Data backup and the Cloud

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cloud storage

Organisations capture vast amounts of data, including sales data, invoices, customer information and research, which has generally been collated over a number of years. This data is imperative to operations, therefore making it vital to ensure adequate protection through backup. Traditional backup methods generally located onsite can be susceptible to damage and theft, with the infrastructure relied on to store information costly to purchase and maintain.

A more reliable solution that has emerged as a result of the Cloud computing phenomenon is that involving data being backed up over the internet and stored in Data Centres located separately to the organisation. This week on the blog, we will explore the benefits of Cloud backup in comparison with the traditional alternative, as well as outlining the features clients should look for when selecting a solution to implement in their organisation.

There are a number of benefits to employing a solution of this type, the chief one being the automatic nature of Cloud backup. Rather than requiring that an internal staff member be responsible for manually backing up data using disks or hard drives, which is susceptible to human error, Cloud backup can be scheduled to occur hourly, daily, weekly, or whenever it is desired depending on preferences and the type of information.

In addition to automation of backups, reports, notifications and error alerts can be generated and emailed directly to contacts within the organisation, enabling progress tracking and signalling the need for action. Software upgrades can also be completed as required with minimal disruption.

Cloud backup negates the need for on premise infrastructure, reducing upfront and ongoing capital expenditure. Instead, subscription-based storage solution rates are determined based on the space required, which can be scaled as needs change.

Moreover, those employing a Cloud backup solution will have access to support from their specifically trained provider, facilitating resolution of any issues that arise.

Majority of the Cloud backup solutions available minimise file duplication by only copying files that have been altered or created since the previous backup, reducing transfer time. It should be noted that performing the initial data transfer via offsite backup can be slow due to the amount required to be copied, however going forward the absence of duplication will mean that this process is much faster.

Finally, there is less downtime in the event of a crisis as data can be recovered quicker, given that access to data stored in the Data Centre can usually be granted remotely.

So, if you are interested in implementing a Cloud backup solution, what exactly should you look for? Briefly, here are some key characteristics of an effective solution:

Security

Data Centre access should be restricted to authorised technicians, and data should be encrypted

Storage

Data should be stored offsite in a secure location, but this must be in Australia to ensure protection from local privacy laws

Maintenance

The backup solution should be tested to ensure it is working as required, with provisions for reports, notifications and alerts to be sent when issues arise

Contract requirements

Clearly outlined breach protocol and Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Support

Access to support for troubleshooting and resolving issues

Do you currently use a Cloud-based backup solution in your organisation? We’d love to hear your feedback!

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