Every so often a high profile IT failure comes along that really highlights the risks of not managing systems properly.

This week one of the biggest domain name registrars and hosting providers, 123-Reg, found itself very suddenly under the glare of an extremely harsh spotlight because it managed to disable, if not delete or corrupt, a large number of customer websites.

Hosting provider 123-reg having difficulties...

Hosting provider 123-reg having difficulties…

It apparently all happened because of a line of code in a management process to clean up servers. It can be that simple.

We’re not here to put the boot into that particular company – there will be plenty of people doing that! But this is the kind of event that gives systems administrators sleepless nights and it should focus the mind of anyone who is responsible for their business’s website and other data.

To make matters worse though, 123-Reg has apparently admitted that it did not have backups of its customers’ data!

Well into this week there have been businesses reporting that websites hosted by 123-Reg are still not restored and that it’s harming their trade in sometimes significant ways.

If you don’t want to find yourself in that position, there are questions you should be asking yourself now:

  1. Is our website (or other online systems) hosted in an appropriate environment with suitable safeguards (i.e. should it be on a shared server or a dedicated one?)?
  2. Do we have our own managed backups of any online data in a separate place where we can access it independently of our website provider?
  3. Do we have a plan to get our assets back online as quickly and easily as possible should anything like this happen to us?

Having control of regularly and independently backed-up data gives you tremendous peace of mind. If you support that up with a plan to restore that data to a new host in short order if necessary you have removed most of the risk of a situation like this affecting you.

If anything about this issue gives you issue to consider your own hosting arrangements, you can talk to us here at Bespoke Computing Ltd.