Even if you can afford a dedicated server (and it makes sense to have one), there’s a major reason why it’s best to have it managed for you—the security. Simply put, a data center where the server you use is maintained is likely much more secure than anything you could drum up yourself. However, these data centers (even the incredibly high tech ones) aren’t 100 percent secure. Sometimes the wrath of Mother Nature (or a really dedicated burglar) will bring it down.
When you’re shopping around for the best web host, be wary of anyone who offers guaranteed security no matter what. If a web host can really promise safety from a zombie apocalypse, do you really think they’d be offering a freemium model or super competitive rates? Here are just a few of the situations that can bring a server to its knees (and why you shouldn’t expect miracles from even the biggest hosts):
In situations like Katrina or Sandy, there’s no telling how a data center will fare. Granted, the best ones have flood protection in place, but if water can carve rivets out of mountains, it certainly has the potential to take down a data center—especially a smaller one. Of course, if you start asking about their security measures and they’re not forthcoming, that’s a sign you need to dump your web host or avoid signing on to begin with.
California and Oregon both sit on a major fault line that experts agree is nearly certain to welcome a major earthquake in the next 50 years. It’s why architects and engineers are outfitting new buildings with earthquake reinforcement, but there’s really no telling how each building (or data center) will hold up when the big one hits. However, if/when that happens, you’ll probably have bigger issues than struggling with a website that’s down.
It’s not wise to have a data center in Tornado Alley (but it happens). However, tornadoes can technically occur just about anywhere. Many times, the only things left standing are bathtubs and specially designed underground shelters. If a major tornado touches down where you server is located, there’s no telling if it’ll survive.
Whether the fire is wild or not, it doesn’t matter. Many data centers have fireproof walls and casings, but not all of them. Plus, smoke/soot damage is also an issue. Fire damage takes no prisoners, and no web host can guarantee immunity from this risk you rarely see coming.
When it comes down to it, it’s up to you to find out exactly what kind of security measures a web host has in place—including when it comes to preventing natural disaster damage. However, keep in mind that there’s only so much that can be done. Plus, the more high tech the safeguarding is, the costlier the packages may be (as it should be). Balance your budget with how important security is to you and choose a host and package accordingly.