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Author Topic: Site Redundancy - Advice Needed  (Read 1219 times)

Offline ChuckWheat

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Site Redundancy - Advice Needed
« on: March 03, 2021, 08:09:34 PM »
I am wondering, my 16+ year-old community used to be hosted on a free forum provider.  If something happened to one of the people running the forum, ownership was transferred to another admin by the forum provider, and the community continued without interruption.

But when you create your own (like with SMF), it gets more complicated; one person purchases a domain name and hosting.  If they were to pass away or get seriously ill, technically the board would likely cease operations when the first monthly hosting payment was missed. My other admins are non-technical, so even trying to restore the forum from backups on a new domain may be challenging for them.  And we have a very limited budget, so expensive options probably won't work.

I can't imagine I'm the first person to consider this problem, so rather than re-inventing the wheel I thought I'd ask first:  How do you, or would you recommend, a plan for continuing/transitioning site operations that isn't dependent on any one person?

Thanks in advance for your responses. 

Offline shadav

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Re: Site Redundancy - Advice Needed
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2021, 08:29:48 PM »
set up an email address that is shared between all the admins....transfer the domain registration to that email address....
set up the hosting account under that email address

but make sure you know and trust these people, if someone wanted to be an ass they could transfer the domain away or change the password(s), ect....

it has happened in the past and if the hosting company is nice, you can usually send them proof of death and they can transfer the account to you, as for the domain, well if no one has access to it, you could try the same by contacting the domain provider with proof of death, but likely you'd have to wait until it was up for grabs, though you may end up paying more to get it back...

Online vbgamer45

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Re: Site Redundancy - Advice Needed
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2021, 08:45:46 PM »
It is a  huge problem most forum owners don't think about. I like the idea of shared email account, and or passwords for hosting.
The bigger issue most forum owners don't do is backup their files and database and test that they work. And by backing up means saving the files offsite. I keep data in multiple backup copies located in different places for more protection
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Offline shadav

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Re: Site Redundancy - Advice Needed
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2021, 09:10:15 PM »
and test that they work.
^ this.... yeah that was me...I kept regular backups...but....my crappy host misconfigured the backup or something so well....long story short my host screwed up my sites, and when I left them and went to restore from a backup to my new host...all of my backups were corrupted...lost a years worth of stuff....managed to dr frankenstein all the backups together and got my sites back up and running but it was a major pita and some data was still lost but at least it wasn't a years worth in the end...

Offline ChuckWheat

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Re: Site Redundancy - Advice Needed
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2021, 09:18:51 PM »
It is a  huge problem most forum owners don't think about. I like the idea of shared email account, and or passwords for hosting.
The bigger issue most forum owners don't do is backup their files and database and test that they work. And by backing up means saving the files offsite. I keep data in multiple backup copies located in different places for more protection
shadav, thank you for your responses, they are always helpful.  That is a good option, my other two admins are good folks I trust.  I am curious what others are doing to address this as well.

vbgamer45, automating the backup process (probably through a cron job) would be great, since I'm doing manual backups right now.  And like you, I don't consider a site actually backed up if those backups reside on the same server as the files being backed-up.  A local copy isn't much better, if someone other than I needed to restore the server.

Do you use a specific cloud storage provider and/or app to automate this process?  Can that provider secure your backups (encryption, etc)?  If it helps I use shared DH for hosting, and I have the ability to do Cron Jobs using their tools.

On your added post:  I'm in the process of putting a dev environment on my local machine.  Once I have that in place, I would like to "clone" the production forum and re-create it on that dev environment.  At that point I feel like I could try a full-blown restoration from the most recent backup on production...and worst case scenario, restore the clone the same way I built the dev version.  Do you see any holes in that approach?

A special thanks to Kindred for putting this thread where it belongs. (tipping hat)