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Demystifying Cloud

Cloud Backup – What’s it all About?

Posted 30 October 2013 by Peter Johnson

For many organisations out there today the data stored on IT systems is one of your most precious commodities - relied on more heavily than ever before. As data custodians, IT Administrators are forced to prioritise the storage and security of data both on and offline to ensure compliance with the ever increasing regulatory and legislative requirements and to support the business on a day to day basis. A simple task in principle, but as we all know, Backup has a habit of being anything but “simple”! Missed tape rotations, corrupt backup sets, seemingly random Backup Job failures – we’ve all been there…

Cloud Backup responds to a lot of the more typical issues that we tend to come across and we’ve seen its adoption soar in the last 12-18 months. Data is automatically moved off-site, there’s no need to maintain or support on-premise backup servers, and for most organisations there is a demonstrable return on investment as a result of the reduced overhead. As with all things “Cloud” though, there are a host of providers and negotiating the maze of offerings can be a daunting experience. So what should you look for?

For me, there are some key requirements which should be present in any Cloud Backup solution, all of which we’ve incorporated into our own SecureVault Online Backup service:

Secure Storage of Data: Your data is key to your business, so why be prepared to store it “anywhere”? Many Cloud providers are less than transparent about the location & storage of your data – in my opinion it should be one of the first questions. Where is my data? How is it stored? How many copies are retained? Be aware of the legal implications of your data being stored in another country.

Simple Backup & Recovery: The means by which your data gets to and from the Cloud is as important as its storage. The offerings from some providers are as crude as an online disk, others offer comprehensive monitoring, reporting, and intuitive interfaces to assist with the creation of backup jobs and recovery of data.

Enterprise Plugins and Platform Support: File data is typically far easier to deal with than Application based data such as Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint. The availability of plugins to support the consistent backup of these datasets in addition to support for various Operating Systems is key, and can pay dividends should the worst happen and there is a need to restore.

Data Encryption: In a similar vein to secure data storage, the ability to encrypt data both at rest and in transit should be a key feature in the selection of a Backup Solution.

A recent survey indicated that nearly 45% of organisations will adopt Cloud systems to support Backup requirements by March 2014 - it’s easy to see why given the drive towards Cloud Computing and the relatively low risk and ease associated with migrating Backup Services, however it’s important to recognise that not all Online Backup solutions are equal. Functionality and Data Security are as significant a part in your selection of a provider as the cost associated with the service.

For more information on how Blue Chip's Cloud Backup solutions can ingegrate with your business, please contact us at enquiries@bluechip.com or call us on 0845 034 7222.

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