FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Friday, October 15, 2004
FROM: LOOSE FOOT COMPUTING LIMITED
CONTACT: GRAHAM MACCORQUODALE
110-10 RESEARCH DRIVE
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA
LFC HOSTING ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE CLIENT BACKUP SYSTEM
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - LFC Hosting today announces the completion of its new Multi-Terabyte backup solution utilizing a cluster of modern portable IDE hard drives, as opposed to the standard magnetic tape based systems used by most data centers. Only recently has this approach become feasible, reliable, and cost-effective. LFC Hosting is one of the first hosts to take advantage of this new technology, and pass it on to its customers.
Key features of LFC's new backup system include:
- Multiple portable hard disks, superior to industry standard magnetic tapes
- Weekly Full backups
- Daily Incremental backups
- Complete Windows state and permission backups
- Extremely fast backup and restore times
- Full or partial on-the-fly, self-administrable backups and restores through LFC's proprietary Control Panel
- Rapid Disaster Recovery ability
- Separate Gigabit backup network for increased speed and security
- Dedicated backup servers
- Off-site storage and verification
Robert Sauchyn, LFC CEO, says, "Although most of us don't like to think about it, disasters in the web hosting industry do occur, sometimes resulting in extended periods of downtime and loss of income. Good backups and Disaster Recovery support are two key components of reliability, and are the ones most often overlooked. Overall, we have found our new IDE hard drive based backup system faster, easier to maintain, and more reliable, scalable, and cost-effective over the tape backup systems provided by competing services. Tapes are much more likely to become corrupt and have much slower backup and restore times. We are able to backup and restore data approximately 3 times faster than competing services."
Tape drives with robotic magazines (needed for large tape capacity) are complex with many intricate moving parts. If a tape drive fails, it can take days, or even weeks to get a proprietary replacement. Conversely, hard drives are an easily sourced commodity, allowing LFC to replace individual drives quickly and easily. Moreover, IDE hard drives are rapidly increasing in size and decreasing in cost; as this happens, LFC will easily replace or add new drives for increased capacity at a decreasing cost. All of this results in increased reliability with lower operating costs that LFC is able to pass on to its customers.
Andrew MacCorquodale, LFC VP, says, "The advantage of being the first to embrace new technology is that, more often than not, an off-the-shelf product or solution simply does not exist, or is not mature enough to be put into large-scale production. Substantial in-house research and development was required to build a tried-and-true backup solution to protect our customers' data." Here are only some of the many ways that LFC Hosting has customized their approach to effectively offer a backup system far exceeding the industry standard.
1. LFC Hosting performs complete daily data backups to multiple sets of hard drives, rotating them on a weekly basis on their own network of dedicated backup servers.
Andrew MacCorquodale, LFC VP, says, "This allows us to store a set of drives at another location in case of a fire or natural disaster, achieving the same off-site advantages of magnetic tapes."
2. LFC's new backup solution employs the award-winning Retrospect software package. The Disaster Recovery capabilities of Retrospect allow a non-bootable computer to be started using a special disaster recovery CD, customized for LFC's network. The CD quickly installs an operating system and restores the data from backup automatically, elevating LFC's disaster recovery support to a level well above the industry standard.
Robert Sauchyn, LFC CEO, says, "This has reduced the time needed to completely rebuild a server from scratch in the event of a total crash or natural disaster from days down to as little as one hour, putting us among the best in the industry."
Furthermore, Retrospect allows LFC to get a complete snapshot of both their Windows web servers and Linux network-related servers without ever having to stop providing services.
3. LFC has extended Retrospects' abilities with a proprietary custom permission handler that was developed in-house.
Robert Sauchyn, LFC CEO, says, "This allows us to perform much faster restores than with Retrospect alone and ensures that all custom Windows file and ASP.NET permissions are restored perfectly intact (custom permissions can be completely administered through our proprietary advanced Control Panel)." This advantage is only found with LFC Hosting!
4. LFC takes web data backup to another level by providing full OOPS! Backup Administration through its own innovative, proprietary control panel. Through LFC's control panel, its customers can view backups of their entire web folder for each day over the past week and download and restore backups on the fly, without any participation by LFC staff. They can even browse through a backup for any given day using a simple graphical interface and download or restore specific files only.
Robert Sauchyn, LFC CEO, says, "This feature is invaluable as it gives our clients full control over their own backups; full backups or individual files can be restored instantly and automatically by our clients, without having to contact us. With competing services, if you accidentally overwrite or delete a file, you would normally have to contact technical support and wait several days to get your file back."
5. LFC Hosting's backup system includes its own set of dedicated backup servers. The backup cluster is independent from the rest of the network, and does not rely on any other servers to continue backing up the rest of the network.
Andrew MacCorquodale, LFC VP, says, "If a server or set of servers fail, our dedicated backup cluster is still able to perform backups on the rest of the network at full capacity. Furthermore, by moving all backup and restore software and hardware to a separate network of servers, we avoid putting any additional load on the web and network-related servers, ensuring that all other hosting services continue to operate in the fastest, more reliable manner possible, and that our clients' websites continue to load as quickly as possible."
6. Magnetic tapes require regular (time consuming) re-formatting and tape drives require regular cleaning as well as other maintenance. Each LFC Hosting hard drive features S.M.A.R.T. (Self Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology), virtually eliminating the need for maintenance, and offering excellent detection of failures.
7. The backup system is connected to LFC's web and network-related servers through a completely isolated Gigabit network. This prevents the backup traffic from interfering with LFC's main network, resulting in faster load times for the websites of LFC's customers than with many competing services. The Gigabit network also well exceeds the required capacity of LFC's backup system, making it fast, efficient, and scalable.
Andrew MacCorquodale, LFC VP, says, "We schedule backups on each server at different strategic times throughout the day. This ensures that the backup network does not become overloaded, maximizes backup performance, minimizes the load on each server, and prevents backups from interfering whatsoever with the normal operation of the servers."
8. Finally, with its modular design, LFC's new backup system grows with them. This varies from industry standard tape-based systems, which require a large initial investment and can typically only grow to a point. Additional drives, servers, and Gigabit network segments can be easily added to the pool at a consistent cost when necessary.
Robert Sauchyn, LFC CEO, says, "All of this represents LFC Hosting's dedication to doing things differently, and passing on the cost savings and increased reliability to our customers!"
To learn more about LFC Hosting's new, innovative backup system and other disaster recovery solutions, please see:
LFC is a sound web hosting and e-commerce solution provider that has grown rapidly since their launch in 1996 because of their unique approach to web hosting: They offer a competitive, flat rate service including everything a business of any size needs to develop, deploy, and manage an aggressive, profitable, enterprise-level presence on the Internet, vital for survival in today's marketplace. LFC Hosting welcomes you to visit their website today to compare LFC Hosting with your current hosting service, and find out how LFC can allow your business to take advantage of new possibilities online, before your competition does. More information on LFC Hosting's innovative hosting services can be found at:
Quotes used with permission:
"I've never found a Hosting Provider so committed to service as LFC Hosting. From my experienced standpoint (I worked from 1997 to 2000 as key account manager for UNI2 - the leading spanish/french ISP and Hosting Provider), I know how difficult it is sometimes to provide high quality standards in service, and I feel impressed about the way you guys have managed my requests. At this moment I was browsing your technical FAQ while feeling so excited about the easy way things can be done using your services."
- P. Deeleman
"I am a current customer that is pleased to acknowledge LFC for its continuing efforts and, since 2000, for providing us with over 20 high traffic sites with excellent service, reliability and low costs. I would recommend LFC to the new and professional Webmasters who are looking for total web solutions!"
- R. Shefferd