With a couple of recent incidents of high-profile sites (ma.gnolia and Journalspace) failing due to the lack of a rigorous enough backup policy, now seems a good time to reassure customers about Big Red Design’s own policy.

A nightly dump of all MySQL and PostgreSQL databases is performed and the files from these, along with all website files go into two independent automatic backup systems. In the first, weekly full and nightly incremental backups are taken and stored on the Big Red Design web server, hosted in Germany. These are in tar format, compressed using bzip2.

The second method involves a nightly rsync of the databases, website files and server configuration files to the server in the Big Red Design office in the UK. This machine retains all files uncompressed using hard links to unchanged files from the previous backup in exactly the same way as is used by Apple’s Time Machine backup system. Once a month, a copy of the most recent version of this backup is taken to DVD and stored in a safe.

However, we encourage customers not just to take our word for it, but to make their own backups too. If you would like assistance in doing this, we’d be glad to help.