Nearly two weeks ago, I converted this site to use SQL Server as the database engine. Without a doubt, having the database on another server separate from the main web server has helped the speed of this site dramatically, so much so that I've added features like the "top five most popular posts" gadget to the first sidebar and "other similar posts" to each blog post (when they're displayed on their own).
The only problem that I've had is that my backups of the site have reduced in frequency equally dramatically. Why? Just the sheer number of steps I have to go through to perform a database backup on GoDaddy. For fun, here's the full process:
Step 1 Go to the GoDaddy home page and log in:
Step 2 Click on the My Hosting Account menu item
Step 3 When your accounts are displayed, click on the Manage Account link for the account that has the SQL Server database:
Step 4 Click on the Databases menu and select SQL Server:
Step 5 When the list of databases is then displayed, click on the pencil icon to view the database details:
Step 6 Click on the Backup icon:
Step 7 Finally, it's time to initiate the actual backup by clicking OK on the resulting pane:
Note, though, that I have no way to specify the backup file name, so that, perhaps, I can take a daily backup and have the ability to go back to a particular day; that therefore the old backup file is going to get overwritten; that I won't know or get notified that the backup is complete (apart from the rather wishy-washy "up to 2 hours" text).
Final step (number 8) Of course, now I have to download the resulting backup file using FTP onto my local machine.
To be brutally honest, this is way too many steps. Creating backups that I can download are just not going to get done with any regularity. Since I do have remote access to the SQL Server instance, another way of doing this might have been to use SQL Server Management Studio, but that seems to want to backup to a folder on the same machine as the server instance, and I don't have such access.
I know that GoDaddy back up their own servers (well, all right, I assume that they are), but as Jeff Atwood said today on Twitter after suffering a complete server crash which wiped out Coding Horror: "for the record, I blame 50% hosting provider, 50% myself (don't trust the hosting provider, make your OWN offsite backups, too!)". To be faced with that possibility is the stuff of nightmares…
Yello - Junior B
(from The Eye)