Cloud backup is one of the most appealing data protection solutions for small organizations. The small businesses, just like large corporates, require data protection solutions, though at lower scales, and the cloud offers scalability and flexibility to suit different requirements.
Why everyone needs to back up data
Generally, all organizations and businesses, regardless of size cannot afford to lose critical data since this is irreplaceable, unlike the hardware and software which is easy to acquire.
One of the main reasons for backing up data is to ensure continuity in case of data loss due to a variety of reasons. The backup provides the organization with
- Ability to protect data against loss that may occur due to a natural disaster, intentional or unintentional deletion or modification, hardware failure, virus attack, ransomware attack, equipment theft, etc.
- Minimum interruptions or downtime in the event of a failure or disaster or anything else that affects or damages the IT systems. The backup allows the organization to quickly restore the backed up data in the event that the original one is unavailable.
- Gain trust from customers
- Maintain a good reputation
- To offer reliable services with little or no downtime.
- Less interruption to business operations.
Although the small business can protect their IT systems against some threats, there is no way of preventing natural disasters and some failures due to technical malfunctions and other faults. Also, there is the risk of data loss due to the effects of human error such as erroneous deletions or file modifications.
Typical backup solutions
Usually, there are many options when it comes to implementing a backup solution. Among the most common backup systems are;
- External hard disks which connect directly to the computer or server through a USB or network connection.
- Network-attached storage drives: These are network devices and do not connect directly to the computer. Instead, it is configured like a network drive and users with the rights can then make their backups to the disk.
- Tape drives: This is an older technology, which is slowly being replaced with disks and online backups.
- Server storage
- Cloud storage
Cloud Backup solutions
Today, deploying a backup system is easy and affordable unlike a few years back when the organization needed to make huge investments in terms of hardware, software, space, and skills. One of the most appealing backup solutions for small organizations is cloud backup.
With flexible plans, the cloud offers a wide range of solutions for all sizes of businesses and backups. Typical options include partial or full backups and the choice depend on the organization’s needs and may also have a set of requirements.
For example, backing up entire servers or computers comprising of the operating systems, configurations, applications, and data requires more resources. In such a case, the ideal solution is one that can handle large backups quickly and efficiently.
Factors to consider when selecting a cloud backup solution
When selecting the cloud backup, a business needs to pay attention to the following issues. Other considerations include the ease of configuration, scalability, cost, security, reporting as well as recovery.
- Ability to perform regular backups. This ensures that the files in the backup copy are almost the latest.
- Platform support: the system must support all operating systems that the business uses. This should have the ability to backup up common desktop operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS as well as mobile devices running the android, windows, iOS, and others.
- Have data protection or ability to integrate with security solutions and ensure that it scans all files for virus and malware before adding them to the backup device or system.
- In addition, the system should have the ability to back up the virtual machines both at the host and guest level depending on the organization requirement and files that it intends to backup.
- A system that encrypts data during transit and storage adds another level of security against cyber-attacks.
Benefits of cloud backup
The backup ideally protects the data and ensures faster recovery from any disaster, even if it means setting up new systems in a different location.
Major benefits of cloud backup include
- Low upfront and labor costs: there is no need to purchase expensive hardware and invest in higher skills.
- Flexible plans and scalable to address current and future demands
- Offers offsite storage hence more redundancy and a secure backup that disasters affecting the businesses’ data center won’t damage.
- Accessible from anywhere through the internet
- A wide range of support options
- Cloud backups have several advantages over traditional methods. They are scalable, affordable, automated and simple. In addition, the small business does not need to purchase expensive hardware and software solutions. Hence suitable for businesses on tight budgets.
- Cloud backup offers flexibility and allows businesses and their employees to access the data from anywhere through the internet. Businesses should protect their data regardless of their size since this is a critical business asset.
- The cloud backup may eliminate the need to have an off-site backup. However, a company can develop a strategy where they keep a local copy in the premises and still and off-site copy in hard format
- Data in the cloud is safer than when kept in the main office and provides a reliable means of recovery in the event of a disaster or failure.
- Cloud backup is one of the simplest and does not require higher level of technical skills, the provider does most of the work.
Despite the many benefits, the cloud backups have some risks such as security and data losses in the event a disaster strikes an entire data center. However, the cloud provider can overcome this by enhancing their security such as by encryption data in transit and storage as well as protecting their infrastructure. In addition, keeping offsite copies in different geolocations reduces the risk of data losses in the event of a disaster.