’t believe it. But after traversing through the first back up of one of my sites, things began feeling as though they were real. I backup up one site, then another, then another. One short ticket to support to resolve a setting on my server and I sighed up for one of their premium plans and finished backing up all my sites. Now, I get daily emails that look like this:
I have to tell you, it’s really, really cool. And it’s comforting to know that a remote backup service is monitoring my server with WiredTree and taking notes whether or not something has changed. If it has, the backup gets altered as shown in the image above. If it hasn’t, nothing happens. Man, I’ve been waiting for something like this to come along for a long time.
It’s been over a week since I began using CodeGuard’s service and I’ve been monitoring my account since I opened it. There have been absolutely no hiccups, so I felt confident in writing this post. So thanks guys. Thank you to whoever came up with the idea to create something so thorough and simple to use. It sure helps out those of us who aren’t technically savvy enough to take care of this aspect of web development on our own.