VPS Administration — 11 February 2011
Off-Server VPS Backup is Critical in Preventing Data Loss

VPS Server Circuit BoardMany webmasters and internet site owners rely on virtual private servers, or VPS hosting , to keep their sites running and available to the public. Some VPS hosting providers would have you believe that their internal backup plans are all that is required for security, to prevent loss of data, and to minimize downtime in emergency data loss situations. However, these internal backups cannot be relied upon because they exist on the same server as the VPS. If the security of the physical server has been compromised, none of the VPS’s on the server are safe. The only reliable method for VPS backup is through a backup system that exists outside the VPS. If a VPS host provides for this option, it worth taking. If not, you will have to find a third-party backup system or, better yet, switch to a VPS host that provides an off-server backup solution.

A VPS backup application that runs outside the VPS hosting environment is the best and most efficient way of backing up website data and online databases. A good application will work just as well for businesses as it will for private webmasters. The best of these will have an interface that is simple to use and will run automatically after setup. The VPS backup application can run in the background and encrypt files for maximize security as it runs.

It is estimated that a full 99 percent of VPS users do not have a reliable system for backing up their website and data on the virtual server. In most cases, the host does nothing to warn its customers. In other cases, the host offers a less-than-reliable solution that costs much more than what it is worth.

A proper backup plan and supporting software is critical in preventing disaster, especially if you are running an eCommerce site. Losing customer data, order information, and your website catalogs can be disastrous. It could take weeks or even months to recover from such a loss. For some eCommerce companies, the loss is impossible to recover from and they have to fold. This is a high price to pay for something that is completely preventable.

Once you install an off-server backup solution, make sure it is installed and working properly. Automate it. There is no reason you should have to spend 30 to 60 minutes every day doing a manual backup. Finally, if you are unsure about backups, outsource the process to a reliable service. Many VPS hosts who provide off-server VPS backups will do most of the maintenance for you.

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