Backup & Storage|Cloud Computing|Hybrid Cloud

The Benefits of Backing Up Your Data to the Cloud

Backuping up data is the foundation of all Disaster Recovery (DR) plans. Backups can be both a crucial tool for restoring failed systems and corrupted data and it can also serve as an archival point for your systems. In the past, most businesses performed a disk backup and then took that back up to tape which was then rotated offsite for DR protection. However, with the global explosion of data, many businesses are turning to the cloud for more economical ways to keep pace with the ever-growing amount of data they need to backup and archive. In addition to costs, the cloud has opened up other benefits for backup as well.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the main benefits of moving to cloud backups.

Takes Advantage of Existing Infrastructure

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One of the first advantages of cloud backup is that you don’t have to purchase any new infrastructure or supplies in order to use it. You simply need an Internet connection and a subscription with a cloud provider who will store your backups. There’s no need for more servers, disks or tapes. Your backups will be stored in the in the cloud and you can restore them to either your on-premise servers or to other cloud-based servers.

Reduce Storage Costs

With today’s rapidly growing data volumes storage costs have become an important issue. Data volumes are growing very rapidly which means storage requirements for your backups will grow at the same rate. Using the cloud as a backup target can reduce your storage costs by leveraging low-cost cloud storage. This can potentially free up your higher costs and higher performance local storage for use by your business-critical workloads.

Eliminates Tape Backup

For those organizations that are still using tape backup moving to the cloud can improve your backup reliability and reduce your Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs). Tape backups are notoriously slow and unreliable. Cloud backups can typically be restored at a much faster rate than manually restoring them from tape backups. In addition, cloud backups are more secure. Tapes are physical entities that can be lost, stolen or damaged.

Offsite Backup Storage

One of the key tenants of an effective DR plan is keeping at least one backup copy offsite. This offsite backup can then be used to restore your servers, applications and data in the event of a site disaster that renders your primary location unusable. In the past this was often accomplished by shipping tapes offsite or some larger enterprises could maintain a separate physical backup site that could take over the businesses critical applications in the event of an emergency. Using offsite tape storage introduces delays in restoring data and separate physical DR sites can be cost prohibitive for most businesses. The cloud provides an affordable and easily accessible offsite backup site that can be quickly accessed in the event of a site disaster.

Global Anytime Access

Storing backups in the cloud provides businesses with global access to their data anytime and from anywhere that has Internet access. Backups can be readily accessed for quick restore operations. In addition, today’s tier one cloud providers offer very high levels of reliability ensuring that you can get to your data when you need it.


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Comments (2)

2 responses to “The Benefits of Backing Up Your Data to the Cloud”

  1. <p>I use cloud backup for my personal data, but IMHO it is not ready for many businesses. There is just too much information.</p><p>You say just an internet connection is needed – we have a 50/15mbps connection and that is the fastet that the telcos can deliver. Our backups are around 2TB per day on that site, our main site is around 5TB and 2 other satellite sites are between 3 and 5TB per day – a mixture of incrementals and full backups.</p><p>Internet is quicker than tape? We have LTO and it manages around 70-90MBps, not mbps, MBps, so more than 10 times faster than the internet connection.</p><p>Internet is more secure than tape in a bank safety deposit box? The tape in the box needs a lot of brute force to get at, on the other hand, we are constantly hearing about data breaches and open data stores in the cloud…</p><p>Faster restore? I tried the cloud restore when I bought a new PC, but after a day and 25% recovery, I gave up and just copied the data back from the local backup on the NAS – I used it as a DR test to ensure the data can be recovered, the data can be recovered, but in days not hours. So if the house burns down or the local backup and primary data is destroyed, I can still (eventually) get the data back. But I wouldn't say it is at a stage where it can compete with tape or external drives stored in a fire safe or a bank.</p>

  2. <p>Hey sure its important, and the benefits are point in time restore for the data we backup on solutions like g suite or office 365 and also sharepoint. Companies like have such services at something like $30 per user not too much when I backup the C level management. Its crucial as part of the DR plan.</p>

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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,