Backing up Business Data to the Cloud – A Good Option?
Today, cloud hosted solutions are quite feasible as there have been tremendous improvements in bandwidth and quality of network connectivity. Feasible not only for software (SAAS) and platforms (PAAS), but also for storage solutions under the umbrella of infrastructure as a service(IAAS). Furthermore, if data is stored in multiple cloud drives, there are management platforms available to keep track of where your valuable information is. We reviewed MultCloud which provides this function.
Historically, while tape backups started off being the leading method for backup, there are now a number of options today for storage and backup. This includes DVD’s, USB connected devices and tape, with cloud hosted backup being a competitive option.
The Nuts and Bolts of Cloud Based Backup
All operated by a vendor, the backup is maintained with a remote cloud site. There are different types of cloud based backup services available which include public, private or hybrid based. In general, public clouds offer capacity at the lowest cost and the minimum level of scalability. Hybrid and private cloud based backups offer a more flexible capacity at a higher cost. Whenever there is a cloud data backup, systems onsite periodically sync with remote systems to save the data to a remote cloud server.
Cloud Based Data Backup, is it Really Better?
There are several advantages to using a cloud based backup for your business data:
- You do not incur any capital costs for purchasing or maintaining infrastructure as you would with servers and networking gear. Even medium sized organizations typically have IT costs in the tens of thousands of dollars every year towards hardware purchases, replacement and servicing. With the cloud, all that goes away.
- You are able to get better outcomes and managerial control over the cloud backup process. It is more streamlined as you are able to work with specialized providers regarding issues and specific requirements.
- Your IT organization gets access to capacity which is flexible with regards to the ability to scale up or ramp down on-demand.
Categories of Cloud Backup Services
There are several categories of cloud backup services:
- Public cloud backup: The cloud site provides services to several organizations, not just yours. The typical public cloud model is one where a minimum amount of storage is available free while higher levels are available on a paid basis. It is the most inexpensive of all the options since the provider services you from a common infrastructure.
- Private cloud backup: Utilized when you have very specific backup needs for your organization and are unable to use an off the shelf public cloud solution. The cost of private cloud backup is high and you invariably will end up needing large IT staff sizes.
- Hybrid cloud backup: Backup solutions based on hybrid clouds are uniquely designed with a blend of private and public cloud systems in order to provide a near private cloud solution at lower price points.
Will Cloud Based Data Backup be Right for my Organization?
Here are some aspects you could ponder over if you are considering employing a cloud based backup solution for your business:
- Does your data have a short RTO, recovery time objective? Given that data transfer speeds in cloud based backup will always be lower than those achievable from offline storage devices. Conventional backup techniques could provide better performance when backing up short RTO data.
- How much is the volume of data requiring backup? Popularly used backup methods such as tape, DVD’s or USB connected devices could be more suitable if you need very large data volumes to be backed up.
- What is the estimated growth rate for your data? The guidelines from analyst Russ Fellows are that a growth rate which is 10% and lower in volume terms every month makes cloud based backup solutions suitable.
Which is the Right Pick, Public, Private or Cloud?
These are some aspects you could consider if you are thinking about going ahead with cloud hosted solutions for backup for your business.
- If environments have severe restrictions on sharing of data, you should opt for a private cloud designed to your specific requirements
- If your IT systems needs to meet SLA’s that are stringent, you may opt for custom designed private cloud based systems
- If you need to be able to request storage capacity be increased on a somewhat ad hoc basis, private cloud based hosting would be suitable
- If there are constraints in terms of limits on spends on budgets, public cloud based systems would prove to be a good choice
- If you have very specific backup requirements and have the budget to accommodate high maintenance and development costs, you can go in for a hybrid cloud based backup solution. Hybrid cloud based design provides clear separation between public and private cloud function components ‚Äì the private components handle privacy sensitive data and public cloud components take care of the backup requirements related to data which is not critical in nature.
As mentioned above, there are a number of options today for storing data with cloud hosted backup being a viable option. Now it is up to you to decide if backing up your business data to the cloud is a good option.
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