It all started when I became interested in computers around 1998. AOL played a big role in my life. AOL has brought me to interest in programming and design.
In 2000, I decided to launch my first web design company. I was young and so proud of the website that I built. I used a well-known web hosting company at the time. Unfortunately, I learned a hard lesson and my website only lived 24 to 48 years old. The server on which I was hosted had been compromised, everything was lost. At 13/14, it was hard to swallow.
I had so many things in my head. I was so frustrated. Countless night enthusiasts have passed this project and everything is gone. The website was finally completed, launched and is now gone. How could this happen? Why did this happen? Why my website? My host did not offer any backup (many did not do it at the time). My host has apologized and my account has been deployed on a new machine. I remember being connected to FTP many times and praying for my files to magically reappear.
This incident is what led me to focus on the administration of the system. I've had more driving than ever before. I wanted to learn how to completely control my files and my security.
It was only a few weeks reading books and doing some online research that I decided to rent a dedicated Cobalt RaQ server (oh yes, I did feel some old ones, huh?)
So … Life was beautiful, I had a hosting company, hundreds and hundreds of paying clients. Stacks and stacks of papers filled with customer billing data (everything was done manually, filed in monthly files to facilitate searches next year on renewal). Backups are in place for each client because I never wanted them to experience what I needed to do. Everything was fine.
I was with the same hosting company, I started renting dedicated equipment, and then I bought all my equipment. I was a proud owner of almost a dozen RaQs. I hosted the largest programmers / designers websites at the time. What an achievement at 14/15 years old. Things could not get better.
Then suddenly, one day I wake up and everything is gone. All websites, domains of my client, my websites, domains, have disappeared. FADED AWAY!
SH $ T !! What's going on? I call and call the data center, no one answers! I call the owner's laptop, it does not pick up!
Just like that. The host is down, the servers are down, the domains down, can not access anything.
I was in the dark for a few days. No communication, no answers, servers and websites always down. I did not know what to say to my clients. My stress level went up on the roof, it was quite difficult to take at 15/16 years old.
Nearly a week had elapsed before the second (foreign) owner got involved with the question and provided some answers about what his (American) partner did. Apparently, one day, he was tired of it and decided to cut the power and stop everything.
I still had a lot of questions and concerns. I had no access to the domains or servers I owned. Unfortunately, he had no answer as to the possibility of ever seeing them again.
In the following months, I was able to work with a registrar to recover certain domain names. Still lost a lot of areas.
This is one of the worst things I have faced. It sadly saddened me to drop so many good people. All I wanted was to provide exactly the same service I always expected and a few dollars pulled the plug.
The lesson here? Do not keep all your eggs in one basket. Keep backups offsite and test your recovery plan. Hurry up.