Many folks who lease one or more dedicated servers have done so with no plan for disaster in place. They trust the data center company and their hardware and that they will not occur unplanned downtime. If this sounds like you, you better wake up. Your server just died. What do you do? Do you have good backups of your data? Do you have all the files? How about the latest database copy? And how about an actual plan of getting things back up and running?
Now think about your situation. Let’s assume you are an online retailer and Christmas shopping madness is just a few days away. What can all happen when your server dies? You lose customers, but you might also lose search engine rankings if your site is down too long. Those are difficult to recover – especially on such a short notice like 7 days before Black Friday. You might get other customers, but your search engine rankings might need a few weeks to fully recover – depending on how fast Google a) sees your site as down and b) sees it as up again.
Come up with a written procedure to cover a disaster. Where are your backups? Who has access? How long does a restore take? Can you redirect the DNS eventually? Write it all down and make it a living document that gets frequently updated. More important, pick a dedicated server web host that can help you to overcome the moment of crises. You want a web hosting company that has experienced staff and that is pro-active. Web Hosting Resource Kit recommends ThePlanet.com and Liquidweb.com as a choice. High quality web hosting hardware, modern data center technology, and plenty of staff around 24/7. Combine that with your DR procedures and you can rest assured that your website will be back up as soon as possible.