Cloud back-ups offer a range of key advantages in comparison to traditional back-up solutions. Such advantages include lower hardware requirements and increased security and protection of data against loss, theft, fires or natural disasters in spite of lower on-premise security requirements. In addition, cloud-back-ups often provide many extra enterprise-level features without adding t the cost. There are, however, a few factors that should be considered before sending back-ups into the cloud.
Strength of Network - Before backing everything up to clouds, it is vital to consider and prepare for increased network activity. Cloud back-ups may, depending on back-up sizes, put a network under tremendous stress. Stress tests to analyse network strength will reveal whether a network will cope with this kind of additional stress or needs to be strengthened.
Restore Capacity - Being able to easily back-up data to the cloud does not necessarily mean it can be restored just as easily. All too often, companies fail to ensure the restore process runs as smoothly as the original back-up process, only to find their data does not return the same as it was sent out. Ensuring restore processes are smooth before committing all company data to the cloud is therefore vital.
Security - While cloud back-ups generally offer comparatively good security, it is essential to consider how data will be transported. Using encryption at all times is recommended, but not all providers provide or even require it. This is a particularly important consideration when setting up back-up systems on open source platforms.
Longevity - Tapes, discs and even hard drives have always been a major longevity concern with on-premise back-ups. As far as cloud back-ups are concerned, it is essential to check out for how long data will be kept available within the cloud. Considering whether a cloud provider can be trusted with long term data storage is equally important. Actual user reviews often help to determine whether this is the case or whether information was 'lost' at any point in time.
Summary - In essence, every back-up solution has its advantages and disadvantages, the only difference being that on-site solutions require different considerations and raise different concerns to cloud solutions. Careful consideration and, if necessary, solving of potential issues before committing a whole company to the cloud should, however, get companies on the right track to efficient and perfectly (well, almost) secure back-ups. As with everything else, careful planning, thorough research and comparison of options will serve to get the best possible service.