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:
- List your own company as the administrative and technical contact when registering your domain.
- Identify a back-up hosting company.
- Maintain a mirror site with another host if the size of your operation justifies the cost.
- Maintain a checklist of steps to be taken if you need to switch to another host at short notice.
- Always maintain your own current back-up copy of your site.
For advice on avoiding web hosting disruptions, check out the following TechRepublic resources:
- 10 things you should cover in your business continuity plan
- 5 tips for choosing a registrar for sites you care about
- TechRepublic Web Hosting Evaluation Guide
- Top 10 most reliable web hosts
- 10 things to look for in a domain registrar
- Nine things you need to know before selecting your business's Web host
- Don't cut corners when choosing a Web host
- Will your Web host shut down your site when there's a payment dispute?
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
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 support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.