Earthquake contingency plans


#1

Gentlemen, I have made a place, http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Redundancy,
for Dreamhost to list their earthquake contingency plans.


#2

Good one. I did not know these.

I believe the article will help people to be confident to host their websites in DH.

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#3

Uh, I don’t think those are the serious contingency plans. :slight_smile:

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#4

I have no experience on maintaining a data center. Actually as customers, we can’t do anything about. What we can do is just to sit down and listen what they say.

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#5

No, I mean they are a joke!

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#6

At least there’s a spot for the real info.

However! It’s not DreamHost’s responsibility to back up your data. One needs their own disaster plan. I’d bet that DreamHost has their own. Should their data center come crumbling down, I bet they have a plan. It’d take a while to recover by setting up shop elsewhere, but they most likely won’t be restoring your data; just your accounts.

-Scott


#7

I guess the issue was too sensitive. If not,
I hope when they have some spare time
they could put an article back into their wiki
addressing
http://www.livescience.com/environment/060621_san_andreas.html
in terms of how they will reduce possible downtime. Thank you.


#8

[quote]I guess the issue was too sensitive. If not,
I hope when they have some spare time
they could put an article back into their wiki[/quote]
First, the wiki is self-maintained. I don’t think Dreamhost staff do most of the editing.

Second, natural disasters typically fall under the category of “Acts of God” and it isn’t the responsibility of the web hosting provider or data center to have backups or contingency plans for your website. It is common business practice in the industry (I believe), for each business itself to take responsibility for having a disaster recovery plan and a plan for contingency operations.

Do you have information to the contrary?

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#9

I asked support about this a few months ago. As far as hosting goes, we’d just be screwed… but my concern was domain registrations and how we would go about getting our domains back if LA fell off into the ocean.

They said that firstly, if something happened bad enough to completely destroy the area that it would have such a significant impact on the overall web that we’d have more serious problems than that, but that the domains would still be listed with ICANN. I asked if private regs would make this a more complicated issue and never received a clear answer.

As far as hosting in and of itself goes, you should never under ANY circumstances depend on your hosting provider for backups or disaster plans. Always keep your files and databases on YOUR local machine and always have your own secondary host picked out so that you could quickly sign up for services and change your DNS. It would be illogical to expect survivors of a major disaster to concern themselves with your petty websites!


“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain


#10

“First, the wiki is self-maintained. I don’t think Dreamhost staff do most of the editing.”

Ralph deleted it. Ralph is a Bureaucrat, Sysop. Ralph is Dreamhost staff.


#11

Ah, I didn’t notice that. Thanks for pointing it out.

I still think the idea of having a wiki page dedicated to earthquake contingency plans doesn’t make sense.

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#12

I agree with Lensman - the article was quite useless in regards to providing any valid information as to what Dreamhost will do in the case of an Earthquake. As mentioned, there’s nothing they can do to help keep your website online or data backed-up in such an instance. A much more expensive, dedicated hosting facility might offer remote backup features (ie. to a site far outside their main facility), but Dreamhost doesn’t charge nearly enough to maintain such a backup contingency feature nor of course do they offer it. Which isn’t to say you couldn’t make a suggestion for them to add such a feature in the future…

However - my suggestion would be to perhaps create a page dedicated to “Natural Disasters” in general, so as to explain to other Dreamhosters that Dreamhost itself cannot be held accountable for maintaining your website and data in case of such an event. There are alternative contingency plans users themselves could put into affect that would work just as well to prevent any prolonged downtime in case of some major downtime on DreamHost’s end and the mention of such ideas would, I imagine, be most welcome for many users who aren’t familiar with setting up redundant systems.


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#13

This official statement sounds very good, at first. “On every DreamHost plan we keep extensive back-ups of your data.” You have to read four sentences in to the middle before you see less solid language, “We recommend you always keep your OWN copy of your entire web site at a remote location as well, but we’ll do our best to make sure that’s never needed.”

A more complete wiki article covering DreamHost’s recommendations and plans for Redundancy and Disaster recovery would be a good thing. That they casually deleted the opportunity and called it a joke is disappointing. Given the history of “disasters” from more minor “disasters”.

http://blog.dreamhost.com/2005/09/12/power-outage-update/
http://blog.dreamhost.com/2006/09/19/anatomy-of-a-disaster-part-2/
http://blog.dreamhost.com/2006/08/01/anatomy-of-an-ongoing-disaster/
http://www.dreamhoststatus.com/2007/06/11/web-hosting-break-ins-security-update/
http://blog.dreamhost.com/2007/08/21/it-all-falls-down/

They work miracles for low prices. I wouldn’t assume they can’t find a way to have redundancy at separate locations. Google does. :wink:


#14

Google also makes infinitely more money than Dreamhost :slight_smile:

Like I said - redundant systems are expensive. I know because I’ve set them up before. If DreamHost wants to offer such an addition to its plans then I’ll bet they just haven’t had enough people interested in it to go about implementing the system. Which is, as I said, best to go about finding out by submitting a suggestion. Also, just FYI, redundancy is not covered in the current backup clause (re: “hosting-features”) and normally isn’t covered unless specifically implied in the TOS or other such official documentation.


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#15

Not surprisingly, I agree with Mousee.

Redundancy done right costs more than twice as much, if you count the replication that has to go on between sites.

If you need two-site redundancy, you should either find a vendor that provides this or you should do what everyone else does, which is go with another company altogether. The latter is better anyway because it provides you with backup for the contingency of any business interruption by your first hosting company.

My assessment is that the people who know they need business contingency plans are either not using $5.95-$10.95 a month shared hosting or are using two separate hosting companies. In my mind, your contingency plans are not satisfied by having only one hosting company no matter what that company’s contingency plans are.

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#16

That is cool!

I’ve learned only the concept of redundant system in my collage. I believe it should be expensive because of the hardwares. Hope I will have a chance to be involved in the set up of the system some day. :slight_smile:

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#17

Don’t do it. It’s the most boring and thankless job ever.

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#18

hahaha - most agreed! Better to be the systems admin instructing others to do it :stuck_out_tongue:


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#19

ha ha, i can roughly tell how it is now :stuck_out_tongue:

I think you should be over that level by now arleady :slight_smile:

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#20

If it’s “boring and thankless” it should be cheap. :wink: At the scale Dreamhost buys hardware and “pipes”, I expect decreasing prices and good “economies of scale” so it doesn’t cost more than double.

I don’t know what “redundancy” you have in mind. I suggest there are many options, including “Our filers are completely RAIDed and hot-swappable so if any disk fails no data is lost, and we can replace the disk without any interruption of service!” which is limited, disk redundancy. Something for data like dreamhoststatus.com or the 3rd nameserver (I think), which provide limited remote functionality, not complete “redundancy,” is possible.

In the wiki DreamHost could describe what they have in mind in more detail than “pure” marketing descriptions. Planning is tough, I know, and there are more than earthquakes to consider. Like fires and leases. And parties. :slight_smile:

http://blog.dreamhost.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/buildingonfire.jpg

http://blog.dreamhost.com/2007/12/21/were-so-high-right-now-you-dont-even-know/