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Cloud or Local Backups? Why not both?

Nino Vales 2018-05-10

A reliable backup does not have to be expensive or complicated. Backup storage evolved from punch cards to using the Cloud. The objective remains the same, protect your data from unexpected data loss or provide recovery from disasters.

Most organizations regularly monitor and implement redundancy with their backups. Rotation of backup storage is often used to ensure high availability of data. Backup software provides a wide variety of ways to configure a backup job, there are also solutions that provides the option to save to an offsite storage.

Offsite storage can be another media stored in a different physical location or to the Cloud.


The Cloud as a backup storage. What are the requirements and how does it work?

One of the things to consider is the internet speed of the location. The upload speed will determine how much data can be pushed in lesser time. An example is if you have 50 Gigabytes of data and you have 10 Mbps upload, then the rough estimate is nearly 12 hours to complete the backup. But once the initial backup has completed, the subsequent backups can be incremental. This will only backup those files that were changed since the initial job was completed. An example is if you work on a file which is only 500 Kilobytes, then only that file will be uploaded to the internet on the next backup job and not the 50 Gigabytes worth of files again.

Most Cloud backup jobs are scheduled during off-hours or on weekends to ensure it does not consume all the available bandwidth (usually there are rules that can be configured to throttle or limit the amount of bandwidth a Cloud backup can use).


How secure and reliable are Cloud backups?

Take time to review the contract before you sign up with a Cloud provider. This will give you an idea like where your data will reside and how will they handle your privacy. 

Like with local backups, regularly test the Cloud backups by performing a test restore. They can also be corrupted during transfer, especially if the internet drops packets or for some reason the server crashed or lost power during the backup process.

If internet speed is not as fast or there are large amounts of data to be transferred, check with the vendor if they offer “Seeding”. This involves large backups to be copied to a physical disk and shipped to the vendor. The vendor will then and save it directly to their Cloud storage. This method is effective in saving time and bandwidth. Afterwards, incremental backup will be configured to back up every new and changed data during the seeding period.

Security is also a concern about saving data to the Cloud. Most Cloud backup software provides you with the option to encrypt your data before pushing it to the Cloud. Encryption safely prevents unauthorized access to your data. Even the Cloud provider will not be able to open an encrypted backup file. Make sure you don’t lose the encryption key or share it to other parties, otherwise the encryption will be pointless.

Cloud backups are getting popular due to a lower cost and increasing internet speeds. If you have plenty of important data and don’t want to spend a lot of money, consider a file only Cloud backup. You determine how much storage you want and only pay for what you need.

Clear Concepts is proud to offer Managed Backups as a reliable solution for file-based Cloud backups. You tell us how much storage you need and we will provision and install the backup software to your computer. It is scalable, secure, and hosted in Canada. The storage can be increased whenever you need it. It can be configured to send out alerts if your backup fails or if you are running out of storage. 

Implementing a Cloud backup provides peace of mind in the event of a disaster (e.g. accidental deletion, malware, fire, theft, flood, etc.). While you may not use it a lot, it gives you the security of having an alternate location in case you need to restore your data. Remember, your data is priceless!

Let us know if we can answer any questions about backups. If you are unsure of the status of your backup routine, we can help sort it out.