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We are developing a web app and planning to deploy it in a multi-tenant model. However, some of our potential customers are having a great deal of discomfort with the idea of not having the control for their data. With that concern, we are planning to let them host their own database. But we are having a problem on the backup, if the customer is hosting the database, we can't back it up for them.

Is there anyone who had dealt with this kind of situation before? Any suggestions/comments will be appreciated! Thanks!

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closed as not a real question by MDMarra, Dave M, Brent Pabst, Tom O'Connor, pauska Oct 2 '12 at 15:11

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3 Answers 3

Better yet, why is your application not designed to run in a shared environment and as a stand-alone product. If they don't want you to host the data sell them a $$$ on-premise license and annual maintenance agreement for updates. This will either fix the problem of not wanting you to host it or you just earned a bunch of CapEx.

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Yes, I've been in this scenario. What you need to do is explicitly state in your contract/terms of service that they're responsible for backing up their data. Then give them written instructions on what to back up and how to back it up.

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I disagree on the "how", beyond any information specific to his custom application. For example, if it runs on MSSQL, then the custom should be referred to Microsoft on how to back up the database - otherwise you're just begging for liability. (I agree with the answer though, so +1) –  Dan Oct 2 '12 at 14:25

But we are having a problem on the backup, if the customer is hosting the database, we can't back it up for them.

Tell them that they are responsible for backing it up.

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Exactly. If they want to do it in-house, they're going to have to backups in-house too. –  ceejayoz Oct 2 '12 at 13:48
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This is, without a doubt, the correct answer. It's not being awkward or difficult - it's a risk transfer and is how many many companies operate. It also provides a selling point for your hosted solution. –  Dan Oct 2 '12 at 14:23

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