April 20, 2016

UK Hosting Provider Didn't Have Website Backups

In a turn of events during routine clean up - UK webhost 123 Reg has 'accidentally deleted' a large number of customer websites. The company hosts 1.7 million websites and services 800,000 customers in the UK. An exact number of affected clients has not been released but instead have quoted "a small portion".

Too many consumers believe that simply having a hosted service means the product is infallible. We covered this in 2015 when Netflix proved their resilience during an AWS Outage, the moral of the story being that one should never trust a single point of failure, no matter who the provider is.

To make matters worse, 123-Reg told the media that it did not have backups of it's customer websites but it was working with data recovery specialists to "manage the restoration". Not the kind of news that brings hope back to customers whose livelihoods depend on a regular stream of website visits, enquiries  and purchases.

The company has said that customers who kept their own backups could be back online as quickly as they could retrieve their data, from wherever they had it stored. For the sensible few who would have the inclination, skills and knowledge to do so that's good news, but of no use to the masses who simply trust the almighty 'cloud'.

In correspondence sent to customers last Sunday, the company said it had "begun copying recovered VPS images to new hosts" and expected some websites to be restored overnight. They've also explained that the fault was limited to 67 servers out of a total of 115,000 servers across Europe.