[Gllug] Off Topic: Backup ISP

James Courtier-Dutton james.dutton at gmail.com
Mon Mar 28 08:22:00 UTC 2011

On 26 March 2011 21:00, Mick Farmer <mick at dcs.bbk.ac.uk> wrote:
> Dear GLLUGers,
> At home we have Plusnet broadband and Virgin cable TV.  Good
> service and reliable.
> My wife has broadband access from home to the Human Resouces
> servers at Senate House in central London (for payroll
> etc.).
> She is investigating using our house as a backup user site
> in case Senate House is not acccessible.  The backup servers
> are housed outside London.
> Our Plusnet broadband connection should be able to access
> the backup servers.
> However, she's looking for a second route in case Plusnet
> (and presumably BT) have problems.
> One obvious alternative is adding Virgin broadband to our
> setup.  What do you think of Virgin's service?
> Is there another alternative?  Presumably only one broadband
> provider can use the local loop.  What about a dongle?
> Any comments and/or suggestions gratefully received.

I would just use a mobile phone 3G connection for the task.
I would then have a PC at the remote office that I could remote
control. E.g. Remote Desktop or VNC or NX.
I would also use Blackberry for emails.
This all should be acceptable as a backup solution.
It might be a little slower to use than ADSL, but it will only be
occasionally used.
The problem with using two ADSL links for redundancy is that they are
likely to take the same route back to the exchange, and thus a common
cause could easily affect both.

Now, if your house is going to be the backup site, then others are
likely to wish to connect in from remote places to your house.
So, they would be accessing ADSL in the opposite direction. Upload
speeds on ADSL and a lot slower than Download speeds.
So, ADSL might not be quick enough for real use.

Using your house for a backup is probably not a wise idea. You are
going to need proper infrastructure such as firewall, intrusion
protection system, host server. You will have to manage this
infrastructure ensuring updates are applied in line with the central
site security policies.

I would probably advise using a cloud based server if you can accept
the data protection problems.
That way, you could leave the backup server dormant, and only liven it
up when the main site fails and for backup sync purposes. That way, it
is kept cheap.

Kind Regards

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