Posted by : Amanda Stein Monday, April 29, 2013

The obvious appeal of cloud backup is significant to many small and midsize companies as it provides a resolution to many of the existing backup and recovery issues they are experiencing. When it comes to implementing a cloud computing based backup system, the process can vary greatly depending on numerous factors. Among them would be such things as, the kind of information being backed up, the kind of backup operation one is trying to execute, and the frequency of the backup operation.

When implementing a cloud based backup solution you need to remember that it is an involved process that should be taken very seriously. This post will briefly identify five of the major things that need to be considered when identifying and executing an effective cloud based backup solution.

1. Robust backup software

Long before a business acquires a cloud backup solution they need to carefully examine and identify what their needs are. It is important to pick a software with a robust set of features that meets those specific needs. Features that most businesses are going to want, includes software that provides protection for both physical and virtual machines.

The software also needs to be able to integrate with the specific applications being used by the enterprise. Applications such as Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange, SQL Server and other applications typically used, must be compatible with the backup software so that backups can be adequately protected and recovered.

2. Backup appliance
It is important to find a backup appliance that incorporates local storage that can result in faster backups. By locally caching backup data, the solution has until the subsequent backup window to copy the previous night's data to the cloud. This permits the use of a smaller internet connection and reduces the possibility of network congestion.

Locally stored data reduces the need for retrieving data from the cloud and therefore expedites the restoring of specific folders and files. Ideally the amount of storage capacity should be able to hold a minimum of 30 days of backup data. Some business models will require significantly more.

3. Data Deduplication

It is difficult to overemphasize how important data duplication technology is because of its ability to identify redundant chunks of backup data just one time. This increases the effective storage capacity. The other advantage has to do with minimizing network traffic. Duplicating the data prior to storing it in the cloud reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent over the Internet connection. 

4. Cloud Connectivity

It is important to remember that the various cloud backup solutions that store data in a cloud may vary as to which other clouds they can connect to. As a decision is being made one needs to peer into the backend cloud to better understand the physical location(s) where the backup is stored. It must be determined if it is viable to move data from one cloud to another. Many feel that the ideal cloud connectivity option is to store backup data in the provider's cloud.

There are many different approaches having to do with owning one's own data center, leasing space, reselling space, etc. Another consideration is whether the backup solution offers connectability to third party cloud storage providers which could lead to economical storage options.

5. Replication

Although it is common for a backup solution to replicate data from a backup appliance over to the backup cloud, the following features are not always provided. They can, however, be very helpful.

  • Replicating data on a schedule
  • Adjustable speed of replication
  • Replicating to a local removable media
  • Replicating to another backup appliance

A business needs to evaluate if any of the above features are going to be important to them and make sure they are included. By carefully considering these five areas when identifying and executing an effective cloud based backup solution, a company greatly increases the chances of ending up with a solution that will meet their needs.

What’s your cloud backup strategy? Share below.

About the Author: Jared Jacobs has professional and personal interests in everything technology. As an employee of Dell, he has to stay up to date on the latest trends and breakthroughs in large enterprise solutions and consumer electronics buying trends. In his spare time he is tinkering with sound systems and other awesome gadgets he can get his hands on. He’s also a big Rockets and Texans fan.

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