Make sure your Host backs up SQL!!!

  • My web host, was hacked this past weekend. They lost several web servers and sql servers. The web servers were restored. According to their tech support, the sql servers were NOT BACKED UP.

    Bottom line, I lost everything. Because I relied on their backups, I lost all of my data, and all of my tables, views, procedures. Many hours of work, down the tubes.

    Here's the best bit. When I told the billing department that I wanted my money back, they only offered to refund the unused portion of my contract. Why you ask? Because I am responsible for my own backups. I can't even schedule a job on their server and they want me to back up my own database?

    In my opinion, this is totally insane. I've never filed a lawsuit in my life, but I'm tempted to now. This is downright negligent. What do you think? Should I sue them?

    Thanks for letting me vent, and please,



  • You'll need to look very closely at your terms and agreements. In many cases they have clauses that waive all liability. A couple of our clients had this happen to them with a previous web hosting solution. They were down for almost a week due to Code Red. We had contracted with another, far more reliable web hosting company and all the particular clients had to do was say, "Hey, I'm ready to be switched over." Everything was taken care of behind the scenes. Out of about 40 web sites, 3 were affected. The 37 that weren't were on the new provider.

    One of the reasons for the switch was a change in the terms and agreements with the old hosting company. They went to that no liability clause. So we immediately executed our right to choose someone else.

    K. Brian Kelley

    K. Brian Kelley

  • Most providers will make backups but to my knowledge few guarantee being able to recover your data if lost. Most all the contracts even if they do make backups state you are responsible for keeping abackup of your own data. Also it depends on if you are paying for a backup, many want you to pay a support few before they will guarantee. Look at your contract (I hope you kept a copy).

  • Here is an excerpt from their terms of service:

    >We are not responsible for loss of customer content due to server or hardware failure. We do, however, backup our systems daily, but cannot guarantee the content is up-to-date. It is the customer's responsibility to have a full backup of their site.


    First off, this was not server or hardware failure. It was a malicious attack that was not thwarted by their security setup.

    This also clearly states that they do a full backup every day. This statement does not exclude their SQL Servers which, apearantly, are not backed up at all. I could afford to loose a days' data, not my entire database.

    If anyone is interested in reviewing their full terms of service, it can be found here:

    Brian, I'm looking for a far more reliable hosting solution. Have any suggestions?



  • To play devil's advocate for a minute... How would you go about backing up a database if the limit of your rights on the server is dbo in that database?

  • Bring up my own SQL Server, and have a DTS package to attach to my database of the ISP and copy all the data over (you will be able get to yours). Then I would make a file backup and put on CDRW if small or some other storage.

  • Hmmmm ok. How long would that run with a 56K modem and a 25 MB database?

    I know I'm being a jerk. That would be a solution. This just pi$$'s me off.

    Can you tell I'm a developer, not a dba?

  • Sorry for your loss. I'm sure lots of little ASPs do this. We used Data Return and they provided great SQL backups ever hour.

    This is one of those "buyer beware" items. Not sure what you could have done that would have worked.

    Thanks for the notice though, hopefully you will prevent someone else from being burned.

    Steve Jones

  • Well at 56k about 10 hours minimum. But if your database has a datetime field that is updated when changes occurr you could perform a query on there server that returns only that data but do you have any idea how many changes would occurr per day. Then you would still want to compare occasionally to make sure they are the same. AT 56 you really have 3 choices 1: Get broadband 2: Get a new provider who cares more. 3: Take my last statement and try it.

  • Believe me. I'm looking for a new hosting provider. 🙂

  • Sounds like they covered their legal bases with their Terms and Conditions. This isn't surprising nowadays. With respect to a hosting solution, I don't have any experience with SQL Server hosting providers. The one hosting provider I deal with runs MySQL on a Unix backend. Apache with PHP instead of IIS with ASP. The main technical people there are security savvy as well.

    K. Brian Kelley

    K. Brian Kelley

  • These may be out of your price range, but I'll mention them just in case.

    We used Exodus to host our SQL Servers and web servers until they ran into financial problems.

    Now we use Equinix in Leesburg, VA.

    Both these sites allow us to set up our systems the way we want them and give us a direct T1 line for us to do all our administration tasks. As such we have full administrative ability over all our systems and so can do our own backups. As such we don't rely on Equinix to back up our SQL Servers.

    Robert Marda

    Robert W. Marda
    Billing and OSS Specialist - SQL Programmer
    MCL Systems

  • Maximum ASP looks good. Never used them, but reasonable prices.

    Data Return worked great, but a little $$.

    This site runs is hosted by a friend of mine. Not sure he wants more hosting business, but what are you looking for? Email me

    Steve Jones

  • Ok, the name is a little cheesy, but, has anyone heard anything good bad or otherwise about

    $30 per month includes a small SQL database and 24/7 tech support.



  • No, but I noticed looking at the site the only terms and conditions I could find do not mention backup and responsibility. I would be sure they cover what concerns you most if you are looking.

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