Fresh Start: Lesson in Crash Recovery

Even with the best laid plans, the services we depend on everyday sometimes do fail. And when they do, it’s possible they fail hard. This time, it was my budget VPS (virtual private server) provider in April: hardware failure. Picturing a server rack short-circuiting in smoky fashion somewhere in a concrete data-center in upstate New York, was my imagined poetic ending for the last iteration of my personal website and all its data – images, words, ideas.

I decided it could be a fresh start, though I thought recovering from this crash would be faster than the pace it actually panned out. Somehow it took me all of 2 weeks to initially discover that my site was unreachable without my noticing. I spent another 2+ weeks negotiating with my service provider to migrate and compensate me for the downtime, a complete write-off of the stub of a blog I had started several years ago when I was partway through college. I don’t think I wrote more than a dozen or so posts over that period. However, most of that is lost now, with selected morsels maybe surviving in the internet way-back archive. I decided it was futile to keep the hope of recovering my data and that is how I arrived at arrangements for a cyberspace renewal of my webpage starting from scratch.

Moving forward, I learned my lesson of proactive redundancy. Always keep frequent backups of your self-hosted blog (or anything else of value that you’d like to recover some day).

Bear with me, as my site goes through a rebirth!