this doesn't really count but i guess i'll mention it anyway just in case anyone worries about this sorta stuff
i've always had a pretty anal-retentitve approach to backing stuff up
but i've just put some steps in place to make it even better, as good as anyone can need. Thanks sandyb for helping with this to create a second 'offsite' backup
Basically, the core webcode - all the 'static stuff' is kept at my ISP, and then copies on two different external disks here at my house, plus two more external discs over at sandyb's place in Ireland.
Then there's two sets of dynamic stuff: The forum database, which is what is updated when people register, post, send PMs, etc. And then there's the user-uploaded stuff: all your forum attachments, avatars and uploaded images.
The database is completely backed up twice a week, and kept on two different external drives at my place. Once a week Sandy gets a copy of the latest backup as well.
For the user-uploads, I back that stuff up once a week. Sandy doesn't take a copy of that, since it's currently over 2gb and constantly growing. I just do an incremental backup of that stuff so it doesn't take me much time.
So, what does this all mean?
In the *worst case scenerio* disaster, where my webhost loses EVERYTHING (they keep backups as well), I can get the forum code back up and running in minutes. I can then restore the database to the state that it was in no more than 4 days previous (probably less), and finally can get the user-uploaded content restored to the state that it was in no more than 7 days previous (probably less).
Even if I'm in the middle of travelling, I can get the code from Sandy and restore things without having to make everyone wait 'till I get home.
The only exception - there's a very small, but theoretical, chance that we could lose all user attachments: If my web host happens to puke everything, *and* at the same time, my home burns down OR both of my external drives fail at the same time.... in this very very unlikely case, sorry everyone, you're uploaded content is gone.
Anyway, I am very happy and confident in this plan, and no-one needs to worry that this great forum will get somehow knocked out of existance. The way I have it all backed up I could even move it all to a different webhost if I needed to - it's all failsafe, and I have scripted incremental update and scripted restore procedures to make it all quick and painless when I need to do it.
Anyway, just in case anyone was worried about the disaster-recoverability of this place. I backup *everything*. A lot.