Could your business survive data loss? We already know the answer is ‘no’ – even when one employee loses a half hour of data, things can get unpleasant. Successful backups and the ability to restore information rapidly is, therefore, a crucial service for almost every company today.
However, just what is your backup process and has it evolved with the world? Are you confident that when things go wrong, your data can be restored rapidly and reliably? The cloud can solve the problems of backup – but is your business up to it?
These are the 7 signs indicating that your company is ready for cloud backup.
- Your Internet connection supports it
The very first step that will determine readiness for a cloud backup solution is a fast internet connection with enough available bandwidth. These services work best with business-grade internet services (like fibre) which can rapidly transfer sometimes large volumes of information. An unlimited plan is also a good idea – no need to worry about cap limitations.
Those on capped or even slower connections can still use cloud backup, but remember to factor in the possible additional costs of connectivity. In such cases, an initial copy of your data can be established at the service provider by physically delivering a hard drive. After that, only the changes are send over your connection.
- Your backup model involves an old tape system
If tape systems aren’t dead, they really should be. Just like the cassette recorder – which operates on exactly the same principle – has been consigned to history, instinct should tell you that this antiquated method of making a copy has severe limitations. It’s slow, it’s clunky, it is unreliable. Don’t ‘do the backup’ and it isn’t done. If the building burns down, so does the tape system. And the offsite copy, delivered by van? There are FAR better ways of doing things.
If you have tape drives, take pictures of them to show your kids. Then seriously consider moving to the cloud, because…
- The external hard drives which replaced the tape drive aren’t that much better
External hard drives are pretty cheap these days, so plenty of businesses have bought a few to replace tape systems. This is a classic case of just making things a bit faster (while the underlying limitations remain…someone still has to remember to run the backup). Instead of the receptionist taking the tape home each Friday, she instead takes the hard drive. And it’s still a cumbersome way of protecting data, with all the weak points associated with physical media.
- The old backup hasn’t worked for weeks and you just found out
This one is a notorious bugbear. Something goes wrong and a backup tape or drive is produced – but it doesn’t work. Either the backup wasn’t made or the drive is discovered to be defective. Sound familiar? Probably, because this happens and it happens a lot. Even where there are automated systems which notify of successful backups, we’ve seen failures because they weren’t set up right.
When the critical data can’t be restored, the finger pointing begins…
Today’s cloud backup solutions allow you to test and restore parts of your backup as often as you like in the cloud to ensure all of it is available. It then creates a detailed report automatically to ensure it happens each and every time.
- All your backup solutions are in your office
While some tape and hard drive approaches will include an offsite copy, all too often the entire backup is on premise. It might be a storm, fire, construction or something unforeseen like a gas leak – if you can’t get into the office, or if the office is destroyed, the data is gone.
Cloud backup is a fantastic and very affordable way of now providing a secure and separate location for your data to be housed without all the hassle of tape/drive collection and rotation.
- If something happens, you need your data back fast
Hands up anyone to whom this one DOESN’T apply. These days, data is life for most of us; with tapes and even hard drive backups, a restore could take hours or days.
While that’s happening, you still need to have an office available (if something happened to yours) and/or the equipment to restore it on, too – like a server(s). These aren’t over the counter items, so sourcing a new server can add further delays.
Compare that to cloud backup solutions which allow complete recovery of your environment in very same datacentre where it is hosted, with remote access which allows your staff to keep working. Restores can take as little as a few minutes to get a complete new server up and running – far faster, easier and less disruptive than rebuilding a physical environment with backup tapes or external hard drives. That means you’re back at work in a fraction of the time.
- You want someone to just make it all work for you
Convenience is a big deal, especially where backup is concerned. You want to get it set up, then leave it to automatically protect data with an offsite copy. That’s the real clincher for cloud backup: everything is done for you.
If you work with a partner which offers a proven history in cloud backup, with a tried and tested model, you can rest easy that it will be taken care of. Setup, reporting, monitoring and testing is all part of the package, along with options to restore in the cloud in the event of a disaster.
If these tell-tale signs strike a chord, it’s time to take a closer look at cloud backup. It could save the headaches of actually doing the backup, on the one hand. On the other, it could save your business when something goes wrong. Read our further articles on cloud solutions here or review our further information on cloud services.