Cloud Backup? Yes, No or Sometimes

Cloud backup has several advantages over traditional on-site backup and one big negative; the data is no longer stored within the familiar confines of the data center. Even if the cloud backup solution provides robust encryption, many organizations have some data that just can’t, probably for legal reasons, leave the organization. This reality doesn’t mean the organization must give up on cloud backup altogether.

The Advantages of Cloud Backup

While cloud backup has been available for laptops and desktops for quite some time, expanding the concept to servers and applications is a phenomenon of the last few years. Thanks to higher bandwidth, Internet connections and data efficiency technologies like deduplication, compression and WAN optimization backing up the entire data center to the cloud is now practical.

After the first backup, cloud backup solutions will perform incremental forever backups, which means the solution sends only changed and new data is sent to the cloud. If the backup vendor adds deduplication and compression, then unique changed and new data is sent to the cloud. Even for a large organization the size of an incremental backup to the cloud is relatively small.

Backing up to the cloud also limits on-premises data growth. The organization no longer needs to keep expanding backup storage to keep up with demands on retention.

In the past, the big challenge with cloud backup was cloud recovery. If the primary data set had been destroyed or corrupted, then all the data had to be recovered. Deduplication wouldn’t help, which meant a very time-consuming recovery. But now, thanks to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), some solutions can instantiate recovery in the cloud instead of forcing a full recovery locally. With the application running in the cloud, there is less pressure on getting all the data back into the data center as fast as possible.

The Remaining Cloud Challenges

Challenges remain for cloud backup. A big issue is that most cloud backup solutions are relatively new to the market and as such don’t have the breadth of coverage that traditional backup applications do. Most only backup Windows servers or virtualized environments running VMware as the hypervisor. While these are the dominant environments, most organizations run a Linux variant, and many still have a legacy UNIX system like Solaris, AIX or HP/UX or even IBM iSeries. They also will have stand-alone Oracle, Exchange or MS-SQL clusters. Protecting these environments is just as critical as ever, but again many cloud backup solutions ignore them entirely.

Another challenge is that some organizations have data sets that cannot leave the organization’s control. That means that data should be backed up to another site owned by the organization. Many cloud backup solutions only allow backup to the cloud and nowhere else.

Carbonite Backup Powered by EVault – Flexible On-Premise, Hybrid and Cloud Backup

Carbonite backup has the power of legacy backup solutions with the simplicity of modern backup solutions. It allows IT planners to send most of their backups to the cloud to take advantage of cloud storage and cloud compute for recovery. It also allows certain server backups to not go to the cloud and for those backups to be replicated to a second site owned by the organization.

Beyond granular cloud control, it provides complete data protection of over 200 operating systems and all the major applications. Whether backups are executed to the cloud or on-premises, IT can manage all those processes from a single web-based GUI, which allows the organization to seamlessly link branch offices and remote data centers to a central backup repository.

When combined with backup, Carbonite Availability powered by DoubleTake, gives the organization the ability to protect and provide high availability for mission-critical applications, allowing it to hit its data protection sweet spot. The combination allows for rapid recovery of mission-critical applications, robust protection, and recovery for business-critical applications and specific control over how and where data is retained long term.

To learn more about your data protection sweet spot check out our on demand webinar “Hitting Your Data Protection Sweet Spot”. In this webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Establish a Data Protection Plan that will meet your organization’s RPO and RTO requirements while also meeting data retention requirements
  • Identify which applications need the tightest RPO/RTO and how to craft a solution to meet them
  • Learn how to meet retention requirements and learn how to identify data you should retain
  • How to protect the organizations from natural disasters and ransomware with a single process

Watch On Demand

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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