[thelist] Web server maintainence and backup

Ken Schaefer Ken at adOpenStatic.com
Thu Jun 30 21:06:39 CDT 2005

Ah, what type of servers do you have? And what type of data are you backing

For a Windows server, you would do a System State backup to backup critical
system data (SAM database, Active Directory, certificate store etc), and you
would also backup any data files you have. The server does not need to be
offline whilst this is occurring as the APIs that your backup software (or
NTBackup uses) will take care of this.

For point-in-time backups, you would generally use removable storage (i.e.
tapes). Some people also use remote, online storage (e.g. a NAS device) since
copying data to a hard disk is faster than copying to tape. Generally this is
only an issue if either (a) the server is remote and you don't have an
automated tape loader or (b) you have so much data that you can't back it all
up in your backup window to tape (i.e. many, many gigabytes of data). The
vast majority of people use tapes, and that way you can have as many backups
as you want to keep.

For applying updates to servers, it really depends on how much availability
you want. Something like Application Center (for MS Windows Servers) is a
type of shared-nothing cluster software. When you want to take a node
offline, the App Center cluster controller node will drain all remaining
requests to that server and route them to other nodes. When there are no
remaining processing requests, you can reboot the server. This would ensure
that you have absolutely no downtime as far as the user is concerned. Whether
you're willing to pay for this (e.g. have additional servers) is up to you.



: -----Original Message-----
: From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org [mailto:thelist-
: bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Tim Burgan
: Sent: Friday, 1 July 2005 11:12 AM
: To: [thelist] thelist at lists.evolt.org
: Subject: [thelist] Web server maintainence and backup
: Hello,
: I'm very new to managing web servers. I don't really have a clue.. so I
: was hoping I could get some help.
: - What's the best way to backup data on a web server?
: I was thinking that a second server would be needed just to mirror the
: data on the live server. But then what if I decide I need to store
: multiple backups (ie. daily backups stored over 2 weeks, therefore
: copies 14 backups needed).
: What do you currently do? Or, what is the optimal method?
: - When needing to perform maintainence on a web server (such as updating
: the code used on some pages, or installing new services, etc), what are
: the best strategies to do this without interupting current users on the
: site?
: Do you just make the web server "dead" so when visitors go to my URL,
: they get a 404, or something. If I do this, what happens to visitors
: that are already on the website, performing some critical action, such
: as changing their account settings, changing their password, or
: something. They won't know what happened.
: Is there a way to make all of this seamless to the user, but also not a
: burden for when I need to perform maintainence?
: Thanks
: Tim

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