by Gareth Tudor, Lesley Recontre

Cloud computing is attractive

10 reasons to move your backup to the cloud

There are many good reasons to rely on cloud computing for your business
cloud computing.jpg

Data explosions are increasing demand for data storage, driving up costs, amplifying the risk of data loss or exposure, and complicating disaster recovery plans and strategies – but cloud computing provides solutions to the problem. Here are 10 pointers to consider: 

1.      Achieve disaster recovery with secure offsite cloud backup

To ensure comprehensive data protection, data backups should be kept off site in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Disk-based cloud server backup makes use of the cloud platform to automatically transfer data off site for disaster recovery.

Data can be backed up to off-site facilities in real time, so no matter what type of disaster strikes, data can be quickly and easily restored as necessary.

2.      Freedom from manual and complex tape backup tasks

Automating backup tasks using cloud storage allows IT staff to focus on strategic projects that provide value to the core business, rather than instituting and monitoring manual backups, reviewing logs and troubleshooting problems.

These solutions also standardise and automate the backup process throughout the organisation, meaning that the backup function can be centralised, freeing up IT staff at satellite locations.

3.      Predictable costs for simpler budgeting

Cloud backup solutions can be implemented as a subscription-based managed service from reliable third-party providers. This delivers 24x7 coverage, proactive monitoring of data, instant scalability, predictable pricing and no requirement for capital investment into traditional backup and recovery technology. 

4.      Reliable and guaranteed data recovery

Cloud backup solutions automaticallytransmit any changes in files and databases to a secure, off-site facility for continuous backup.

This level of backup is achieved with minimal effort on the part of staff, as procedures just need to be set up which will run in the background. This delivers reliable protection of organisational data. Advanced cloud backup tools not only protect recently changed files that are closed, but also capture changes in open files and databases, which often represent important enterprise data.

5.      Minimised risks and costs of downtime

Data protection is not a single activity or a one-time event, but a complex workflow of interconnected processes that extend beyond on-site backup. Cloud server backup solutions offer a single, low-overhead solution that addresses the entire workflow, while at the same time reducing associated risks and costs.

6.      Fast data recovery and restore

Cloud server backup immediately moves data off site and into the cloud, which means data can be rapidly restored. Fast recovery is optimised using a web interface, helping to recover very quickly from data corruption or hardware failure, which are the most common causes of data loss.

Cloud backup from certain suppliers further allows control over how much bandwidth is used at any specified time for effective planning and management of workloads and data flows, which is essential in a country such as South Africa where bandwidth is often restricted because of high costs.

Optional on-site rapid recovery appliances further speed up the recovery process, and these can often be used to transfer bulk data, such as entire servers, back from the off-site copy.

7.      Take advantage of the service provider's expertise and resources

Using a reliable cloud backup provider means that organisations can leverage the provider’s expertise and niche skills to securely protect and provide uninterrupted access to all data. Service providers not only bear the cost of infrastructure, but are usually bound by service level agreements to deliver updated technology as disk-based backup evolves. This gives organisations flexibility as they grow and change. 

8.      Offload regulatory compliance requirements to the service provider

Regulations, legislation and compliance protocol governing data protection, backup and retention periods can prove onerous for organisations to comply with. It is critical, however, that businesses meet their responsibility to protect critical data assets.

A reliable cloud backup solution helps organisations to demonstrate consistent, repeatable processes and controls for information protection, with management tools to allow control of archiving features, thereby ensuring compliance with organisations and regulatory rules and policies.

9.      Well-managed, secure cloud

Enterprise servers manage vast amounts of sensitive data, from customer information to employee records, intellectual property and more. Protecting this data requires more than just backup – it needs encryption as well.

A reliable cloud server backup provider will ensure data is encrypted before it is moved through a secure cloud channel, and will ensure this data remains encrypted at the off-site location. 

10.  Ease of setup and use, no training required

Two of the greatest benefits of best-practice cloud server backup suppliers are the ease of use and wide range of controls that these solutions offer users during recovery. Users can choose functions that occur automatically, and still retain the ability to manage and monitor the entire backup and recovery process – anywhere, any time.

Restores can be conducted back to the original site, or to a different site, and the files for restoration as well as the location can be selected easily. The level of protection can also be selected for different data types on a per-server or even per-folder basis.

All of these processes can easily be managed using an intuitive web interface that requires minimal technical assistance.

 

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