Don’t Forget to Backup Your Cloud Data

 In Backup, Cloud, Data

Because cloud is highly reliable, it’s tempting to think you don’t need to worry about making backups of your cloud data. The cloud provider has backups that allow them to restore your data and infrastructure in case of problems such as a hardware failure.

However, there are many other reasons you may need to keep copies of your data that the cloud provider’s backup policy won’t support:

  • Restoring older data. The backups kept by the cloud provider are intended to restore the current state of your system. They don’t support restoring older data, which may be needed to recover data that was accidentally deleted or corrupted. They don’t support access to older data for analytics purposes.
  • Compliance & legal requirement. Depending on your industry, you may need to satisfy various data retention requirements. Even if there is no legal requirement to keep data, you may have a corporate policy requiring data to be kept for a specific length of time. Your cloud provider’s system backups don’t address this need.
  • Hybrid systems development. You may need a copy of data from the cloud for use in an on premises, multicloud, or hybrid cloud system.
  • Disaster recovery. Cloud providers can have outages. If you have a copy of your cloud-based data outside of the cloud, you can bring up services in your data center or other cloud environment.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in. If you want to switch cloud providers for any reason, you’ll need a copy of your data.

Cloud Backup Strategy

To meet those needs, you need to develop your own backup strategy. While you may choose to store this backup in the cloud, in many ways it should look like a conventional backup strategy:

  • Develop a schedule for making copies of data. Most data should be backed up at least daily; some low-use systems can be backed up less often.
  • Develop a data storage strategy. Aging backups that are unlikely to be accessed frequently can be stored on less expensive devices. You’ll want a different storage strategy depending on whether you expect to use your backups in your cloud or in other environments.
  • Document a process for accessing and restoring data. You need a disaster recovery plan even when your IT infrastructure is in the cloud. It’s important to be aware that accessing older data can require older versions of applications, so you’ll want to be aware of those dependencies and have copies of older software and license keys available as well.

Prescient Solutions helps businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg develop effective backup solutions both in the data center and in the cloud. Contact us to learn how IT consulting and managed services from Prescient Solutions help you get your most pressing IT management challenges under control.

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