Cloud backup certainly seems like it could be a remedy for numerous IT infrastructure hurdles, but in a world of malware, hackers, attackers, and password crackers, it’s often safer to err on the side of caution. The good news is that by taking the necessary preventative measures with your service provider, cloud backup will provide significant benefits to your business.
Cloud backup benefits
Cloud backup is where your files are saved on a remote server, usually on the Internet, while remaining accessible to you at any time. The server is hosted by a cloud service provider and the backup service is provided with the help of feature-rich software that integrates well with your data sources. Since the files are not stored at the same location as its source, they remain out of harm’s way, ready to be restored at a moment’s notice.
Here are the most notable benefits your business can gain from using cloud backup:
- Scalability. By nature, cloud storage is scalable. Any limitations you might experience will be related to your agreement with your provider and any space or performance restrictions they’ve applied to your account. Latency is often a concern with real-time data access but with appropriate cloud backup software this will not be noticeable.
- Reliability. Technologies used by cloud backup providers ensure that stored data integrity remains intact but and that all data transfers are secure.
- Cost savings. Cloud storage environments are upgraded at the service provider’s expense and while these costs are probably passed on to the customer, maintaining your own off-site backup storage solution will prove more costly for small to medium enterprises.
- Business continuity. Cloud backups are stored on redundant disks and servers and remain inherently more protected from outages. Since cloud backups are accessible at anytime from anywhere, it facilitates efficient disaster recovery in the event that your operating environment is compromised.
- Fast recovery. Due to cloud backup accessibility, small data restores can be streamed over the WAN with minimal cost and effort compared to the significant logistical coordination required of traditional tape backups.
In order to gain these benefits, you’ll need to take some precautions to prevent things like security breaches, data loss and general downtime. Ensure that your provider can provide these features to your cloud backup solution:
- Encryption is key. This is probably the single most important feature of any cloud backup situation. Effective encryption of backup data is achieved by using strong encryption algorithms such as 256-bit AES and proper key and password usage.
- Cross-border compliance. Consult the experts about relevant legislation contained in the UK’s Data Protection Act and the EU’s Data Protection Directive, for example. It could mean that your data will be shipped off to a foreign country over which your own authorities will have no jurisdiction should something go wrong.
- Tenant segregation. Ensure that your cloud backup service provider keeps your data separate and secure from other tenants on the same server environment. The ideal backup solution will automatically keep backed up files secure and specific to the account it was backed up for, while still being able to manage backup storage effectively with compression and deduplication of multiple instances of the same file.
Consider cloud backup
While various implementations of cloud backup solutions exist, taking a cautious approach to new technology is always advisable. Companies are always competing to get the next edge to ensure they’re able to meet demanding uptime requirements, which is why perhaps your business can truly benefit from a cloud-connected backup solution.