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Site Redundancy - Advice Needed

Started by ChuckWheat, March 03, 2021, 08:09:34 PM

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ChuckWheat

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. 

shadav

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...

vbgamer45

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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shadav

Quote from: vbgamer45 on March 03, 2021, 08:45:46 PMand 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...

ChuckWheat

Quote from: vbgamer45 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
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)

landyvlad

Quote from: shadav 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
You can do that as far as contact is concerned but the owner of the domain has to be a legal entity and an email address isn't that.
It certainly simplifies things if the people concerned are recorded with the domain name and hosting providers as interested parties, of course.




Yes, continuity planning is a big issue.

I might do a video about it :)
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with questions on astrophysics or theology.  You will get better and faster responses by asking homeless people in the street. Thank you.

To paraphrase Kindred: "There are no technical solutions to social problems."

camefromwpandmybb

Quote from: ChuckWheat on March 03, 2021, 08:09:34 PMdo 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.

before you die or when you start feeling chest pains 3 months before
pay your hosting annually instead of monthly.  buy a cheap ssd and dvd burner. backup n burn daily.
create a word doc with specific instructions on which ftp software etc u used for backup and how to reinstall to server. create an email specifically regged to the domain.
copy your post url here.

now put this in your will with 3 people you trust to take over the site (3 in case you outiive 2).  if they dont understand, they have this post to ask "how to"

bam in your dead face, prob solved

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