With cloud-based backups becoming more widely used and tape backup technology seemingly going the way of the dinosaur, it’s important for business owners and IT decision makers to understand that not all cloud backup solutions are created equal.
Many of the most common cloud-based off-site backup products are entirely dependent on the Internet, with all data being backed up to a datacenter. This isn’t a surprise, since that option typically requires no upfront investment and is often the least expensive model. However, there are potentially serious limitations to this typical cloud backup scenario. Copying large files and databases across the Internet can be time consuming and burden your servers for hours or even days at a time, which can possibly slow down network performance during the work day. Furthermore, if there’s an Internet outage due to a storm or perhaps a random ISP problem, the cloud backup might not complete successfully or could get behind, putting your business at risk for data loss if a disaster were to occur. And backups aren’t the only concern, since the ability to restore data as quickly as possible is an important part of a successful disaster recovery plan. Waiting to download data while performing a large restore from the cloud can take hours or days, depending on how much data needs to be retrieved.
In order to offset these shortcomings, IT Decisions recommends that your business utilize a hybrid local/cloud backup solution rather than an entirely cloud-based backup. This combines all the benefits of the cloud with the convenience of locally stored backups. A hybrid solution uses a local backup appliance to make quick and reliable in-house backups of your data, and then the local backup appliance replicates that data to cloud-based storage at a secure datacenter on the Internet for off-site protection. This results in both local and off-site copies of critical data being available, which allows for better outcomes when a problem occurs, whether it’s a simple document restore for a forgetful user or a complete disaster recovery effort due to a catastrophic event.
Regardless of what type of backup solution you choose, make certain it’s “business-class” and implemented by an IT professional. You’ll also want to be sure your backup solution includes 24/7 support, since emergencies are never scheduled events! For more information on backup technologies and services offered by IT Decisions, click here!