Managing your Organization's Data-Backup on the Cloud

Backing up data is a strategic and critical process to copy and recover data efficiently.  It is also used to ensure data is available daily for your employees to use as needed.  Data centers have evolved immensely over the past few years and have seen a huge growth in storage, business analytics, and large adoption of Cloud and virtualized solutions across the enterprise. This evolution has forced backup solutions to grow and expand as well.  An effective backup and recovery plan will set the foundation for disaster recovery and can achieve consistent data availability, reduced storage complexity and cost, financial loss protection, operational efficiency, and increased productivity from staff.

When researching and evaluating backup solutions it is important to consider the value of the data and financial and operational impacts to the business if it were down or unavailable for a certain period of time.  Recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives as well as current storage capacity and expenses are all considerations businesses should review.  Some businesses may decide to include data backup as part of their security policy.

Backing up data in the cloud saves money from purchasing external hard drives or other storage media and having to find a place to store those hard drives.  With a Cloud-based backup solution the system can be configured to automatically backup during idle times such as late night after hours.  Several Cloud service providers offer backup services that keep data secure, many services allow backed up data to be retrieved on a smartphone or other portable wireless device.

Time well spent

Saving data to the Cloud is a good way to automate backups but does have a very slow backup rate typically on the initial use.  The first time you backup your data may be slow because of the Internet connection and amount of data being processed.  The reason for this is you are backing up everything.  Each following backup will only be for updates; those backup sessions should only take 15 to 30 minutes depending on how many updates need to be backed up.  Many Cloud storage solutions only back up personal files and data, system boot up files and other system files are not typically backed up unless specified.  This saves space and reduces cost for businesses who don’t care if they have to reinstall their OS because they may already have those files backed up as a hard copy.

A backup solution is composed of software, systems, data deduplication, data archiving, and a disaster recovery plan.  Backup software ensures the protection and restoration of data, regardless of type or location.  Backup systems in the Cloud provide faster access and recovery and eliminate the need for a physical form of media such as a tape or disk drive.  Data deduplication saves storage and eliminates redundancy.  Data that is not used very often or contains historical data could be backed up on a separate portion of the Cloud and not included in a daily update if no changes are made to it.  The Cloud itself presents an off-site storage and recovery solution through remote data centers.

The process of data backup on the Cloud includes sending a copy of the data over a private or public network to a remote server.  The server is hosted by a third party Cloud service provider for a fee (based on the storage capacity required, bandwidth usage, or number of users).  Applications scheduled for daily backups collect, compress, encrypt, and transfer data back to the service provider’s data center.  Incremental backups after the initial backup help reduce bandwidth usage and lower costs.

Disaster recovery made easy

As Cloud backup technology and methods evolve, so does disaster recovery.  Virtual Machines that have been backed up to a Cloud can be mounted as a direct replacement as if it were the primary VM that went down while the primary VM is restored on the side in the background which provides a near seamless transition.  This is a huge move forward and can turn a routine backup into a disaster recovery situation in a matter of minutes.  If files and data objects are lost or corrupted on a VM which were saved in the Cloud, it can just be powered up in the Cloud and run as though nothing happened.

As with any type of disaster recovery system, Cloud disaster recovery should be tested.  Sandboxing is the key when testing VMs as outages can occur if test or backup VMs are powered up while the primary VMs are up and running.  Sandboxing isolates test VMs without impacting the live environment and allows you to power up test VMs in a vacuum.

Overall, Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions provide a much greater way of backing up data.  Organizations can save a lot of money and space and add an instant disaster recovery plan with a Cloud backup solution.

Agile IT has securely migrated over 1,000,000 accounts to the cloud. If  you need guidance in understanding current backup options and finding a secure, stable and cost-effective backup solution for your business, Talk to our data-backup experts today

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