What Is Cloud Backup and How Does It Work?
Many businesses are using Cloud Solutions today. They use it to host their operational systems and as a repository for data, including backups. One popular Cloud Solution for organisations operating their systems in their data centre is managing off-site backups.
It’s not just businesses. Home users can back up their treasured memories held in pictures and video to cloud-based data storage like DropBox and Google Drive.
Cloud Backups can also be very useful because the information can be reached from any Internet-connected device. It can be very useful during migrations to a new hardware platform, or simply to share information between two sites.
What is Cloud Backup?
A common definition is that Cloud Backup is a service to domestic and business users where data and applications are copied to and stored on a remote server. The process of backup and restore is managed using a web browser interface or a service provider supplied control panel. In terms of security, the web interface and the backup/restore application should be password-protected, and the data encrypted with a decryption key known only to the data owner.
It’s important to distinguish between cloud storage and cloud backup.
Cloud storage is intended to supplement your local storage, and you can use Cloud-based files in exactly the same way as local files. Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive are good examples of this.
Cloud Backup is designed for long-term storage, and files are usually compressed and encrypted during the backup process. Typically, they are only used when you are restoring files following a data loss.
How does Cloud Backup work?
Cloud-based backup is usually quite simple to operate. You log in to the web page or service provider control panel, select what you want to backup from your local systems, press the Go button and watch as your files upload.
However, as usual, the devil is in the detail, and there can be some hiccups along the way.
The Advantages of Cloud Backup
There are several advantages to using a cloud-based backup solution, including:
- Accessibility. Disater frecovery and hot-standby sites are expensive, especially under today’s strained IT budgets. Cloud Backup can achieve cost savings by outsourcing data storage. It is also worth recognizing that off-site backup copies provide an extra layer of insurance in the event of a data loss or local major disaster,
- Recovery times. If the backup is held on a secondary device like tape or disk, it will take much longer to find the media and recover the data from it, than by simply recovering it from the cloud.
- Protecting end-user information. With the increase in remote working and working from home, sensitive information is being kept on users devices, rather than on central storage. Users typically don’t think to backup their data, so having an automated backup process on user devices will increase the protection of corporate data.
- Scalability. You will need to increase your data storage from time to time if you use local backup storage. If you use a cloud backup service through a service provider, they take care of it.
The Disadvantages of Cloud Backup
There are several disadvantages to using a cloud-based backup solution, including:
- It’s time-consuming. Because transfer speeds over the Internet are slower than local WAN speeds, a full backup could be very time-consuming. Other backups, incremental or staged should take less time.
- Internet Connection Slowdown. Your Internet connection to the Cloud will have an impact on the backup window for backups:
- You and your managed service provider have little or no control over the speed at which data is transferred. The link speed is the speed of the slowest chain in the connection.
- You will have a limit of how much you can transfer is a specified time. This will vary according to the link speed you achieve.
- Your managed service provider may have limits on how much data storage you can use.
- Service provider. You will probably be safe with the largest providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon, but smaller local service providers might go out of business, possibly leaving your backups unreachable.
Overall, Cloud backups are a good thing, providing security and peace of mind.