123-reg accidentally deletes websites in major hosting incident
Web hosting service 123-Reg has admitted to accidentally deleting multiple websites in an attempted ‘clean-up’ operation on Saturday morning. As the recovery operation continues, we explore what went wrong and offer 3 tips on how to safeguard your VPS website.
What went wrong with 123-Reg?
123-Reg customers noticed website connectivity issues on Saturday morning after the host had run a maintenance script at 7am. The service, which hosts over 1.7 million websites, had attempted to run a test against the firm’s master database to determine the number of active machines running. However a faulty script deleted customers’ data after showing ‘zero-records’ for a number virtual private servers (VPS) that were in fact live. Since the error was made on a VPS – a machine that functions like a private server but hosts hundreds of websites – multiple websites were accidentally wiped out in one go.
Recovering customers’ data
123-Reg began the process of restoring ‘bulks of data’ before recovering specific hosts. Customers were assured that 123-Reg teams were doing ‘everything possible in order to get back on track’. On Monday the host began addressing the time-consuming process of getting websites back online ‘in parallel on multiple servers, in several locations’. The fault was said to affect a minority of 123-Reg customers, with 67 servers out of 115,000, and only a selection of customers on the 67 servers affected are reported to have been impacted (Microscope).
How to safeguard your business’ website
VPS is a popular host option for small businesses in being a more cost-effective option than a private server. However it is vital to manage your own backup if you’re using unmanaged VPS services such as 123-Reg, especially if the livelihood of your business weighs heavily on your site.
1. Don’t wait until World Backup Day (yes that’s an actual day)
Everyday is World Backup Day at Equals Creative! Try and follow the same principle. Backup your files and database regularly and take offline backups too to cover every eventuality.
2. Do you understand the terms and conditions of your web-hosting service?
Web host T&C’s tend to be tight. There will be a section on negligence but it’s best not to take any chances. Arrange for backups in a separate location rather than backup with your server; if they go down, the likelihood is your backup will too. Don’t allow yourself to have one single point of failure.
3. Shop around for a hosting provider that is right for your business.
Cost shouldn’t be a priority when shopping around for the right server for your site. It may sound obvious, but sometimes it’s worth spending a little more to keep your business protected.
If you need help making your site more resilient to these types of problems or have any questions about hosting we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org