Something we don't get asked about too often are the technical details of where your data will be stored, and how it will be stored.
Whether it's a volunteer completing the registration, just viewing your calendar online, or your staff viewing or exporting data, ALL connections to our servers are SSL protected. That means the same high-grade security as when you use your banks website for online banking.
You own your volunteer & schedule data, and we only access that data in order to provide support to you, and in order to do backups. At no time do we ever share, sell or allow anyone else access to your data. Your data is stored in it's own entirely separate database.
Our servers are located at a major data center in Arizona. The data center has redundant everything.... internet backbones, back up electrical systems (UPS, generators, etc), armed security, air conditioning systems, etc.
For the layman, that mean basically that the servers are secure, and have no reason to ever be unavailable on the internet.
We use "Raid" configuration servers. This means that our servers have multiple hard drives which are mirror images of each other at all times (within milliseconds anyway). So, if there is ever a hard drive crash, the mirror image hard drive takes over the full load, and an alert is sent to the data center staff, who "hot swap" the bad drive with a new one, which is then re-imaged as the load allows (quickly). This means the outside world sees not even a hiccup. A added benefit of using Raid configuration is that during data reading, it's able to pull different data off any of the drives, basically making data retrieval at least twice as fast as single hard drive servers (i.e. like reading multiple chapters of a book simultaneously).
Backups & Disaster Recovery
So, by using Raid configuration servers, it almost sounds like there is no need to a backup of your data any longer. Well, that would be true, except what if some data is deleted by your staff accidentally? Those mirror image hard drives will have done an excellent job of removing that data as requested from all drives. In this case we do have off-site data backups (we retain copies of the previous 4 weeks backups). This means that a copy of your data is sent to another server in a different secure data center in Texas (via encrypted connection). This would be called "Disaster Recovery".
Volunteer Matrix as a company also has it's own Disaster Recovery plan for operations and our software. The latest version of our software and programs is monthly placed in a safety deposit box. Along with this is a list of server passwords and other protocols that would be necessary in the unlikely event of catastrophe affecting our base of operations.