Pandemic Protected Hosting

, posted: 11-Jun-2009 14:50

Well here is an interesting one you don't get every day.

I have a client who wants web hosting which is pandemic proof, not saying too much to identify them, the website is in the health sector and apparently should a pandemic hit they expect that the site will need to stay operational and under extreme reliability, because of the amount of important traffic they expect.

Because of the nature of the site, and some other factors, I am of the opinion that they should already be using a dedicated server hosted in NZ - but as usual, money is the issue, or lack of it.  So they are presently on a shared server in the states, which is performing quite adequately, so it's not power they require, it's extreme (EXTREME) reliability.  The site isn't that large about 1.5 gig of disk, and perhaps 20 gig monthly data transfer, most I'd expect to NZ.

To me it sounds like they want essentially 100% uptime, auto server failover, backup mx, actual real secondary DNS (most real world websites just have a single DNS server with two IPs, in the real world, it doesn't make any difference) etc etc...  of course if they actually need this is another matter. 

This is so far out of my area (small business websites and other more or less "low demand" stuff) that I can't even point them in the direction of a company that could handle their needs (even ignoring price for the moment).  Anybody got any suggestions?

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Comment by timbosan, on 11-Jun-2009 15:44

The problem with greater than 99.999% uptime is the you need to go down the road of site diversity, that is having two physical locations, preferably not too close to each other, and mirror all data.

Of couse you also need full redundancy on both locations, such as fully clustered servers pairs, multiple LAN connections, multiple switches, multiple fibre connections.

And then you need to look at infrastucture such as having power from two seperate companies over two seperate lines, and the same for telecoms.

It looks like a hard and expensive exercise, I am not even sure if the skills exist in a consultancy type business in NZ; most of this stuff is internal to banks, telecoms etc (which is where I learnt most of it).

Comment by styler, on 11-Jun-2009 18:50

i suspect they need a serivce like akamai
they have specific services designed for just this thing

Comment by nate, on 11-Jun-2009 22:35

VPS - resources can be added as the demand increases, and it's designed to stay up if hardware fails.

For geographical redundancy, use Maxnet + ICONZ.  I belive they're 20km apart, which adhers to international standards.

Author's note by sleemanj, on 12-Jun-2009 00:46

Thanks for the posts everybody, I've recommended the client to go talk to Maxnet about a VPS, I think that's going to be the best compromise for them.

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James Sleeman
New Zealand

PHP Programmer Extraordinaire

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