It’s easy to get confused by all the technical jargon when choosing a cloud storage service provider. And when the world is moving towards cloud backup more and more, peer pressure is almost a given. Even so, a little help from your peers might be a good thing and after all, if you surround yourself with the experts, who’s to say you won’t be better off? That’s why we put together this little list of tips from those in the know to help you on your journey and on to cloud nine.
1. Back it up
You might be saying, “But it is my backup.” And yes, if it is then that’s great. But also remember that if you make your backup copy your working copy you could be in for a nasty surprise if something goes wrong. The guys from TechRadar and Gizmag agree on having a second copy. Firstly, a local working copy is handy in case you can’t access the cloud and secondly, your cloud provider should be able provide you with some recovery options. Cloud backup isn’t very reliable if it loses data because there was no redundancy in place.
2. Make it secure
Passwords, passwords, passwords. We’ve been waxing lyrically about password complexity and password vaults and generators for your data protection software, and the experts assure me that it’s your first line of defense. When accessing your Cloud account, a strong password will deter an attacker from persisting in their attack. Very often the same password is used as an encryption key that makes the account uniquely encrypted to you – further securing your data.
Ideally, this encryption should be extended to your local copy in case the physical device it resides on gets stolen or is lost.
3. Let it scale
Especially in business environments, a scalable cloud backup solution is crucial. This allows daily cloud backups to be performed without interruption and you’re able to keep more copies of each file for longer. In some industries the retention period is forever. It’s no wonder that leading vendors like IBM and Verizon are recruiting large firms into the cloud. They’re also able to offer more computing power at a lower cost thereby helping companies mitigate their hardware overheads.
4. Agree on service levels
Since it’s cloud backup, you’ll almost certainly be sharing a hard drive with some unknown individual. It’s crucial that your cloud provider can assure you about the segregation of accounts. They should be able to provide some guarantees what uptime and technical support is concerned. If you need to get hold of them at midnight, for instance, make sure they’ve agreed to it and that appropriate recourse is available should the agreement fail. By the same token, the points above should also be covered in any such agreement. TechTarget, TechRadar and most others agree that SLAs are the foundation of a relatively conflict-free cloud storage arrangement.
All in all, making sure your cloud backups are accessible, secure, and scalable, and that the right documentation is in place, will make for a (mostly) painless cloud experience.