— Storm-proof, Hurricane-tested Server Recovery
On Monday October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy flooded much of New England. Customers using our remote-backup service booted their servers on our network and were saved from the storm.
We provide a unique backup service that not only backs up your data for recovery of individual files like a traditional backup, but also enables booting your server from our network in the event that your existing server cannot quickly recover. Once we have booted your server on our network, you need only update your DNS settings to point at the new server. If you are unfamiliar with DNS changes, we can assist with this process. In addition, we can live-replicate your SQL database to the backup system, thus minimizing data loss in the event of server failure.
Booting your server on our network is relatively fast compared to rebuilding or moving server server infrastructure, and perfect when you need prompt recovery from catastrophic failure. We can recover your system to a working state from the most recent backup in about two hours pending DNS propagation delay. Like all recovery mechanisms, booting your server on our network should be used only in worst-case scenarios.
Because this failure-recovery mechanism depends on DNS to switch into the recovery environment, it is important that your time-to-live (TTL) values are relatively low. We recommend no more than a 2-hour TTL, possibly less if your infrastructure warrants it. The shorter a TTL, the more load your DNS server will experience responding to DNS requests—the higher the TTL, the longer remote clients will take to recognize the change.
While the exact recovery process may differ slightly from customer to customer, this is the general process we follow to bring your server online:
- Customer discovers server is offline
- The customer’s technical team determines that server cannot be recovered in its present state or that recovering would take longer than switching to our backup system.
- Customer contacts us through emergency response channels
- We allocate new IP addresses for its use and boot your server from the most recent filesystem backup copy (or snapshot if your server is capable of volume snapshots).
- Your DNS is then updated to reflect the change.
After running on the backup system for some time, your recovered server may create new files or database records that must be transferred back to your production environment when your new or existing production environment returns to operation. The details of transferring your data back to your production system will depend on your individual configuration; we can help with any recovery transfer that you need. Any recovery service we provide is billed under our normal rate structure.