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The hidden cost of restoring to a public cloud

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 06:05
Data Backup

Public cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure have become fantastic tools that can be utilised by organisations of all sizes. They make services readily available to organisations and as they are often based on capacity license models, this means that your organisation can start small and grow big.

With data sets increasing and decreasing seasonally, modern businesses need the ability to be flexible and scalable with solutions they implement.

  • The public cloud refers to a service or resource that is made available for public consumption via the internet. These services may be offered freely or on a pay-per-usage basis.

Why would I implement a public cloud service?

Cloud platforms get rid of a huge headache for organisations who have limited or no IT resource; having to manage and maintain hardware. When organisations utilise public cloud services, the service provider will be responsible for ensuring uptime, maintaining and fixing infrastructure and implementing new infrastructure. These factors can take significant amounts of time and come at considerable cost.

Implementing cloud based solutions and services also allow organisations to implement quickly, many offering simple login portals and registration processes. This method of implementation allows organisations to use as much or as little space as they require, paying only for what is used and not wasting additional resources.

With cloud services offering such flexibility many organisations may utilise hybrid infrastructures, implementing cloud services and utilising existing infrastructure already making up part of their network. Taking a hybrid approach can give the benefits of both approaches such as flexibility, cost-effectiveness and control over data and infrastructure.

Buying cheap? Check the small print.

When it comes to reviewing, and implementing new solutions, cheapest often doesn’t mean best, but with organisational budgets being stretched price will often be a deciding factor. While many public cloud platforms and cloud backup platforms have low upfront costs, there can be hidden factors that could sting you later.

Some cloud backup solutions, for example, will levy a charge for the restore of data, sometimes related to bandwidth used or the total data downloaded. This may still be a nominal fee and should you be restoring a single file, folder or small amount of data may not be an issue. However, if you are an enterprise organisation looking to do a full restore of multiple terabytes this could quickly become thousands of pounds.

Public cloud backup solutions

Don’t let your data be held to ransom

It is vital to ensure that you choose the correct cloud backup solution and understand fully all of the costs associated. Backup is one step but the real importance is being able to restore your data; when your data is in the cloud and you need it back your choice could be to pay or to lose it, leaving your business in a disaster.

What to check before picking your cloud service provider

Services that appear cheap on face value are often too good to be true. It is important to understand not only the cost of backing up data but the true cost of restoring data to avoid being stung by a large invoice when you need your data back the most.

Contract terms and SLAs could be the difference between success and failure. Cloud platforms often boast impressive uptimes however if there is downtime, you should understand what process the service provider will undertake to get the service back up and running and how long this will take. Monetary guarantees should be a standard, not a bonus.

Legacy backup solutions are still in use in many organisations simply because they have been tried and tested; users know they will work when they need them to.

Being able to test a cloud backup and restore platform is important not only to ensure it will work and be able to adapt to your data set and environment but to ensure that it is efficient. You should be able to test what effect a solution will have on your network resources, such as bandwidth and even CPU.  

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