What’s the one thing you expect a backup-as-a-service provider to do? I imagine most of you answered: keep the data entrusted to them safe. In what must be quite embarrassing for the service’s founder, backup provider Upvato did exactly the opposite. They lost all the data, and they lost it because they didn’t pay their hosting bill.
Upvato is (or was) a free service for backing up files purchased from Envato sites, which include sites like ThemeForest that are used by many WordPress professionals and site owners.
When Envato users purchase a product like a theme, the files are only available for as long as the creator and the platform keep them available. Often, a theme developer will withdraw a theme, which means they’ll no longer be available to the buyers.
Upvato was created to solve this problem, backing up the files so that they remain available even if they are removed by Envato’s sites.
All well and good, but when the creator of Upvato neglected to make an overdue payment to the storage provider on whose platform the files were actually stored, the service terminated his account and deleted the data.
This nicely illustrates the point that one backup is no backup. If valuable data exists in only one place, or even two, it’s always at risk of loss. It’s unlikely anyone considered “forgetting to pay the hosting bill” a possible cause of data loss, but that needn’t have been the cause. There’s no such thing as perfect data storage — bad things happen and when they do, data goes away.
That’s not much of a problem if the data is replicated elsewhere — if Upvato’s users had their data stored locally, they’re probably fine. If they had a copy with another backup provider, they’re fine. If their data only existed on Upvato and is no longer available from Envato sites, there’s really nothing they can do — the data is gone.
Keeping Your Data Safe
Any data you consider valuable should exist in at least three places. Consider your website: the files and databases associated with your site may well be crucial to the health of your business. If they only exist in one place, they’re at risk.
Smart site owners keep local backups of their site’s data and additional remote backups, perhaps using a service like VaultPress. All backups should be:
- Updated regularly. An out-of-date backup won’t do you much good.
- Tested regularly. I’ve frequently spoken to site owners who think they have backed up their site, only to find their backup scripts haven’t been running, that only half of the necessary data has been backed up, or that the data has become corrupted.
- Archived. If you only keep the most recent backup, what happens if your site is hacked or infected with malware? A site with multiple backups going back several days or weeks can restore from a version before the attack.
If your data is important to you or your business, make sure it exists in more than one place.
All Nexcess managed hosting plans include daily backups that are kept for 30 days. With our extended backup service, daily backups are kept for the last 90 days. Longer backup periods are also available.Posted in: Webmaster