Should you Consider Backup-as-a-Service?
Data protection is critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Data loss can occur from a number of different causes including: user error, operator error, malware, hacking, or malicious insiders. Backup and Backup-as-a-Service both provide ways that you can protect your vital systems and data. However, while backups are certainly necessary, managing backups is a tedious task. Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) shifts the burden of your backups to your Managed Service Provider (MSP) and/or cloud vendor.
Instead of performing your backup with your centralized on-premises IT infrastructure, BaaS connects your protected systems to a public cloud managed by the cloud provider or MSP.
BaaS offers a number of benefit over traditional backups:
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- BaaS is automated — Once it’s set up, BaaS begins to backup your data automatically according to the schedule that you supply. Regular backups help minimize the risks associated with possible data loss.
- Provides a scalable backup solution — Legacy backup solutions are typically hosted on-premise and are limited in capacity. These solutions can have difficulty keeping up with today’s rapid levels of data growth. BaaS solutions backup to the cloud with its virtually unlimited storage capacity and are capable of scaling to the enterprise level.
- Reduces management overhead — BaaS solutions are automated and managed by the MSP or cloud provider reducing the need for operator intervention as well as possible human error in the backup process.
- Can provide multiple levels of data redundancy – BaaS can leverage the cloud provider’s capability to store multiple copies of your data in different geographical regions independent of each other. Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform can all seamlessly provide cross-region data redundancy.
- BaaS can be less expensive than local backup – BaaS uses the cloud for storage which can reduce the need for servers, appliances, tape drives or other software components needed to perform on-premise backup. In addition, cloud storage for backup typically costs less than local storage.
- Provides off-site data protection – BaaS backs up data off-site to the cloud providing a level of disaster protection without the costs of building and maintaining any off-site infrastructure.
- Backed-up data can be accessed globally – While local backups typically provide better backup and restore performance they are also typically limited to being used at your local site. BaaS cloud backups can be accessed from anywhere where there is an internet connection.
BaaS for Remote Workers
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has really changed the data protection requirements for many businesses. Now many businesses have been forced to adopt a long-term work-from-home model which means that in many cases employees don’t have the same level of data protection that they do in the office. BaaS can make a lot of sense in these situations. Moving backups to a cloud service ensures that your remote data is protected. It simplifies the backup infrastructure and management required as well as freeing IT from the need to manage a centralized backup infrastructure.
BaaS vs. DRaaS
It’s important to realize that BaaS is not the same as Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaas). There are similarities as both are cloud-based services and both provide data protection for your systems. Although it can be easy to get them confused, BaaS is about data protection and archival data while DRaaS is about rapidly restoring your essential services. In other words, BaaS is focused on long term data retention while DRaaS is focused on near term restoration of your essential workloads.
BaaS protects data by copying that data at a specific point-in-time to an off-site cloud environment. When a data loss occurs, the backup can be restored by selecting the appropriate backup snapshot and restoring it to the original environment or to a recovery environment. DRaaS focuses on speed of recovery. It typically uses replication technology to continually copy changed data from your production environment to a cloud-based recovery environment. BaaS often uses lower cost, lower performance cloud storage while DRaaS typically uses higher cost, higher performance cloud storage for the fastest possible recovery times. BaaS and DRaaS can be used together as part of a complete data protection strategy.