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Plusnet's backup servers

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Plusnet's backup servers

I thought I would bring an interesting fact of Plusnet's stance on their customer's emails.

I called up support today and asked what I thought to be a very simple request to be actioned. I needed my inbox restoring from one of their backups from a couple of days ago. Admittedly this situation occurred as I installed a new copy of outlook and forgot to tick the "leave a copy of each email on the server" option. I ended up accidentally removing everything from my inbox.

I was told that "this level of functionality was not provided". How crazy is that? They say they are unable to restore that data?

More worryingly I have also been told that they do not backup their central email store since they get 30 million emails per month. (work it out though, at 4k average per email, that is only 112Gb per 30 days. That is nothing. Even at 100k per email, they would only have to backup 95Gb per day) They can’t backup that up??)
This means that if they have a server or complete data centre failure, their customer's will have lost everything that they had received, since they last downloaded their email....

Has anyone else come across this issue? I can’t believe they are not backing up our data....
If indeed they are backing it up, why lie to their customer's and say they are not??


Would a member of the Plusnet Support staff care to comment?
9 REPLIES
benoh
Grafter
Posts: 272
Registered: 24-08-2007

Plusnet's backup servers

All email is replicated in real time to our secondary data centre in sheffield, if case of a failure with the primary storage we would simply fail over to the secondary device.

We dont take "incremental backups" of customer email, this is stated in the T&C's and I dont think you'll find many other ISPs who do on a large scale.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Plusnet's backup servers

It would be almost impossible for Plusnet to backup data on this scale, if you think how many customers websites, email, data of the newsgroup servers, other customer data and settings this would include we would be talking about a lot of terabytes of data.

To echo what Ben has said, I don't know of any mainstream ISPs that do this.

Chris
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Plusnet's backup servers

The company I work for, no names, no indication apart from it is a multi-million dollar global business, only keeps backups of email data for 3 days, unless local legal requirements (ie, USA) require it for "national security reasons".
General consensus is for the recipient and sender to keep backups.
After all, +Net is a service provider to you, providing access to the internet. They must keep backups of their operating systems but are not obliged to keep backups of your email unless you pay them extra to do so as in their "extra services" packages.
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Plusnet's backup servers

Yep - To third that, there are very few if any (Barring the specialist providers where you can pay for services like this) providers who will offer this service. Even if we did have a backup of customer email, it would more than likely be stored on High capacity tape in a zipped format. To restore an individual users email account would take many hours and is simply not practical.

As Ben has said, our redundancy procedures are second to none. If we had a problem (eg Terrorist attack) at our primary site, we would be able to maintain just about a full service, including a support centre, at our backup site (Which is about 3 miles from HQ!). All data is replicated across both sites using high availability disk clustering and we would not lose any data if one half went down. We do train regularily for these sort of 'disaster scenarios' and are confident that our failover systems are effective in everything but the most serious of circumstances (A Threads style Nuclear attack on Sheffield would probably break us, but apart from that....)

Regards,

Ian
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Plusnet's backup servers

Thanks for all the info. Looks like I need to eat a large slice of humble pie!

I paniced slightly when support told me they dont have any backup facility for emails. I didnt realise the data centre had a DR site somewhere else. That makes me much more comfortable Smiley

As to the t&c's - yes I admit I didnt read them fully. Does anyone actually do that these days?

I dont suppose anyone knows how to get those emails back from my inbox in outlook, to the server data store...? the only way I can think of doing it is resending them to myself Sad

Thanks for all the info
J
csogilvie
Grafter
Posts: 5,852
Registered: 04-04-2007

Plusnet's backup servers

Quote
(A Threads style Nuclear attack on Sheffield would probably break us, but apart from that


I think we'd have more important things to think about than that if such a thing was to happen...

Quote
I dont suppose anyone knows how to get those emails back from my inbox in outlook, to the server data store...? the only way I can think of doing it is resending them to myself


I would think thats the only way. Incidently, why don't you want them in Outlook and want them stored on the server?
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Plusnet's backup servers

agree about the nuke attack Smiley

I like to keep a copy of them elsewhere for a few reaons.. I cant be bothered to take a backup of my PC for a start. Plus a lot of the stuff I need when I am at client sites, (invoice details, fixes, tech resources, password lists etc).

I am sure there is a better way of doing it.. I did think about storing stuff in the 250mb of online space we get.. Unfortunately I cant always FTP out from where I am working.
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Plusnet's backup servers

Quote
I dont suppose anyone knows how to get those emails back from my inbox in outlook, to the server data store...? the only way I can think of doing it is resending them to myself Sad


One way I've done it in the past is to connect to the mail server using IMAP, then you can just drag your Outlook inbox back to the server.

--> Stephen
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Plusnet's backup servers

what a hero...

problem sorted. didnt know you could do that. thanks very much for posting the answer to my question...

J