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FBI seizes servers: Reminds IT admins to have a back-up plan

If the FBI seized your Web servers by mistake, would you be able to keep your site up? Here are five tips to make sure you could.

Earlier this week, the FBI seized several servers at a hosting facility in Reston, VA. The servers were used by DigitalOne, a Web hosting company based in Switzerland. According the New York Times, the FBI was interested in just one of DigitalOne's clients, but took equipment used to host several other sites, including those run by Curbed Network, Pinboard, and Instapaper.

According to the New York Times, Sergej Ostroumo, DigitalOne's chief executive, said that the FBI took entire server racks, instead of just machines linked to a specific IP addresses:

DigitalOne provided all necessary information to pinpoint the servers for a specific I.P. address, Mr. Ostroumow said. However, the agents took entire server racks, perhaps because they mistakenly thought that "one enclosure is = to one server," he said in an e-mail.

Remember to have a backup plan

Incidents like this should remind every IT admin and Webmaster to always have a backup plan. Even if your collocation facility is protected from natural disasters, power outages, and physical theft—there's always the unexpected.

TechRepublic writer Suman Bolar suggests the following advice to ensure your organization is prepared for a Web hosting service disruption:

  1. List your own company as the administrative and technical contact when registering your domain.
  2. Identify a back-up hosting company.
  3. Maintain a mirror site with another host if the size of your operation justifies the cost.
  4. Maintain a checklist of steps to be taken if you need to switch to another host at short notice.
  5. Always maintain your own current back-up copy of your site.

Additional resources:

For advice on avoiding web hosting disruptions, check out the following TechRepublic resources:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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