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    This is the nature of cloud computing. If you can’t handle downtime you need multiple machines behind a load balancer. If you can’t handle data loss you need backups or data redundancy or both.

    It’s not a question of “if” your server will disappear; it’s “when”.

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      Yes, Azure won’t give you an uptime guarantee of any kind unless you have at least two instances.

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      What surprises me most about this is that the author is surprised about commodity hardware failing. I remember hardware breaking all the time when I was younger, quite a large number of rotating media failures (cd-r, floppy, magnetic disk) and a few motherboard failures from old workhorse computers, and came to take for granted that consumer electronics could fail.

      I don’t have any consumer electronics for as long as I did when I was younger, so perhaps the nature of the upgrade cycle insulates one from such infelicities.

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        It does sort of point out a distinction between building out your own server and renting cloud time. When building out a single server people often spend (lots of) extra money on “reliable” components, with the view that maybe it will help uptime. Whereas if you have 100000 servers in a data center you’re just going to expect a few to fail every hour no matter how “reliable” the components, so why spend the extra cash on something you’ll just replace anyway?

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        I’ll read between the lines and infer that the server that they lost was hand-crafted and that’s why he needed to recover from a backup and not just fire up and configure a new one from scratch in a few minutes. This read like something written before devops existed.

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          No need to read between the lines, he says as much. It’s a PHP based web server running the Laravel framework. This doesn’t preclude the use of configuration management at all, but it’s probably an indicator that this person should be using a hosted service (Does Heroku do PHP? :) rather than trying to maintain a VPS. Either that or they need to invest the time in upping their game.

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            Just FTR, if you have to use PHP, I would definitely recommend Laravel. If I were him I would run it on OpenShift since they have Laravel cartridges ready to deploy with all the dependencies necessary.

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              Seconded. Laravel brings a ton of reason and quality patterns to PHP.