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Earth Day And Your Datacenter – Green Is Not What It Used To Be   no comments

Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:29pm New York Datacenter

Turnkey_Internet-16As we enter into the 45th anniversary of Earth day on April 22nd, 2015 – many business, organizations and individuals will take additional time to reflect on their impact on our environment and the contributions we can all make to a sustainable future.  Organizations like EarthDay.org help spear head awareness, and direct action options we can all consider in our own lives to be more ‘Green’.

The term “Green”, “Being Green” or “Going Green” all have multiple variations and meanings, but in general we all accept that it means to help sustain the environment in some fashion.  many years ago the Earth Day movement started more with a focus about recycling and has involved today into awareness of sustainability by reducing overall carbon foot prints through less consumption (and output of non-renewable resources to produce the goods and/or power we consume).

 

One of the largest non-green impacting areas we see are those electronic devices like our smart phones, laptops, office computers and computer servers.  Believe it or not , your trusty iphone consumes more energy than a refrigerator (see this article for the power comparison math by time magazine) – and while desktop computers at least have power save modes that often can reduce their usage, they still consume (and impact the environment) roughly the same as 4500 miles driven per year of a typical US car.  Computer servers are the worst offenders of the bunch, running 24 x 7 and consuming maximum energy all the time to keep your email, files, and web sites running all the time even when we are asleep.

Those high energy consuming computer servers, and in some cases office desktop PC’s, can all be moved to the cloud through cloud-based servers and virtual desktop PC’s.  It may not seem obvious, but moving your typical computer servers and desktop pc’s into the cloud can make a huge impact.  While datacenters can consume massive amounts of energy to keep those cloud based servers running 24 hours a day, and especially the massive industrial air conditioning and redundant power systems in place to support these facilities – the fact is that datacenters can be scaled up to effectively utilize the best of class options to be efficient and sourced from green energy to substantially reduce or in fact zero their entire carbon foot print.  And if you house your computer servers and desktops in a cloud based environment in such a datacenter, you effectively reduce your impact on our environment significantly.

TurnKey Internet’s Green datacenter was built to have an effective carbon foot print of zero  – sourcing all its power from a massive On-Site Solar Array and Hydro-Electric power provided from New York’s Recharge New York System, on top of the most cutting edge power efficiency and datacenter cooling technology.  TurnKey Internet has been focused on Green on our state of the art datacenter and won the New York State Environmental Excellence award and The U.S. Federal Government’s Environmental Protection Agency awarded the facility the 2nd only New York Energy Star Certified Datacenter designation.  So from our stand point green is about minimizing or having zero impact on the environment- and more so, we are helping businesses take their office servers and computers, and other IT into the cloud to minimize their carbon foot prints too.

 

Here are some pictures of TurnKey’s cold containment systems that provide the frame work of our ultra efficient cooling systems, just one piece in the multi tiered efforts we have in keeping forth in our mission for a Greener world, and Green Datacenter.

 

https://turnkeyinternet.net/datacenters/new-york/latham/

Turnkey_Internet-35Turnkey_Internet-40

Turnkey_Internet-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Earth Day, take a look around your home or office – and see what small changes you can do to help improve your impact on the world.

Three Certain things in Life : Death, Taxes, And Data Loss – Make April 15th Your Backup Checkup Day   no comments

Apr 14, 2015 @ 11:01pm backup

death_taxes_and_data_lossAs Tax day hits here in the United States, the dreaded April 15th, there is the old saying from Benjamin Franklin that there were only two things certain in life, Death and Taxes.  While that remains true, the reality is in this digital age there is one item just as likely as paying taxes this year, you are going to run into some form of data loss this year.  Tax documents are supposed to be saved for 7 years, the reality is you are far more likely to loose that data in the next 7 years than get audited, and you probably want to avoid both like death.

Data loss is a reality, just like taxes – Kroll’s survey about data loss states that 61% lose their data because of an inadequate data protection plan, and less than 33% of companies that had a data loss in the last year were able to recover all of their data! – that can mean no backups, or backups that didn’t do the job to keep your data safe or your business running when you need it most.

Computer servers, office pc’s, online web sites and mobile devices – all are at risk every day from outside threats like hackers and inside threats like careless or malicious employees, and the fact that hardware breaks eventually (certainly when is the last time a hard drive, laptop, or mobile device been around for the 7 years you need to store those tax returns in case of an audit?) makes data loss as inevitable as death and taxes.

Having a backup plan is a good start, there are many pieces of do-it-yourself software out there, tape backups, and even external USB drives you can copy data.   There are even many traditional online cloud backup service providers out there – but these methods just copy some of your data, leaving you often with an inadequate true data backup protection plan to get you back up and running after disaster strikes.

The reason the traditional method of backing up your data or traditional online cloud backup services are still inadequate, and leave over 2/3rds  of companies unable to recover 100% of their data is because when something breaks or is lost –  you still can be offline for days or weeks while you re-install operating systems, your specific software, or try to find the same old operating system files to install on a new server only to find it is not compatible with the new server like you thought.  Then you waste more time trying to restore files that wont work on the newer version of software you had manually re-installed- and you now have spent days and $1000’s on expensive IT consultants to try to pick up the pieces and put it back together from all those well intentioned backup plans.

The next generationg of secure online cloud backup service like TurnKey Vault offer new technology to solve this – with cloud-based replication and complete business continuity in mind.  You remotely backup your data securely over the Internet like traditional cloud based services to a secure remote data vault that encrypts and stores your backups.  Unlike traditional backup services, TurnKey Vault  gives you the option at the push of a button to restore your data like traditional services, or replicate your entire office as cloud-based servers, pc’s and laptops.  TurnKey Vault lets you convert your backups to live fully identical to the original pc’s, laptops, and servers  right into the cloud to be securely accessed remotely over the Internet.  So no more re-installing applications, operating systems or replacing broken hardware in the event disaster – the cloud is easy and fast to access with completely secure copies of your office servers, pc’s and laptops.

So if you want complete peace of mind – make April 15th not only your tax filing date each year but a chance to double check your backup plans are adequate, and if not consider moving to the latest generation of cloud based backup technology to get peace of mind.  While Death and Taxes can’t be avoided, data loss can at least be survivable if you put the right plans in place before its too late.

 

Written by Adam on April 14th, 2015

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No April Fools – World Backup Day Was March 31st   no comments

Apr 1, 2015 @ 12:01am backup

worldbackupday1You know, one thing that has become apparent about March is that a lot of  people celebrate birthdays. It seems everyday that I login to Facebook  there is another 8 people born on the same day. I don’t think I can recall  any other month has as many celebrations as  this past March, however, for  this post, we will be talking about one day in particular, March 31st.

Besides being the last day of the month, this day has a particular meaning  to it. Quick, what is the most important commodity of your business?  Anybody? No? Your data. This data could be anything from accounting records  to credit card numbers, tax records, phone numbers or even a Facebook calendar with  everyones’ birthday. Your data is among the most important commodities to your company. We all know this, but yet, why do so many of us  fail to protect our data?

You may  be saying, ‘I protect my data. I have a firewall!!!’ That’s not  the type of protection that I’m referring to and as any reader of this blog  knows, I best illustrate by providing examples. So, lets say you had been  working on a project for months. You had spent hours in development.  Tinkering until the site was the exact setup you want and then, BAM,  diaster strikes. Your hard drive dies and you lose all of your work. How  could this of been prevented? Backups, which brings us to the importance of  March 31st.

You see, March 31st is the World Backup Day. No, it’s not an offically  holiday, but that doesn’t diminish the importance on the day. We all have  data that is very important to us. This data takes many forms and if we  lost it, could greatly affect our businesses. World Backup Day, March 31st,  is a day set to remind us to backup our data. If you haven’t already, why  not? Have you seen the backup options over at turnkeyvault.com? Something  to fit everyones situation.

So April 1st comes around, with March now in the rear view mirror – and people shout April Fools – but if you don’t want to be the subject of a tragic April Fools day gone bad we hope you took a moment to make sure you business has a backup plan, and that its working.  Every year we replace computers, servers, laptops and more – so its easy to forget to make sure each new device is being backed up – but March 31st is a great day to remind yourself each year to double check them all in your office.

Written by Jeremy on April 1st, 2015

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HostPC Managed Cloud Servers with choice of cPanel, DirectAdmin or Windows Server 2012   no comments

Mar 30, 2015 @ 1:00am cloud

hostpc-logo

TurnKey Internet, Inc Announces HostPC Fully Managed Cloud and VPS Services

LATHAM, NEW YORK (March 30th, 2015) – Sustainable IT solutions provider TurnKey Internet, Inc. announced today the launch of their premium Fully Managed Cloud and VPS (Virtual Private Server) Service offering under the HostPC brand.

The HostPC cloud and VPS service offers a simple one-price bundle that  includes premium enterprise management including firewall setup, customized 24×7 server and application monitoring, Off-site Server Backups, 24/7/365 Technical Support, Free Migration assistance to the Cloud, and a 100% Uptime SLA guarantee!  Also Included are all the needed software and 3rd party licenses to run your server including cPanel, DirectAdmin, and Windows Server 2012.

HostPC Cloud and VPS servers offer enhanced performance over typical public clouds and traditional virtual server (VPS) platforms by use of cutting-edge new Intel Xeon E5-2650 v3 Deca-Core (10 CPU Core) 2.3 Ghz Processors – offering 40+ total CPU Cores of processing power combined with ultra-fast Samsung SSD solid state drives attached via Raid-10 redundant connections provide over 600,000 DISK IOPS (input/output operations per second).   All HostPC Servers come with Un-Metered Gigabit Bandwidth (1000 up x 1000 down) which provides up to 1000x faster speeds than the traditional broadband connections used by small business offices.

“Combining the 15+ Year history of the HostPC team’s Full Management and expertise on top of our high performance enterprise grade cloud infrastructure creates a compelling option for businesses who are looking to not only cloud-source but out-source their web site, office server or custom applications.” said Adam Wills, CEO of TurnKey Internet.  He continued, “The 24×7 Access to the know-how and expertise the HostPC team brings to the table removes the traditional hurdle and worry that small businesses have when considering if it’s time to move their IT infrastructure to the cloud”.

HostPC has launched an all-new web site and product offering with this announcement which includes a 25% off for life discount, for more information visit https://HostPC.com

 

About HostPC

HostPC Internet Services has provided fully managed hosted solutions for over 15 years and is a fully owned and operated subsidiary of TurnKey Interenet, Inc.

About Turnkey Internet

Founded in 1999, TurnKey Internet, Inc. is a full-service green data center and leading provider of sustainable web hosting and IT solutions. From its SSAE 16 Type 2 and ENERGY STAR® certified facility in Latham, NY—New York’s Tech Valley Region—TurnKey offers web hosting, communication services, web-based IT systems, software as a service (SaaS), enterprise colocation services, and computing as a service to clients in more than 150 countries. For more information, please call (518) 618-0999 or visit www.turnkeyinternet.net/media.

 

Written by admin on March 30th, 2015

Drupal Web Site Security Alert : Forged Password Reset URLs   no comments

Mar 24, 2015 @ 8:57am cloud security,Web hosting

turnkey_internet_hosts_drupal_web_hostingWhile you may have been urged by Drupal to update your software late in 2014 due to SQL injection attacks in compromised Drupal 7 sites. Drupal has released version 6.35 and 7.35 to address a few newly discovered vulnerabilities within their software.

Listed in an advisory by Drupal’s security team, Drupal stated one of the vulnerabilities they are addressing has allowed password reset URLs to be forged. This allows malicious users to gain access without knowing the password.
In Drupal 7 this vulnerability is segragated to sites where accounts have been imported or edited in ways that will result in the password hash, in the database being the same for multiple user accounts.

In Drupal 6 this vunlnerability can be exploited on sites where administrators have created multiple user accounts with the same password. As well as where accounts have been imported or edited in ways that will result in the password hash, in the database being empty for at least one user account. Drupal 6 sites having an empty password hash, or a password with an easily compromised string in the database are extreamly prone to this vulnerability.

The second vulnerability Drupal’s team has patched is the ability for malicous users to devise a URL, sending visitors to a 3rd party website.

Drupal modules use a destination query to redirect users to a new destination after completing an action. Malicious users can use this destination parameter to construct a URL that will fool users by redirected them to a 3rd party website. Several URL related API functions in Drupal 6 and 7 can be fooled into passing through external URLs when that was not the intention, leading to open redirect vulnerabilities.

This vulnerability is has been down played as a large amount of the destination parameter are not vulnerable to the attack. Although, all confirmation forms built using Drupal 7’s form API are vulnerable! Drupal has also stated some Drupal 6 confirmation forms are vulnerable too.

Drupal versions affected:

Drupal core 6.x versions prior to 6.35

Drupal core 7.x versions prior to 7.35

How to rectify these vulnerabilities? Update to the latest versions.

If you use the Drupal 6.x upgrade to Drupal core 6.35

If you use the Drupal 7.x upgrade to Drupal core 7.35

For those using TurnKey Internet’s Web Hosting with Drupal can simply login to your cPanel control panel, click on the Softaculous icon, and update your drupal version from there as well as from the Drupal Control panel of your installated copy on your web site.  If any questions contact our customer service team, or keep posted on our help desk at http://helpdesk.turnkeyinternet.net/

Written by admin on March 24th, 2015

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Advanced Cloud Backup for Servers, PCs, and your Office to achieve full Business Continuity   no comments

Mar 1, 2015 @ 11:45am backup

cloudbackupIn the past, I’ve spoke to you about purchasing backup software. I’ve compared having backup software for your server like having car insurance. I’ve also spoken with you about the different type of backup technologies that exist. I went into details about a few different types of technologies. These were the following:

 

 

  1. Bare Metal backup/restores
  2. Cloud Backups
  3. Virtual Server backups

For more information, check it out at TurnkeyVault.com

You can read about these technologies on our blog here For this article, I will be talking about a new type of backup software. A brand new product that I’m very excited to announce that combines many of the different backup technologies and creates a new, hybrid backup system. A system that allows you to ensure business continuity for your customers. For those of you who do not know what business continuity is, I shall explain. Business continuity means that your business goes on even if your systems fail. Restores are therefore fast and even if the system is down, continuity means you still have access to key piece of business data. Maintaining business continuity should be one of your main focuses as a business owner.

 

Our new backup product helps to ensure business continuity by combing the best of the backup technologies presently on the market. To do this, our software must have address the following needs

 

  1. Ability to create server backups and workstation backups
  2. Ability to create backups locally as well as to the cloud
  3. Ability to only backup files that have changed in a system

turnkey-internet-backup-solutions

In order to show you the greatness of the new software, I will go through each ability listed above and show how these 3 key areas combine to provide you with unparalleled continuity for you business. Shall we begin?

 

Ability to create server backups and workstation backups

 

Server backups are the main component of any data protection installation. Servers are where all of the data resides. This includes current, recent and in many cases, older data. The server also is where operating systems, applications, configurations and system states reside. Ensuring these assets is the main job for any business owner or solution provider. Now while most business owners ensure that server backups exist, many over look their individual workstations. This includes the workstations in the field, home offices and satellite facilities. The data on theses PCS and workstations may contain important projects, critical documents, and irreplaceable creative works. Sometimes, even workstations in the home office or headerquarters may be overlooked, despite being tied directly into the corporate network.

 

Ensuring that you have backups for both the server and the workstations is one step to ensuring business continuity. Our new backup product allows for backups of the servers and the workstations. The backups can be stored locally on an in house backup server or backed up directly to the cloud, otherwise known as a disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup solution. This ensures that even if your local backup system fails, you will have another set of copies of backups stored in the cloud that you can easily deploy. This leads us directly into the next feature that is required for business continuity.

 

Ability to create backups locally as well as to the cloud

 

Until rather recently, in the last few years, the main option for backups were to do it all locally or on-premises. The backups were usually stored on a disk or even an additional tape drive. Larger businesses may have had another tier that sent backups off site for achriving. Research conducted by technology research firm of Gartner Inc, shows  that backups in an average data center only worked about 85% of the time. Remote offices were even worse at 75% of the time. Making matters worse, is that you do not know if you have a bad backup until you attempt to restore it.  With the introduction of the cloud, the game has changed. You can now backup fast and secure to a hybrid cloud backup. What do I mean by hybrid cloud backup?

 

The hybrid cloud backup or disk-to-disk-to-cloud, allows you to maintain an initial disk backup, which is still down in house, but has an additional tier that stores the backup in the cloud. This tends to be the best of both worlds as the cloud tier is scalable, easy to manager and guarantees data restores properly. Restoring from the cloud is perfect for remote offices that aren’t near the local disk backup. The main benefit of being able to restore a backup from disk or tape, is the speed of the restore. Our new backup software addresses the speed issue by only restoring the changed blocks on a system, which increases the speed of the restoration dramatically. How does only backing up the files that have changed on a system speed up the restore process?

 

Ability to only backup files that have changed in a system

 

What determines the speed of a backup? One factor would be the speed of the connection between the device or devices being backed up and the backup device itself. Another factor would also be the speed of the I/O(Input/Output) determined by the quickness of the disk. However, the biggest factor of them all when addressing the speed of a backup is the amount of data being backed up. Now, when you first create a backup, there is little that you can do to change the size of the data volume except for compression. The intitial backup copies the entire data set. There isn’t any way around this. Once the full backup is in place, maintaining the backup up is done by sending over only the changes of files.

 

Our new software does things a bit differently. Instead of backing up the changes to the file, the software instead only sends over changes to the blocks. Blocks are much smaller than a typical file. To put this in perspective, say you have a word document that is 300 KB in size. You edit the file and change one word in the file. A typical backup system will see the file has been changed and resend that entire file over to the backup software. That essentially won’t change the size of the file. What our new software does is looks at the changed block, representing the one word and send that over to the backup. This may not sound like a lot, but say you have thousands of files and have to resend every file, every time it has been changed. The size of the data will add up very quickly.  The sending over of updates to only blocks of data is called Deep deduplication. Deep deduplication allows for a great savings in disk, or if you’re backing up in the cloud, service costs. It also means your network isn’t bogged down by having to transport massive data sets. Also, these smaller data volumes allow for increase longevity to your local backup system as you’re taking maximum advantage of your space.

 

 

To summarize, our new backup software addresses the main issues when discussing business continuity. Having business continuity for any business is a competivite advantage that every serious business owner must consider. Having a disaster recovery solution in place that you can deploy in a matter of minutes, will go a long way to ensure that your business is running at optimum efficiency. We’re calling our new backup software(Insert name of backup software). You should head over to (Insert URL to backup software) purchase some business continuity insurance for your business

 

For more information, check it out at TurnkeyVault.com

The SSL POODLE that Bites – SSL 3.0 Issues for web sites   no comments

Feb 22, 2015 @ 11:20am internet security,Web hosting

PadlockWhen I say POODLE, what do you think of? Is it a fluffy dog? In most cases, I would be referring to the fluffy dog, but for this article, we will be focusing on a security vulnerability. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but if you’re currently using SSL version 3.0, you will need to perform some updates to your SSL daemon on your server. SSL stands for Secure Sockets layer. A SSL is what every ecommerce site should have. It allows for you to securely process payments through your website. In fact, if you’re taking orders from your clients, you should be using a SSL. SSL’s add another layer of security and trust for your clients. If you’ve not read my post on PCI compliance and you’re running an ecommerce site, you should read my post on PCI compliance here: (Insert link to PCI compliance post)

 

With SSL’s as with any piece of software on the internet, there are different versions. SSL version 3.0 is nearly 18 years, however, SSL version 3.0 is no longer secure and remains in widespread use across the internet. Nearly all browsers support SSL version 3, and in order to work around bugs, within HTTPS servers, browsers will retry failed connections with older protocol versions, including SSL 3.0. This retrying of failed connections within SSL v3, allows the POODLE exploit to be initiated. This POODLE exploit works due to the nature of the failed connections and allows for a possible leak of your customers data when processing orders. You can read more about the specifics of the attack here:

 

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2014/10/this-poodle-bites-exploiting-ssl-30.html

 

Browsers and websites should turn off SSLv3 in order avoid compromising users’ private data.  The most straight forward method is to disable SSL 3.0 entirely, which you can see how to do at the links below, however, this can cause a myriad of computability issues. Therefore, the recommend plan of option is to enable TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV. Using the links below, they will show you how to properly secure your servers SSL daemon. These options resolve the issue of retrying failed SSL connections. It also prevents hackers with knowhow from downgrading from TLS 1.2 to 1.1 or 1.0.

 

 

For WHM/cPanel servers –  https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CKB/How+to+Adjust+Cipher+Protocols

 

For DirectAdmin servers – http://forum.directadmin.com/showthread.php?t=50105

 

For Plesk servers – http://kb.sp.parallels.com/en/123160

 

Written by Jeremy on February 22nd, 2015

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How to Setup a Firewall on your Cloud Server – CSF / CPanel, and more!   no comments

Feb 21, 2015 @ 12:02pm cloud security

firewallI have a question for you. Does your server have a firewall running on your server? For those who do know what a firewall is, let’s go to our good friend Wikipedia:

‘In computing, a firewall is a network security system that controls the
incoming and outgoing network traffic based on applied rule set. A firewall establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another network (e.g., the Internet) that is assumed not to be secure and trusted.’

As avid readers of the blog know, I like to ground these ideas with every day analogies. You can think of a firewall like a door to your home. When the door is opened, people can walk directly into your house. Should you want to keep people out, you close and lock the door. This is the way a firewall works on a server. You place the firewall onto your server to keep intruders from the internet from accessing your data.

Firewalls can be either hardware or software based. If you go with a hardware based firewall, the firewall is connected to your switch that allows for traffic to be filtered upon a rule set you determine. You would use a hardware based firewall if you had a dedicated server. A software based firewall is installed within your server. It still blocks traffic based off rule sets you create, but it just does it from within the server and not out in front like a hardware based firewall.

For the rest of this article, I will provide you the steps to install CSF, which is short for ConfigServer Security and Firewall. This firewall is supported across many different Operating Sytems, RedHat Enterprise, Centos, CloudLinx, Fedore, Virtuozzo, VMWare, to name a few. You can read more about the supporeted systems here: http://configserver.com/cp/csf.html

This firewall can be installed with the following steps on your Linux based server:

mkdir /usr/local/src <– Creates the directory to install CSF

cd /usr/local/src <– Changes your location on the server to the newly created directory

wget http://www.configserver.com/free/csf.tgz <– downloads the CSF software to your server

tar xfz csf.tgz <– Extracts the software
cd csf <– Changes your location on the server to the CSF directory

./install.sh <– Installs the CSF firewall

CSF, when installed, and configured properly, places a preset list of rules onto your server. These rules can be configured directly within the csf.conf file or the csf configuration file. If you have a cPanel based server,  you want to ensure that you have the following ports opened for inbound and outbound:

# Allow incoming TCP ports
TCP_IN = “20,21,22,25,53,80,143,443,465,587,993,995,2078,2082,2083,2086,2087,2095,2096”

# Allow outgoing TCP ports
TCP_OUT =”20,21,22,25,37,43,53,80,110,113,443,465,587,873,995,1167,2086,2087,2089 ”

Those ports cover most of the ports you will need for your cPanel or non-cPanel server to function. You can read more about ports and their functions here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_TCP_and_UDP_port_numbers

Once you do that, you may want to limit the amount of connections each user can make to your server. This can be set by changing CT_Limit in your csf.conf to the number of connections you want each user to be able to make. For example, CT_Limit = “150” will only allow each user to make 150 connections to your server.

You may also want to remove port 22 from TCP_IN along with setting your SSHD_config file to do only public_key authentication. Why would you do this? This will lock down your server from the outside and only allow people who have SSH keys installed into your server to gain access using SSH.

CSF can be configured in a multitude of ways to add another layer of security to your server. I highly recommend going to http://configserver.com/cp/csf.html and using the forums to learn more about the many features of CSF and how tweaking the settings can help ensure you’re providing a stable, safe and secure server environment

Written by Jeremy on February 21st, 2015

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How Important is your Data? Server Backups in the Cloud Explained   no comments

Feb 20, 2015 @ 11:40am backup
web hosting and server backups

server backups

If you’ve been a follower of the blog, you know that I’ve written a post on the importance of having backups of your data. I compared having a backup solution to having insurance on your automobile. This post was a generalized approach to backup solutions. For this week’s post, I will delve deeper into the realm of backups. More specifically, we will discuss the different types of server backup options that currently exist. This post will be of a more technical nature then my previous posts, but I assure you, if you stay for the entire post, you will have a better idea of server backups and the myriad of options that are available to you.  

 For more info and to setup cloud backups for your server, visit http://www.turnkeyvault.com

 

Shall we begin? There are a few different methods that exist for creating server backups:

 

  1. Bare metal backup/restore
  2. Cloud backups
  3. Virtual server backups

 

I will go through of each these methods to give you an inside look into each option. Let’s dive right in with bare metal backups and restores.  

 

Bare Metal backup/restore

 

In disaster recovery, a bare metal restore is the process of reformatting a computer from scratch after a catastrophic failure. This process entails reinstalling the operating systems, applications and if possible, restoring data and all settings. Bare metal restores allows you to restore to an uncofingured server as the backup includes all information to setup the machine and move the data over. This results in a ready to go backup server.

 

At a deeper level, bare metal backup/restores work by taking a “snapshot” of the server. This snapshot includes every file and folder that exists on the server including all hidden files and directories. This snapshot is then pushed to an offsite location where the entire image can be deployed at a moment’s notice.  If you have a Windows server or even a Linux server, bare metal restores will copy the entire operating system structure. Usually, these backup images are the rather large as they are an exact replica of the your running server.

 

For example, let’s say that you have a full power outage at your company. Upon the power returning, you realize that your main hosting server has lost all data. It can’t find the boot record to load the operating system and all files have been removed. Since you’ve purchase a bare metal backup solution, which you can view our current offers here: http://turnkeyvault.com/server_backups.php , you simply login to your bare metal software. You then select the server you want to restore and viola. The operating system is re-installed with all applications. It’s as if you’ve never had the major system failure

 

Cloud backups

 

When I say cloud backup, what immediately comes to mind? I personally imagine a white, puffy cloud in the sky that resembles a vault. Was that what came to mind for you? If not, that’s quite all right. A cloud backup is a piece of software that takes a snapshot of your server and then stores the backup in the cloud. What exactly do I mean by the cloud? The cloud is a piece of software that is stored off-site that can be accessed from any location. Cloud backups allow for greater flexibitily then a local disk or tape backup. A disk backup or tape backup has the limitation of only being able to access the data locally. This could mean data is being stored on a different server that is stored in your local office. In order to access the backup, you would have to drive into your office, connect the two servers and then migrate the data over.

 

Do you already see the disadvantage to this type of local system? What if you’re traveling and have a disaster and need to restore your data? How will you do it if your business only keeps local backups? This is where a cloud backup comes into play. Since the backup is stored offsite and can be access via an internet connection, you can restore your data from anywhere in the world. This allows for greater flexibility in your backup solution. Also, another disadvantage to local backups is the size or space requirements for the backups. Say you have 1TB of data you need backed up, but you only have 500GB worth of space. What will you do? More than likely, you would just add a new device to your backup software. This may be an additional hard drive, a USB drive or maybe a network attached storage.

 

Well with a cloud backup, depending on your vendor, you can usually just increase the resources of the cloud storage to accommodate your increasing space needs. This allows for you to be able to rapidily add more space to your backup server to accomdate  your increasing data space requirements. Now, in no way am I advocating that you should remove your local backup options, but instead add another layer of backups to your current system such as a cloud backup. Having local backups and cloud backups are a GREAT way to maintain business continuity.

 

 

Virtual server backups

 

Virtualization is one of the best things ever done for servers, as it allows for one physical server to act as several servers. This dramatically reduces computing costs and boosts efficiency. One of the main challenges with the backup of virtulized servers is the backup of the virtual servers data and the main hostnode data. When I say, hostnode, I’m referring to the original server that contains all of the virtualized servers. The reason you need to keep backups for both the host and the virtual servers can best be summed up with an example.

 

Your business has decided to virtualize all of the servers in your office. Your IT department recommends going with VMware. Fast forward a few months and you have a major system failure within the host node. Your main hard drive dies and you lose all virtual servers that were stored on the server. Luckily, you have a backup of the hostnode and just restore the backup for the hostnode, however, upon checking the server, you notice an error. Sure, your main host node sytem files were restored, but all your virtual servers data is missing.

 

This example illustratres the need to have a backup of the physical hostnode and the virtual servers. The physical hostnode contains the system files that VMWare needs to run. The virtual servers would also need a backup to restore the user data that has been created in the virtualized server. Usually the virtualized servers have a different type of operating system then a normal, non virtualized server would contain. You would need some virtualized server backup software  that can handle creating backups of the virtualized servers as well as, the main host node itself.

 

You could have local backups of both the hostnode and the virtualized server that you can restore. You could go the bare metal route for the host node as well as virtualized servers or even the cloud backup method. It’s just important that you have backups of both the node and the virtual servers.

 

 For more info and to setup cloud backups for your server, visit http://www.turnkeyvault.com

Hopefully after reading this post, you feel a bit better about the different backup options that exist and can come up with a backup solution that fits your company needs.

Meet The TurnKey Team – Griffin   no comments

Feb 14, 2015 @ 11:36am Staff Interviews

Griffin is from Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he joined the United States Army as a Signal Support Specialist. He learned many aspects of the Technology field during his six years of service. With two tours overseas, Griffin was able to perfect his craft in installations and in radio communications. Upon returning home, Griffin went to college to learn more about technology. He recently graduated with his first degree in Mobile Applications Development, and did not stop there. He is currently finishing from his second degree in Networking.

I wanted to learn as much as I could possibly learn, but the only way to gain a craft such as this is hands on experience. I was given a flyer for a job at Turnkey Internet. I was very excited to get an opportunity to work for the company. There is so much knowledge within Turnkey Internet. I love the people that I work with. It is a very personal work experience, and I have been able to learn so much from the employees. I did not go out and find myself a job, but instead I found myself a home with Turnkey Internet.

Written by admin on February 14th, 2015

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