We have local dialup numbers in Arcata, Eureka, and Fortuna, giving us coverage from Trinidad and Blue Lake to Ferndale. Over 400 high-performance modems connect to Livingston, Cisco, and USR/3Com Remote Access Servers. Our servers are Sun machines running Solaris, which provide for exceptional uptime and service availability. And it’s all connected to the Internet through three full T1 circuits, giving us an Internet connection over 4.5 megabits per second. Because we don’t host cable modems or DSL, this proves to be quite sufficient for our modem users!
All of our systems, including the servers, the routers, and our modems, are under constant monitoring from inside and outside our network. We’re not talking simple pings to see if the server is alive; we actually monitor every network service, every hosted website, all of our dialup lines, and our connection to the Internet. If there’s a problem with our systems, we find out about it and we fix it. Even at 2am on a Saturday morning.
The Humboldt Internet building has plenty of UPS power and an emergency generator, which keeps our office and our systems fully operational in the event of a prolonged power outage. We take tape backups nightly, and we keep a backup set offsite.
We outsource our news service to two different newsfeed providers. The server news.humboldt1.com uses Supernews, one of the largest news providers out there. Our backup server, news2.humboldt1.com, uses Airnews, which also gives very good service. This provides for redundancy when either news provider is having a problem.
Q&A About Our Network’s Security
Do You Monitor Your Network and Servers’ Health?
All of our servers are monitored 24 hours of every day. General health statistics such as disk space, load average, swap space, and CPU-hogging processes are monitored and brought to our attention within 5 minutes by our pager network.
We have a program that dials into our modems every 15 minutes 24 hours a day. The program pages us (via its Ethernet connection) if it is unable to connect. This keeps us alerted of connection problems.
When we say 24×7 monitoring, we mean it. When an alarm goes off, we handle it. Even at 3am.
What Backups Exist?
Our backup system is a Exabyte 8mm DAT autochanger. Backups are made nightly, and each server is backed up at least twice a week. The last week’s set, as well as a set dating back 2 months, are kept in a vault in a local bank. This means that:
In the event of a severe system failure, a backup will be at most 2 weeks old, but will likely be less than a week old.
We have archived backups dating back 2 months.
Our office records are backed up weekly and taken immediately to a safe deposit box. Each backup covers all of our computerized accounting information dating back to early 1998, as well as vital documents and software to help recover our systems and get our tech support back into service ASAP.