Introduction and Opinion
I am going to be honest about this subject; most osCommerce stores are at risk of losing all data. I have seen less written about recovery procedures or even real world backup techniques for osCommerce than I have seen about email or template creation for osCommerce.
But as I said, I am going to be honest with you; you pay for what you get.
If you expect that your store won’t have a meltdown or that someone will not try to hack you, well I have a bridge to sell you. A fact that a large number of osCommerce Stores are being hosted on bad sites and most inexpensive web hosting does not have a Service Level Agreement (SLA), it puts the all the data for your store at great risk and tell you that if your files or database is corrupt or lost, it is your problem. This also means that if you collect credit card numbers and transaction records, all you need to have is someone to hack your system and Boom! You get hit with a lawsuit. If you never heard of an SLA, read what is an SLA?
I researched a large number (200) of web hosting packages for a customer who wanted to be careful about where their store was hosted. I won’t mention specific companies or any stores but I will say this customer decided to pay $100 a month for hosting service and has not regretted it at all. The results of my research were discouraging, I found that 90% of web hosts companies are resellers and don’t even know what an SLA is, let alone have one. Out of the remaining 10% of these web hosting companies own the servers and have real datacenters; 5% have some sort of SLA but their services are low to mid range pricing and the remaining 5% have high end hosting packages which cost at least $300 a month and have an SLA.
Most hosting inexpensive web hosting services are available on Linux with mysql databases. The technology is not a problem in today’s world, especially with the price of hardware under $600 for a complete server, router and other needed hardware. I ran across a few hosting companies that are setup in peoples basement and one even in a garage. For that matter, you can even lease a server from Dell or HP, buy a cable connection with a static ip address, install Linux/Mysql and host about 50 websites (you may even get 100 sites on one server) on the server at $10 a month using this configuration which will make you a nice profit.
But is it a real good idea to be your own host for your store that makes money? No, it is really stupid.
Why? There are too many factors involved; internet connection, physical security, hardware failure and other issues that will cause you more headaches than it is worth. One really important issue is the internet connection. Even with cable access, there is no guarantee that your web site will be accessible to the internet. You could eliminate this be adding redundant connections, but by the time you get this all in place, you may have spent too much time (and money) just learning about the systems to maintain the connection.
It is better to have this handled by a professional staff at an established web hosting company.
Remember that a customer has no patients
for a site that does not work and working sites make money
I do not recommend a hosting service, even though I do advertise Globat on my site because I am an affiliate of theirs and need to make some money off this site.
What is Disaster Recovery?
It is very simple – to be able to recover from a disaster in a reasonable amount of time with minimal lose of revenue.
What is a disaster?
A disaster is anything that interrupts your business. This is a broad definition, but in reality it could range from corruption of a database or files to a complete loss of access to the web site. It also includes hacker attacks and spamming of the site by email programs.
I can define all kinds of terms used in professional Disaster Recovery Planning; Business Impact analysis, Recovery Time Objective, Recovery Point Objective, etc.. But I won’t because it would take too long to explain each of these.