Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've learned about a hosting provider who's definition of "onsite backup" includes "snapshots of the SAN storage stored on the same SAN and the same RAID 50 array".

Does this sound right to anyone? I mean - I expect everyone to say "it depends on what you are trying to protect from" but assuming it's meant to protect from a disaster above "accidental deletion". There is no other form of backups offered (e.g. they don't offer to copy the snapshot to another SAN array or to tapes, for instance).

Has anyone else found such a definition actually used in production environments?

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by John Gardeniers, EEAA, Ward, Sirex, Scott Pack Sep 23 '12 at 0:57

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

at least they told you this upfront! – tony roth May 9 '12 at 4:30
Without knowing just what is stored on that SAN we cannot know if such a snapshot is adequate for disaster recovery. – John Gardeniers May 9 '12 at 4:35
Have you considered whether switching providers based upon this particular little revelation is a concern for you? If not, just make sure you do your own backups and carry on. – Magellan May 9 '12 at 4:43
You're likely protected against accidental deletion on your part. You're not likely protected against accidental deletion on their part, i.e., if the SAN somehow gets nuked, whether through some software/engineering error, or the cleaning crew tipping physically tipping over the SAN. – cjc May 9 '12 at 13:39
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No. Backups are not on the same media as what's being backed up, by definition.

share|improve this answer
By whose definition? Like the OP said, one needs to define what they're trying to protect from before deciding what backup technology to use. – EEAA May 9 '12 at 13:26
Backup gets you back up when you lose your data. It doesn't reduce the risk that you'll lose your data like raid or clones. – Basil May 9 '12 at 13:30
Thanks. Finally someone who actually read my question and tries to answer it. As I said in my original question - I'd expect the backup to be useful against anything that's not just "accidental deletion". I think this includes media failure (disk or anything physically around it getting damaged making the disk inaccessible). Is there some "industry-standard" definition of "onsite backup"? – Amos Shapira May 15 '12 at 6:11
Industry standard for a private datacenter, maybe. Not so much for hosting- they like to play a little fast and loose with definitions so they can sell more VPSes. What you need is backup software, possibly with an agent running on your machine, and then a schedule for full and incremental/differential backups. – Basil May 15 '12 at 21:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.