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Mirroring your servers (failover) – is this necessary?

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I remember back in the day when the web was just a wee little thing that many sites had mirror sites or failover servers. Basically it was an identical copy of the site, possible with only a few missing most recent entries, that was located elsewhere that would come online in times when the primary location went down or was over-loaded.

I don’t know if this was due to the fact that the networks/servers weren’t as reliable back then and the backbones weren’t as robust, but I’m wondering if there is any reason for these in today’s online industry.

If a failover site is used, would it be acceptable to use older hardware that is adequate to handle the tasks but is going to win any speed records.?

When would a mirror or failover be necessary or beneficial to a client?

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