Anything that happens to your server happens to your business. If your server is down, are you financially prepare to lose, say, a month's worth of income when people cancel recurring subscriptions? Anyone who owns or manages a web site is concerned about hackers. Malicious people with nothing better to do but sit around and corrupt your server have been creating headaches for the rest of us for ages. What if a hacker gets access to your server? How much damage could be done with the click of a button? Or worse, what if your hosting center caught fire, as the Planet did, taking out 6,000 servers? If the datacenter was flooded and whole physical box was destroyed? How much down-time would occur while a new machine was put together from scratch and everything re-installed? Could you EVER recover your databases?
How much revenue would be lost? How many times have we accidentally deleted
or changed something that we shouldn't have and wished we could go back
in time to retrieve a file from yesterday, last week, or last month?
Uploaded an old copy of a password file? What if your host goes out of
business and leaves you high and dry? What if your hard drive dies or
memory fails, corrupting the system? Are you prepared to handle these events when they
transpire? (Because they WILL!)
Some webmasters are content with tape drives or keeping a copy of just their website files on their local machine, neglecting the database, file permissions, and third-party configurations, such as credit card processing and feed-providers. How long would it take to rebuild a site from these back-ups? How much money is lost while this is taking place? How many customers did you lose?
My host handles back-ups
Many rely on their host when it comes to server maintenance, back-ups, and disaster recovery. Have you checked with your host regarding what precautions they have in place and actually tested their back to make sure you can actually recover a file from a week ago? Very few hosts provide full incremental back up. Consider also that every year major data centers go off line, so if your back up or failover is in the same center as your main server, it will be completely destroyed along with your server when there is an event like the Planet fire which took out 6,000 servers.
RAID protects only against physical hardware failure of the hard drive. It does not protect you against data corruption due to a bug in a script, accidentally deleting stuff, natural disaster, hackers, etc. Because RAID protects against just one out of dozens of possible problems, it will cover small percentage of the problems, but leaves your business completely vulnerable to most of the major threats that can do real damage.