Without a server, your website wouldn’t be visible on the internet. A server provides the infrastructure and resources you need to deliver your website pages to visitors, and it’s key to ensure you’re choosing the right server for your needs. From Virtual Private Servers and cloud servers to dedicated servers, there is a wide range of options available that can help you to ensure your website is accessible to your target audience.
Server performance, reliability, security and scalability are all key factors to consider when selecting a hosting solution. Efficient server management, maintenance and security measures are essential too. They impact the availability and performance of your website, ensuring a positive user experience. At catalyst2, we offer a range of server hosting plans and we have a solution for your website regardless of its size or the amount of traffic you experience.
No matter what server you choose for your website, it’s undeniably important to ensure your hosting plan is inclusive of regular backups. Having up-to-date backups of your server is crucially important and this is something you need to check when you’re comparing hosting services. Below we have explored why regular server backups are essential in more detail.
What are Server Backups?
In short, server backups are the process of creating and storing copies of the data, files and configuration of a server. When you back up a server, you will essentially have a duplicate copy of the whole server, enabling you to restore it to a previous state if required. Backups are designed to protect against data loss in the event of accidental deletion, hardware failures, natural disasters or other unforeseen events.
What’s included in backups can differ depending on the hosting provider you use. Typically, they will be inclusive of important files, system configurations and applications, and they will cover anything essential to the server’s operation. The frequency of backups can vary too and you will often have control over when your server is backed up. Some organisations perform backups daily, while others opt for weekly or monthly backups.
Different Types of Server Backups
There are different types of backups available and not all hosting providers offer the same solutions to website owners. Here at catalyst2, we offer two different types of server backups. By providing more than one option, we can offer a more robust backup and recovery service to our customers. We have seen first-hand just how beneficial our backup solutions are when you need to recover data in unforeseen circumstances.
We offer daily, weekly or monthly offsite backups that involve creating a copy of the files that exist on your server. These backups are performed using R1Soft’s CDP software which enables us to restore any file that existed on your server within a few minutes. Commonly, our backups are stored offsite for 7 days, however, we can keep them for much longer depending on your requirements. Sometimes, backups are kept for months or even years.
Full Server Snapshots
We also offer daily, weekly or monthly snapshots of the entire server. This captures a point-in-time copy of the server’s state which can be useful for quick restoration if required. VMware technology enables us to roll the whole server back to the state it was in when the snapshot was taken. In addition to being used on a regular basis to provide peace of mind, full server snapshots are also used before major upgrades. This can help to reduce downtime should something go wrong during the upgrade.
Why Regular Server Backups are Important
Server backups are important for several reasons. It can be easy to overlook backups when you’re choosing a hosting solution, but if you experience any server-related issues, you will be thankful that you have backups.
Data Loss Prevention
Servers store an abundance of critical data and files that are essential to your website. Without backups, data loss is much more common. Whether your server experiences hardware failures, software errors, accidental deletion, cyberattacks or even natural disasters, backups are essential to keeping your data safe. Regular backups act as a safety net, allowing you to restore data and minimise downtime in the event of data loss.
Testing and Development
Backups are valuable whenever you’re testing new software updates or system changes. By creating a replica of the server and safely storing it, you can perform tests without concerns about what will happen if they cause problems to your server. Backups make it much safer to experiment with your server and conduct developments to improve performance.
In the event of server failure, whether it’s caused by a man-made outage or a natural disaster, having up-to-date backups ensures that your business can recover quickly. By restoring the server from a recent backup, you can resume operations and minimise the impact of the failure. All hosting providers should have comprehensive disaster recovery plans in place to reduce the risk of disruption and the knock-on effects of downtime.
Compliance and Legal Requirements
Many industries have specific data retention and protection regulations. Regular server backups help meet these requirements by ensuring that data is securely stored and available for retrieval if needed. It also provides evidence of compliance in case of audits or legal disputes.
Server downtime can significantly impact website performance, customer service and revenue generation. Regular backups enable you to restore the server to a previous state in any unforeseen circumstances, reducing downtime and ensuring your business can continue operating. This is especially important for organisations that rely heavily on their website for day-to-day operations, such as businesses in the online retail sector.
Accidental Deletion or Human Error
Human error is a common cause of data loss. Accidentally deleting critical files or making unintended changes to server configurations can have severe consequences. Regular backups provide a way to roll back to a previous server state and recover any lost or modified data.
Protection Against Cyberattacks
Cyberattacks can compromise your server data and unfortunately, they’re more common than ever before. Having backups allows you to restore your server to how it was before a cyberattack and you can avoid having to pay a ransom, for example. Modern security features and backups work hand-in-hand to help keep your server, website and business safe from cyberattacks and the damage they can cause.
How Regularly Should a Server Be Backed Up?
The frequency of server backups depends on several factors, including the type of data you store and how often this data changes. How critical the server is to business operations will also impact the backup schedule. As a general recommendation, it’s advisable to perform daily backups of servers, however, you need to consider your specific needs. It’s beneficial to regularly review your backup frequency too as your needs may change over time.
When deciding how regularly you want to backup your server, consider how frequently data on the server is modified or updated. If you make lots of changes, more frequent backups may be beneficial to prevent any loss of new data. Consider the server’s role in your business operations too. Mission-critical servers that support essential services may require more frequent backups to ensure rapid recovery. If minimising disruptions is critical, frequent backups can help speed up the restoration process in emergencies.
Finding the Best Dedicated Server in the UK
There is no denying that server backups are crucially important and without them, you can experience several problems should your server fail. If you would like to find out more about server backups, don’t hesitate to contact us at catalyst2. Our expert team can answer any questions you may have to help you protect your data.
Here at catalyst2, we pride ourselves on providing the best dedicated servers in the UK and you can rest assured that we will look after your website. Our dedicated hosting plans are inclusive of full firewalling, automated security updates and 7-day rolling offsite backups. We even provide instant failover to a new server and you can have peace of mind that our team will do everything they can to reduce data loss. With fully managed servers available too, you can receive 24/7 expert support, so there is nothing to worry about.