What to do first if you re manually editing files directly on a production server with no backups

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You've been hired on to a web development team that is lacking every sort of "best practice" in their environment. There's no version control, no backups, development is done using a basic text editor.

My problem is that I can't seem to find any resources to reference that can tell me what to do if I was in this scenario. Should I first take a backup of the database? Version control? Check for security holes? What comes next?
Jul 11, 2018 in DevOps Tools by Nilesh
• 7,050 points

1 answer to this question.

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 Make sure production is being backed up regurally and there's a DR plan in place. Database, web site(s), any dependencies - everything you need to get the application(s) running on a new server. Secure off-site backups would be ideal.

Set up a stage environment on a new server. If you feel the DB instance should be on its own server (not web facing), put that on its own server.

Implement any version control system, load your code into it, and deploy it to the new stage environment. I believe Visual Studio Team Services is free for up to 5 users. If your team is larger than 5 people, get your company to spend the money.

Wipe out the old production server and use that as stage.

No matter how bad the environment, it can be fixed. It will take time and will be painful for everyone involved. But that just makes it so much more gratifying when you're done.

answered Jul 11, 2018 by Kalgi
• 2,680 points

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