Cloud & Data Center

Backup Comes to the Cloud Front

By TMCnet Special Guest
  |  April 02, 2014

With the rapid influx of complex information and data increasing exponentially in both sophistication and volume, ensuring business continuity through a holistic data management strategy is critical to survival. Business continuity goals are best achieved by implementing a strategy that encompasses data storage, backup, access requirements, retention and the ability to apply recovery point and recovery time objectives in granular detail. The ever-increasing reliance on storing information electronically makes implementation of a reliable backup solution more important than ever before. The right strategy will save enterprises time, money, and peace of mind.

Ensuring that a business can continue to operate seamlessly, even after catastrophic events such as a technology failure or a natural disaster, is one of the most significant challenges facing enterprises today. Traditional backup methods are capex- and opex-intensive, and ill-equipped to meet current and future data storage and recovery requirements.

Traditionally, backup has been done via tape or disk, with each medium having distinct advantages and disadvantages. Tape backup is generally less expensive than disk, particularly when larger amounts of information must be stored. Tape backup also offers easy portability between locations. However, this option also has a few disadvantages, such as longer file retrieval times. Disk-based backup is considerably faster than tape in terms of duplication speed, which is one key reason it is chosen. However, it is also much more expensive than tape for long-term storage.

Faced with many different models and vendor offerings, how can enterprises choose the right backup model for their business needs?

Many enterprises are beginning to realize the limitations of both disk and tape solutions and are looking to cloud-based, managed backup platforms, or backup-as-a-service. This option involves replication of information over the Internet with storage available via the service provider. Customers use a secure client login application to back up files from their LAN or data center to the online storage server via an encrypted connection. The advantages of cloud-based backup are significant and include increased efficiency through faster and easier data recovery, lower costs, and better ability to focus on core competencies. This type of backup is also highly scalable and can easily accommodate spikes in data volume on demand.

Managed backup is built on the principle of making the complex simple, with data information and backup accessible through a single, centralized management console. A fully managed solution supplies all required backup infrastructure, including file system and application backups, disk-based storage and off-site tape storage, as well as an easy recovery process. The offering is cost-effective, fully managed and backed by service-level agreements.

For disaster recovery and redundancy purposes, BaaS platforms back up data fully to disk and copy the information to tape offsite. One of the key advantages of a BaaS offering is flexibility: Whether an enterprise is backing up a small or large amount of data, or prefers a hybrid over a pure cloud-based model, a cloud-based platform can be easily adapted.

Other characteristics and advantages of cloud-based backup and recovery solutions are that they:

• provide options to meet diverse customer needs – from Internet-based backup to installation of a dedicated circuit with the appropriate bandwidth to accommodate larger backup requirements

• are backed by service level agreements;

• are designed to meet specific business needs of individual enterprises;

• are adaptable to hybrid solutions, comprising an on-site appliance for the customer and further redundancy from the cloud; and

• require no capital outlay.

A fully managed, cloud-based, enterprise-grade backup offering can help businesses lower capex, improve efficiency, and meet business continuity initiatives. BaaS offerings supply all backup infrastructure and provide comprehensive, rapid recovery capabilities for peace of mind.

Not all service offerings are the same in terms of their capabilities. IT decision makers need to carefully evaluate different cloud backup offerings and ensure that they are designed for enterprise use. The right provider of disaster recovery consulting and managed backup services will work with an enterprise to ensure what steps must be taken in the event of a disaster, and to make sure data gets where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.

Extensive experience designing, deploying and managing backup, storage, network and virtualization solutions for global enterprises will help ensure that a business’ critical information remains protected, yet easily accessible. The managed service provides seamless recovery as well, including full restoration of data.

Unanticipated downtime and loss of business-critical information can be devastating from a financial, customer and brand standpoint. A cloud-based backup solution can provide data storage, backup, replication and retention that keeps data secure, yet easily accessible through a single portal.

Gina Nomellini is chief marketing officer for One Source (News - Alert) Networks (

Edited by Stefania Viscusi