ARTB Almost Real Time Backup

As computer systems grow larger and larger it becomes increasingly difficult to backup data on a regular basis because the backups take hours and hours to compile. Most backups are intrusive and consume extensive system resources to read all the data on a server or network and rewrite the data in the new location.

In many cases, during a system backup all other resources become unreachable and websites are rendered useless during the process. For this reason, most web hosts cannot provide regular backups for data without taking servers offline. That means that the responsibility of backing up data falls in the hands of the website owners and webmasters.

Unfortunately, with forums, shopping carts, posting boards and interactive programing, websites can change by the minute and would require a backup each time a change is made.

pageBuzz has developed a proprietary system called ARTB, an acronym for Almost Real Time Backup. This technology duplicates website actions such as page edits, photo uploads and file removals on a duplicate server cluster. This new technology preserves data nearly up to the minute while providing a complete duplicate network that is online and ready to take over in any server fail mode.

The ARTB software consumes low resources while duplicating data on remote servers because it only duplicates website changes.

The remote servers wait on standby mode to take over if a primary server fails for any reason. The backup server becomes live and all the website data is current.

Traditional backups will read all the data on a server and duplicate all the data into one file. On many full servers backups can take 8, 10, 12 hours or more. By the time the backup is completed, the data is already old. If you have been working on your website all day, the changes are not part of the backup and none of your data is necessarily saved.

With ARTB, when you save a change on a page, that page is backed up within the next few minutes. Even if the network fails while you are working, the backup servers will take over their functions and you likely will not even know there was a problem.

However, the term ALMOST is used because the backup is not actually real time. Meaning there is a slight delay between the actions on the live server and the creation of duplicate files on the backup. This delay is necessary so that the data transfer is not fully dependant on the backup server and can be distributed to a remote network.

If the backup server is rebooted or offline for maintenance, the system will resync data once the backup server is back online. This is a great improvement on current clustering software that require nodes to be online at all times for data to be intact.

This technology is only available at pageBuzz. We have written the software from top to bottom and integrated the backup process with our site builder. It is part of our ongoing development of new software not only for your website but also in the back end process that drives the technology.

This new technology gives pageBuzz a huge edge over all other hosting companies. Regardless of where you host your website, it is unlikely that they will allocate resources on multiple servers to insure your data integrity or uptime. Ask anyone that has lost their website to a server crash. The reality of backups is one of high cost and low reliability.

Sure, any big business can afford multiple servers and complicated network backups. But the little guys, the home based businesses just can't afford that technology.

But here at pageBuzz, anyone can have a high availability website at a low cost. All of our websites run using the ARTB system for maximum uptime and data integrity.

The graphic below shows a simplified flow chart of how the ARTB system works.

The Main Server is online and handling all of the website functions. The Backup server is connected to the Internet but is offline and is not accepting website requests. The only data that is being accepted by the Backup server is the active changes to the websites pages and databases.

The backup server monitors the Main server looking to maintain synchronization between databases, pages and website files.

The Autosync system also tells the Backup server that the main server is online and working properly.

If the Main server fails to report to the Backup server, the Backup automatically switches into primary mode and takes over the web requests until the main server is repaired or replaced.

When the Main server is brought back online, it assumes the role of the Backup server and is sent all the backup data for the time period that it was offline.

It's all highly technical, but the result is a high availability network with backup and failover redundancy for all the websites being hosted.

Advantages of ARTB over existing clustering software

Our ARTB system does not clone servers like typical clustering software. Only the program data functions are copied and not other occurrences on the server.

In the event a drive or drive controller fails and corrupts data and is unable to function properly in traditional clusters, the bad sectors are copied by the other nodes making the entire cluster useless. However with ARTB, it is not copying the files on the server but rather duplicating data created by programs. If a program is not functioning due to drive errors, it cannot transfer any data to the other nodes and at no time is the offline cluster vulnerable to write errors on the failing main server.

This is a huge improvement over existing clustering software especially in cases where a server is hacked or hijacked. In current clusters, the hacker would have the full use of the entire cluster, but in our system, the system functions are isolated from the backup nodes and any malicious software or programs that might be uploaded to a server would not descend though the network.

You can think of it as a firewall between nodes that only allows desired data to pass. The programming is incapable of passing executable programs or scripts and will not pass files uploaded directly to the server.

This is particularly important in any hosting platform where users upload files. If a file is infected with a virus and creates files or programs on the server, those files cannot pass to the backup cluster. When the virus is detected, the server can be fully purged, the O/S reinstalled and then resynced from the backup cluster.

The advanced features and ability to address common issues that would normally create extensive downtime makes ARTB an idea above the rest.




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