Dedicated servers can be one of the most difficult hosting solutions to deal with. You can have problems that range from simple technical issues to a catastrophic fire that destroys the server and data center. However, there is some planning that can be done in the case that you ever have a situation. You should always have a worst case scenario in place to ensure you do not end up with a ruined server.
Dedicated servers are called that because they are… dedicated. They are servers that are completely owned or leased by a client. They have complete control of the content inside of them on the hard drives, but the data center manager is responsible for what goes on with them otherwise. The more layers of planning that you have in place, the better off you are going to be able to be.
First off, you are going to need to have your utilities on a backup. There are many data centers that simply are like a home, they have one source of utilities and that is it. If you are a data center that is like this, or find a data center like this, do not use them. A reputable data center will have at least dual redundant backups for every situation. They also will have staff on-site 24x7x365 working 100% to keep your dedicated servers up and running. Being able to have a dedicated staff on call for all of your problems will put a lot of your fears to rest. You would simply be astonished by the number of people who do not take advantage of dedicated servers though, the number is really shocking!
Another good feature to look for when you are thinking about contingency plans with dedicated servers is whether or not you have a RAID hard drive. A RAID hard drive actually allows for your data to be mirrored to other hard drives within your server at the same time. This is great when you have important data and must have your sever up all the. There are plenty of methods of putting this data onto another server and doing a hot switch, but none that will crate also no downtime.
Contingency plans do not always have to be around the data that is on your server. You might want to also have a plan in place in case the data center is subjected to something as difficult as a natural disaster or as simple as a power outage. While most of the time data centers are able to use their backup systems there can and are times where they will need to keep your dedicated server offline. Do you have a working backup on an offsite server that you can restore at a moment’s notice? Also, does your data center provide you with backups daily, weekly, or never? These are important questions that you should know the answer to before you setup your server!
Yet again, an important part of your contingency plan is being able to put it into motion. You want to make sure that you know how to contact the data center using a number of different ways. This way, you will be able to find out whatever the problem is with your dedicated server. Actually, you can plan for the worst by simply thinking about the worst. Most people think that their data center and host will take care of any possible issues that rise up. While most of the time this is true, sometimes data centers are simply not ready/able to deal with the problem right away. If you host your own dedicated server, you may also be allocated to the lowest support tier. Make sure that you get information about this ahead of time. The more that you know, the better off you will be able to be with a major problem and your server.
Dedicated servers should have contingency plans like anything else. The more time you spend without a plan, the more and more you are asking to have a problem. While there are plenty of people who go for years and never have a problem with their dedicated server, some people only have it a few days or weeks and find themselves faced by a major crisis. You should have a plan in place that includes relocation requirements, backups available on site, support numbers, and even more information about your server. Best of all, contact the host/data center of your dedicated server before you have a problem. They will be more than happy to talk with you about their contingency plans.