I work for a small marketing company that also does web design and development. We host all of our web design and development customers on a dedicated server at Hostgator. We have a dedicated server with RAID 1 configured hard drives. We also do weekly backups which is automated through cPanel and downloaded by automated FTP software locally.
Today we were discussing what would we do if Hostgator had a catastrophic failure of some kind. It could be the server exploded, Hostgator had serious network issues, the FBI did one of their famous "take every server we see" raids, etc. Basically any scenario where an extended outage is expected. We then took it to the next level and wondered what would we do if Hostgator had an extended outage and we were unable to access our local backups. This could be due to fire, flood, etc. I know the odds of our server being down for an extended peiod of time and our local files simultaneously being inaccessible are remote but all it takes is just two bad things to happen and that's where we would stand. (If you have ever gotten a flat tire and found out your spare was flat or missing you know how easy it is for two bad things to happen simultaneously really is).
Needless to say we want to be prepared for "worst case scenario" type events as this would almost certainly put us out of business. So my two questions are:
What could we do to be prepared for an extended outage by Hostgator? An ideal scenario will have our clients' websites, and hopefully emails, up and running again quickly.
What would a robust back up plan include so important data is never lost? An ideal solution will be automated.
You can assume cost is not an issue in your answers but the more affordable a solutions is, the better.