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Most tech-aware people would have heard by now that on 30th Jan 09m Ma.gnolia http://ma.gnolia.com/ suffered a massive data corruption and loss scenario. Basically, the poo hit the fan and they lost all their users’ data and had no restorable backups! If you go to their website now you’ll see a sad looking holding page: (click to enlarge)

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I’d say at a guess that it’ll be the end of them. It’s not easy to claw back credibility after an event like that. However, they were just a bookmarking service. You imagine this happening to a major SaaS application provider, ie: Project management, accounting, documents, etc. 

I’m trying to drive a little healthy fear into people as there are many online apps that haven’t addressed their infrastructure and backups. They may look good on the front end, but could just be a one man band with one server and no backups behind the scenes.

Make sure you do your homework when choosing a SaaS vendor for your business applications. At ProActive Software (www.proworkflow.com) we take the security and sensitivity of your vital business and project info very seriously and have professional infrastructure and top security, setup at who we consider the USA’s top data center – www.fastservers.net.

Here’s our data security page: Read about ProWorkflow Data Security.

Regarding backups, the ProWorkflow solution has automatic monitored backups that run 4x daily with a 14 day retention. That means we keep 56 copies of every customers’ database backup for up to 2 week rollbacks! The latest 4x backups are kept on the subscription servers and others are kept on the Fastservers remote backup servers.

In addition! We also allow customers to download their full database backup file at ANY time from within the application!

As it happens, sometimes you need the backups to restore for silly things, like if a customer intentionally (or accidentally) deletes a pile of their precious data…

Here’s an example of a ‘non-stressful’ backup restore we hade to do today. No big dramas… But was the easiest way to fix the issue for the customer.

Good Morning PWF,

We seem to have lost an entire category and our custom “look and feel”. We are looking for our Member Bank Projects category. Is there a way that you kind find and restore?

– CLIENT

Hi there,

Re: Look’n’feel. Just checking your audit log, it seems that XXXX (your Staff) has reset your look’n’feel settings. We’re not able to simply bring these back as it was a chosen option, however we could do this by restoring a backup.

Re: Projects Category. The Project Category was deleted on 2 Feb 09, and subsequently all projects and tasks within this category were deleted as that was the chosen option.

We’re either able to run a script to bring this info back, or restore a backup from before this time (all data entered since that time will be unavailable if we go with this option).

I’ll give you a call and check how you’d like to proceed.

– PROWORKFLOW STAFF

Hi PWF,

I think we’ll have to go with the restore of a backup. I understand that anything that happened this morning after the restored backup will be lost.

– CLIENT

Hi there,

Your account has now been restored from the latest backup which was made at 4.30am on 2 February.

– PROWORKFLOW STAFF

Hi PWF,

Perfect!  You guys saved my life…or at least my sanity :-)

– CLIENT

SO it pays to have backups eh!

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About the author:
Julian Stone, CEO – Project Management Software visionary for:
ProActive Software, ProWorkflow, ProWorkflow Blog & Julian101
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About The Author:
Julian Stone begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is the CEO of ProActive Software, developers and creators of the leading web based project management software http://www.proworkflow.com.