How to prepare for a website categorization server outage?

I was fortunate to miss the recent outage(s) with the Web Categorization servers, but it made me wonder if I should be doing something to prepare for the possibility.  We block all uncategorized sites, so a categorization outage would be very disruptive to the organization.   But running without categorization would be very risky.

This post is my my only data source:

https://community.sophos.com/products/unified-threat-management/f/web-protection-web-filtering-application-visibility-control/96689/regarding-website-filtering/351834#351834

In normal mode, we should be using SXL (web lookups):

# cc get http sc_local_db
none
# cc get http use_sxl_urid
1

To prepare for an outage, we need to force the local database to be downloaded. 

cc http
sc_local_db=disk

Lots that I do not know:

  • Will the local db parameter be completely ignored as long as the SXL option is enabled, or will it download the database?
  • If I download once, and then change back to sc_local_db=none, is the database discarded, or are the updates simply disabled?

My goal would be to download occasionally (once per month or once per quarter), but not download continuous updates to a database that I do not normally use.

If an outage occurs, this command should switch over to the database, as long as there is a pre-loaded database available for use:

cc http
use_sxl_urid=0

Of course, Sophos Support does not want us playing with cc at all.

Hey Sophos, how about publishing an official statement of what we can do, other than grit our teeth during an outage.