The Benefits of Cloud Backup
There are countless reasons why you shouldn’t trust your valuable data to tape backups:
- First of all, they’re expensive – and you have no choice but to spend more as your data grows.
- They’re also prone to failure and corruption and are vulnerable to obsolescence.
- They can be lost or stolen whilst being transported off-site.
- If disaster strikes, recovering data from a tape system located off-site can be slow. It goes without saying, tape backups are becoming a less viable option for businesses.
Why cloud backup
Without your data, you don’t have a business. Your choice of backup system is crucial. Ideally you should be investing in a dependable system that will safeguard your business information from all types of risks. Tape backups will never be able to give you this guarantee.
Here are some of the benefits of a cloud backup and recovery solution:
1. Lower total cost of ownership and reduced operating costs. With cloud backup, you don’t need to purchase or install any expensive equipment. Online backup systems are typically built around a client software application that runs on a schedule determined by the level of service the customer has purchased. Daily backups, for example, means the application will locate, collect, compress, encrypt, and transfer your data to an offsite data center or server every 24 hours. Since the solution takes control of almost every process including the maintenance of the server, you will significantly reduce your operational and administrative costs.
2. It’s more secure – All copied files are encrypted from beginning to end. Meaning from the moment the data is copied, the system encrypts the data until it reaches its destination. A reliable cloud-based backup solution guarantees your data is secure and that only you can open your data using a decryption key.
3. Guaranteed data protection from unauthorised or disruptive access. As more and more devices enter the workplace, the risk of losing or compromising critical information in the event a device gets lost or stolen is higher. Cloud-based backup solutions can back up all the data stored by your employees in their laptops, tablets, smartphones and other smart devices. This makes the recovery process easy. There are also cloud backup solutions with geo-location and remote wipe capabilities allowing a client to find and remotely wipe all data from any lost or stolen devices. Something you can’t do if you are still using backup tapes.
4. Ease of recovery. Cloud backup ensures business continuity following a disaster or human error. Backed up data is generally available to the client 24/7. Your data is instantly restored regardless of location. Consider investing in a solution which supports multiple levels of redundancy, meaning your cloud backup system stores multiple copies of your data in locations independent of each other. The more levels you have stored, the better, as each ensures that your data is safeguarded against loss as much as possible.
5. Affordable and scalable. Cloud-based backup can be less expensive than the cost of tape drives, servers, or other hardware and software elements necessary to perform the backup. With a cloud backup system, you only pay for the services you use. Whilst your service provider will take care of the maintenance and upgrades. This, in turn, allows you to redirect your resources to other strategic goals such as to improve your marketing strategy or expand existing sales channels. Meanwhile, the built-in scalability of cloud backup makes it easy to evolve as your business data environment grows and changes.
How to make sure migration to cloud backup is seamless
Migrating your data to the cloud can be a complex process that requires careful planning and execution to mitigate risks and minimise work disruption.
To seamlessly move your data to cloud:
1. Choose the right provider/vendor. Take your time in reviewing potential partners. Choose wisely and look for a reliable partner or vendor who has the relevant experience and expertise in your industry. Find out if they have an up-to-date data center and industry certifications. They must be able to offer you a cloud solution that’s based on your budget, needs, and priorities. To do this, they should perform a cost/benefit analysis and audit your technology infrastructure before they offer you a solution. Lastly, before you sign the contract, go over SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with a fine-tooth comb to ensure you know what you are paying for.
2. Evaluate your current performance. Take time to evaluate your current operational costs before moving your data to the cloud. You can then use this data later to assess and determine if indeed the cloud is right for your business.
3. Choose the right cloud environment. Once you’ve determined that the cloud is the right fit for your business, you must evaluate the different cloud models available and select one to host your data backup. Your options include public, private and hybrid cloud solutions or a combination of on-premise and off-site backup.
4. Understand the bandwidth limitations. Understand the bandwidth limitations for the initial backup of all your data, as well as what will happen should you need to restore a large amount of data. Ask if your provider can offer a bulk transfer capability. What are the bandwidth limitations to the provider’s locations? Cloud storage requires moving data outside of the business’ local area networks into a wide area network, often resulting in increased costs and bandwidth requirements for cloud storage.
5. Don’t overbuy storage. Knowing how much storage you’re going to use is crucial. Your initial investment should be able to support your current and future needs but don’t overestimate. According to a study, most businesses experience between 40 to 60% growth in data volume annually. Take this into account to avoid overbuying storage that you won’t be able to use any time soon. 6. Make sure you can recover/restore your data. Experts suggest that you determine how quickly you’ll be able to get your data back in the event of data loss or disruption. Ask what the restore process looks like and what kind of support you can expect to receive if you run into any issues. Also, keep in mind that although backing up of data is easy, restoring everything quickly and efficiently can be difficult and costly. Prior knowledge will help you set expectations for the business and can help you minimise downtime.
Moving your data to cloud is a complex process therefore don’t expect it to be completely hassle free. Finding the right partner or vendor makes a lot of difference. With expert help, you can ensure your cloud migration is seamless, your data available to your users immediately, and stored in a secure environment.
Contact us if you need help in assessing your cloud storage requirements.