Is Cloud Backup Right for Your Business?

 In Cloud, Disaster Recovery

Companies need a robust backup procedure to make sure they can recover their data and their operations in the event of a hardware failure. Writing scripts to ensure reliable backups has always been a challenge, and so has managing the large number of tapes or backup disks required to store the backed-up data. Today, businesses have the option of backing up to the cloud. Is cloud backup right for your business? Here’s a look at the pluses and minuses of storing your old data in the cloud versus storing it locally.

Cloud Backup Advantages and Disadvantages

Backing up to the cloud offers many of the same benefits as using any cloud service. You don’t need to purchase hardware and spare capacity in advance, which is important as backup files typically grow in size. The environment scales as needed, and you pay only for the capacity you use. The cloud provider has all the responsibility for supporting the infrastructure. Your IT team is freed up to focus on other important functions.

The data is always available, from anywhere. This eliminates a common delay when you need to restore data from your own local backup; you don’t need to locate a tape or bring a disk online.

But while the cloud makes it quick to locate a backup file, network bandwidth limitations can make creating the backup and downloading data to restore it slower than working with local storage.

There is also a risk that the cloud provider will go out of business, leaving your data in limbo. It may not be easy to extricate yourself from a contract if you decide you no longer want to use cloud backups.

Security is also a concern. While most cloud providers take serious measures to protect data security, backing up to the cloud can potentially risk exposing your information. You may need to add your own encryption on top of the cloud provider’s security features to make sure your data is private.

Related: The Yin and Yang of Cloud Security

Local Backup Advantages and Disadvantages

The pros and cons of backing up to local storage are largely the inverse of the pros and cons to backing up in the cloud. You need to build and maintain the backup infrastructure; if you don’t provide spare capacity in advance, backups can fail due to lack of space.

Your business retains control of your data, without potentially exposing it to everyone who can access the cloud provider’s systems. There’s no chance of losing your data if the provider goes out of business, or having a complex process to transition to another provider.

The nightly backup process may run faster because data isn’t being sent over the Internet. But because the data can’t be accessed over the Internet, you might have limited access to it in the event of an emergency that shuts down your data center.

Design a Backup Solution that Works for Your Business

You need to develop a backup strategy that works for your business. This may mean backing up to the cloud, to local servers, or in some hybrid combination. Prescient Solutions can help you design a backup process that keeps your data secure and accessible, as well as integrate it into an effective disaster recovery process. As experts in Microsoft’s Azure cloud, we can advise when using Azure Backup is appropriate or when you need another solution. Contact us for a free assessment and to discuss how Prescient Solutions can help you solve your IT needs.

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