How To Handle A Server Crash?

So it finally happened, your server crashed and reached a point where it cannot be repaired. It would not boot, or it boots but your root partition is gone, or your OS says it cannot find any disks, etc. Now what? The first thing to do is not to panic. What you need to do is follow a series of steps that can help you get back the data relating to your website and if possible help your site get back online.

Assess:

The first and foremost step you need to take is assessing the damage. But before you do that you need to be sure that you understand the errors being displayed and whether you have the ability to resolve the issue in the first place.

Do not try too much:

Even if you are having a dedicated server and it is up to you to manage all of your server’s functions, do not try too many things. This is because of the fact that you are not on the site; hence you cannot perform a hardware repair job, if that is required. Also if you keep trying new things, you might risk losing whatever that can be salvaged.

Ask your provider:

Ask your hosting provider to help you. In case you are using a managed hosting account, your hosting provider would handle the issue and provide you with an alternative. But if you are using a colocation service then chances are that you would need to hire the services of your colocation provider to salvage whatever is left. In the case of other kinds of hosting solutions such as shared hosting, it is your hosting provider who would help you out.

Get a replacement:

For the time being get a replacement or alternative server set up for your website so that you do not lose out on customers. Getting an alternative server setup to host your account is better than displaying a “404 Not found” message. Apart from this, you need to rope in your customers and inform them that you have had a server crash and would be back online soon.

Use your backups:

Make use of your backups to come back online using your interim servers. At the same time you need to ensure that work is being done to get a new server or repair the old one so that you can shift back to a permanent hosting server as soon as possible. Once a new server is brought, you need to get it to the state it was in before the crash.

Test:

Before going live you need to test your new production server for patches, updates and software upgrades. Only when you are completely satisfied should you go live from your new server.  Once everything is back to normal, you’ll need to inform all your customers who had been affected by the outage and handle any queries.

These are some of the steps which can be followed to recover from a server crash and get back online as soon as possible.

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