December 20, 2016
An organized and effective backup strategy is both one of the most important elements of an IT environment and one of the most neglected. According to TechTarget, 18% of companies never back up their environment at all. Considering the multitude of ways in which your data can become destroyed, deleted, or compromised, this is a troubling statistic.
Still, searching the market for a backup solution is not a straightforward affair. There are a number of tape, disk, and cloud-based solutions to choose from. Each of these options has their own strengths and weaknesses, and no single solution is perfect. Here, we’ll take a closer look at cloud as a backup format and showcase the advantages it has over its competitors.
Advantages of Cloud Backup Solutions
- Offsite: In the event of a disaster that physically damages the IT equipment in your data center, a data backup stored on-premise is likely to be damaged as well. That doesn’t help anyone. Alternatively, cloud backups are stored far away in nearly impregnable data centers that are much less likely to experience similar disasters.
- Speed: Cloud backups can be accessed and restored at much greater speeds than tape backup. For tape, a systems administrator must physically drive to the storage location, sift through rolls of tape, and find the desired backup. Then the systems administrator must return to the office, set up the tape, and access the data. With the cloud, that same administrator can stay at their desk, make a few clicks, and begin a download.
- No Overprovisioning: With disk, the IT department is required to purchase a piece of designated hardware. Whenever an IT department shops for new equipment, they must buy a device larger than they currently need. They must calculate the size of equipment their environment will need five years from now and buy that. With cloud, the IT environment can rent only the infrastructure they need in the moment and can expand or contract their rented resources without difficulty.
- No Maintenance: Though putting infrastructure in the hands of someone else can make a company uneasy, it does have its upsides. Because the cloud provider owns the hardware, the IT department does not need to commit time or resources to maintaining that hardware. Plus, you are far less likely to experience downtime in a cloud environment.
Does Advantageous Mean the Best?
With so many clear advantages to cloud backup solutions, it is tempting to declare it the best backup format on the market today, but that would be premature. Cloud may have its advantages, but it has its fair share of drawbacks as well.
- Cost: With the cloud comes cost. Compared to tape and disk backup solutions, the cloud can quickly become the most expensive option. Furthermore, by choosing a cloud provider, you data becomes subject to the terms of the cloud agreement. Not all cloud providers are the same, and differences between them could have significant implications on your backups.
For a complete backup solution, it may be worth considering a hybrid approach of disk and cloud to make up for cloud’s shortcomings and highlight its strengths.
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