Why is Cloud Storage a viable solution for backup & archiving?
Cloud backup service is simple, requiring a small software agent to be installed and configured on each server to be backed up. In some cases, you can use your existing backup software to replicate your on-site backup to your cloud storage provider.
Capital Expenditure turned into an Operating Expense
If your organization has recently re-assessed its backup architecture, now is an ideal time to compare moving to a cloud backup service instead of purchasing a new enterprise network attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN). You can avoid the capital expenditure by moving existing and new backups to cloud storage instead, turning your capital expenditure into a more predictable operating expense.
Multi-site businesses currently backing up to a central data center can experience all of these benefits, while also reducing reliance on the central data center and risk surrounding having all of the backups in one location. The right software front-ends can also reduce reliance on IT support for quick, one file restores.
Key considerations before cloud backup
Security & Accountability
Moving to cloud backup doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the security measure you currently employ. Consider the following:
- Can I encrypt my backups? Who owns the keys?
- Is my vendor SAS 70 Type II, SSAE 16, or ISO 27001 certified?
- What controls and procedures are in place to deal with a catastrophic event?
- What recourse do I have if my vendor goes out of business? Will my vendor notify customers within a reasonable timeframe and give me time to move my data to an alternative service?
- Will putting my backups in cloud storage violate any compliance mandates?
Location of Data
Compliance and privacy issues are very real. Organizations dealing with sensitive and confidential data need to find vendors based in countries with similar regulations. Otherwise, consult your organization’s lawyer/law firm regarding the laws governing data and data privacy in the country your chosen vendor is based in, along with the country the data will be stored in.
Availability & Reliability
Does the service provider have SLAs in place? Do they have a well-documented business continuity and/or disaster recovery plan? If not, can you replicate your backups to another cloud storage service?
Data & Application Mobility
Similar to knowing what will happen if the vendor goes out of business, how easy is it for you to move your data if you decide to switch vendors? What mechanisms does the vendor provide for data upload/download that can be leveraged to move your data to a different cloud storage service? You need to have an exit strategy just in case the relationship goes sour.
Unclear Business Model
Many companies offering standalone cloud backup services are either young, or their cloud storage service hasn’t been around long. There will certainly be consolidation amongst cloud backup service providers in the next few years, meaning that doing homework on the provider itself, their business model, revenue and funding shouldn’t be taken lightly. This goes hand-in-hand with the questions regarding access to data/services post-acquisition or if the provider goes out of business.
Learn more about Cloud Computing
Over the past three years, ProServeIT has acquired significant expertise in planning and implementing Cloud-based environments. The experienced Cloud team at ProServeIT has migrated over 200,000 users to the Cloud. As part of an evaluation of moving to the Cloud, our experts can show you how to plan for and use Cloud storage to allow you to realize the maximum benefit.
Here is a list of related posts that you may find helpful:
- What is Cloud Computing?
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- The Arrowsmith School: Cloud Computing Success Story - Watch Video >>
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Questions? Drop us a line anytime! Our Cloud team will be happy to answer any questions.