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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Test your backups

The popular bloggers, Jeff Atwood & Phil Haack, lost their respective blog content after their sites went down to a hard drive failure. Interestingly, both of them share the same physical server & host their sites on Virtual Servers on the machine.  The Virtual Hard Drive files (usually referred to as VHD files) which contain the actual data for the virtual machines were always in use and were not being backed up. Haack informs that backing up a live virtual server requires taking advantage of Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).

They have both salvaged major portions of their blog content with help from a community of followers. They have candidly admitted their failure & shared their lessons learnt -
  • An untested backup strategy is no backup strategy at all! Test your backups!
  • Every day is International Backup Awareness Day.
  • Have a backup strategy that’s easy to setup.
  • Even if you have managed hosting, you should have your own local backups of the important content in your site.
  • If you can only back up one thing on your public website, it should be the images.
  • There are few organizations spidering and storing images on the web. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is one of them
Also see:
Tips on ASP.NET Hosting & Deployment
HOW TO get back a missing web page or website

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