A data centre is a complex entity in WordPress hosting. Do you know the different parts of a data centre, what can go wrong in each of those parts, and how it can affect your WordPress site? Find out.
Many factors in different parts of a data centre and its operations affect the performance of your WordPress sites. This could be due to a number of factors from simple hardware failures, to a breakdown in the power supply.
Breaking a data centre down broadly will help us to understand these issues, and what can go wrong, in a clear manner.
- Building Shell
- IT Equipment
- Electrical Infrastructure
- Mechanical/Cooling Infrastructure
Operational & Other Issues
- Human Errors
- Natural Disasters & Accident
What Can Go Wrong In Different Parts Of A Data Center?
Generally, little thought is given to the structure which houses the servers and all its accompanying equipment because its layout and design is the first line of defence against any errors. Right from setting up the perimeter as well as the first line of defence, to determining the amount of equipment that can reasonably be stocked in any place the layout of the building is the definitive factor.
The building and how the layout is designed within it can also effectively implement access control protection in the form of magnetic strip cards, registry, etc. These points are crucial to ensuring that your WordPress site is secure.
Access control must be a concern for WordPress site owners looking for hosting services. Otherwise, slip-ups like the one that occurred at Joyent (the case when an operator error rebooted the entire section of compute nodes simultaneously), will be a serious issue with which to contend.
Mistakes are bound to happen even when all the checks are in place because there will human, software or hardware errors. It is just that there are ways to reduce the frequency of such errors. However, you cannot always plan for accidents.
A driver in an SUV fell unconscious, and the vehicle accelerated towards the end of the road, hit a curb going aerial and damaged the wall of building knocking out the generator inside it. The building was owned by Rackspace and as result of the accident, clients had to experience hours of unexpected downtime.
This refers to
- Communications equipment
A host of hardware, software and operational issues can cause server failures. Hardware issues usually occur due to overheating, power surges and physical damage caused due to accidents or natural disasters. Software issues occur overtime if there is lack of maintenance or due to malware or viruses. Even if the equipment is not completely damaged such issues can cause your site to lag, delay your site load times, or your site pages may not load at all.
Hard disks have failure rates and along with heat, natural wear and tear, and power surges all lead to failure. This is true of all hardware equipment in data centres.
Communication equipment like a network switch failing can cause serious outages even though it is not an aspect of web hosting we pay much attention to.
Web hosting businesses are facing increasing demands to remain competitive and keep the prices down. At the same time, there is consolidation with a single company owning many brands of web hosting under it. So, downtime from a network switch failure can have a ripple effect, and can affect multiple hosts at the same time.
It is best to diversify your backups in multiple locations to avoid being caught by surprise when facing such situations.
While the IT equipment represents the business of the data centre, electrical infrastructure is what allows it function. Electrical infrastructure refers to the power supply and power backup equipment. Much of the claims that data centres make regarding uptimes and site performance depend on the uninterrupted power supply. This means having effective and adequate power backups is crucial.
For a WordPress site owner, this information could help decide the hosting service to host their site on.
Power failures occur when the backup equipment is not tested- if the batteries are functioning and charged, if the power backup system kicks in immediately, etc. Otherwise, sites might go down unexpectedly leading to losses.
Mechanical infrastructure helps regulate the temperature and this plays a crucial role in site performance and determines how dependable your hosting service is. Unregulated temperature can have a serious impact on your site performance.
The rise in temperature can also occur when too many sites are hosted on servers. This overworks the cooling equipment in the data centre, and as a result, fans may fail and exacerbate the problem.
Asking your web host about the access control, power backup and cooling they have could be crucial to know the estimating site’s uptime and performance; especially if you have a large site with many media files.
WordPress Backups Are A Necessity
Apart from this WordPress hosting services face the usual problem of hacking. In this case, even if the vulnerability exploited was not on your site but your data centre is hacked affecting your site, then you could not only lose your site but your WordPress backups as well as any personal/sensitive information which may be stored on your site. Sometimes such losses are irreparable. Not simply because of the impact of the hack which itself may be severe but hacks have forced data centres our of business entirely. In such cases, you may not be able to recover your data at all.
While there are many specialized WordPress hosting services available and the number is growing, it is important that you ensure that your site’s backups are not stored on web host’s servers or equipment. That way you can access your backup even in the case of any such failure. This is simply a good way to make WordPress backups and increase redundancy.
WordPress backups are not a luxury but a necessity. While hosting service have gotten more efficient demand and competition has also grown. This especially true for WordPress hosting. With the growth of WordPress, the number of hackers targeting the platform has also grown. Added to these familiar threats, data centres continue to be affected by natural disasters and accidents.
It may be important to know where the data centres of your WordPress hosting service are located and how prone those locations are to natural disasters. In such cases, you may also want to ask your hosting service the kind of preparations they have in place in case of such eventualities.
Now that you know broadly all the pain points of a data centre and how it can affect your site, opt for a WordPress backup service like BlogVault which secures your backups and diversifies their location effectively. After all, redundancies are useless if they are exposed to the same danger to which your WordPress site is exposed.