Failover service

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New Member
As a web developer, many years ago, I took the plunge and setup a dedicated server with a company in the UK. At the time (9-10 years ago) there wasn't really an affordable option in Ireland. In this time, I have run 2 separate types of dedicated with this company, and have suffered 2 complete server crashes, where new server had to be re-built from backups. In each occasion, I used a different type of backup / restore service and both worked reasonably well, but could have been better. My last crash happened quite recently, and since getting new dedicated server online, I think it is time to look at some type of "Failover" service. I will shortly have a new backup / restore solution in place, but in the event of a complete crash again, there would in all liklihood be propagation delays with regards to new IP addresses being assigned to a new server.

My dedicated server hosts approx 80 websites, with approx 6GB of data, has a few ecommerce sites, and others that are database driven.

However, what the latest crash has taught me, is that some customers find it extremely difficult to be without thier website / email for more than few a hours. I'm afraid that 99.9% uptime just isn't good enough any more, and as such I am now looking at different failover options. Don't think that all sites on the server will require this failover option, but some do. Does anybody have experience / recommendations in this area?

Also, don't mind being contacted privately if somebody has any commercial offers?



Staff member
If a site needs to be highly available etc., then providing a solution is possible, but it's really a question of whether or not they will be willing to pay for it.

For example, some e-commerce sites would use multiple frontend web servers and multiple backend database servers with data replication etc., between each one, load balancing etc., The end result is that if one server fails for whatever reason the service itself will continue to work, so rebuilding / fixing the affected servers won't have any negative impact on the users. Of course the downside is that to do that is not going to be cheap..


New Member
Is it four or five 9's is the holy grail for a web host. Over past 10 years, I have had 99.9% uptime, but as stated, this isn't good enough for some! Anyhow, this is my latest backup plan.

1. To use current dedicated provider to provide backup / restore service for a monthly fee. Restoring of data to new server should take no more than a couple of hours. One possible issue here, is that backup server is located in same datacentre, so in an "Act of God" scenario, I could be in trouble!

2. Using a DNS management service (such as DNS Made Easy) to be in a position to quickly change DNS information, or if necessary have a failover solution for some of my more high depenancy clients, with mirror websites in place.

3. Related to No. 1, above to also have a remote backup in place, perhaps on another server or possibly even my PC (this would be for the act of God scenario).
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