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Backup strategies 2021/03/22

In mid-March, Europe's largest data center near the river Rhine burned down. Various media reports, that the data of many server and website operators have been irrevocably lost, because backups were missing or in in the same data center. This rises the question, of how Bookacamp can deal with the valuable data of its users?

Data - in the case of Bookacamp, these are databases and files (photos and documents) of both the users of Bookacamp as well as Bookacamp itself. The most important data is in the databases, which are backed up every 10 minutes. Backup means a full copy of the databases is created and written to a file. These backup files are immediately fully encrypted via GPG (Wikipedia) and after that they are - not readably by third parties - copied to a cloud service. This procedure alone is sufficient to guarantee almost 100% data backup. Another protection mechanism is, that with every backup on the data is copied to a failover system at another data center operator. The same procedure is used for files, here the backup takes place twice a day.

Another mainstay of the backup strategy is protection against ransomware (Wikipedia). Often times, the character of this malware is, that all data, backups included, is encrypted by this malware and you must buy the key for decryption . The only effective protection against this is to keep your own backups unreachable for the malware. For this reason, Bookacamp performs Offsite Backups once a quarter

Last but not least, backups are of no use if they are not regularly tested and imported into test systems to check the recovery processes. Bookacamp has automated this process so that every transfer to the failover system tests the recovery process. In addition, completely empty operating systems are started every morning, necessary packages are installed and the current backup data is imported - this ensures that Bookacamp is up and running on the new server in a short period of time.

Author: Mathias Methner

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