Of all the things that have accompanied the Internet Age, cloud computing has perhaps been the most revolutionary. Among its earliest applications was internet email solutions such as Yahoo and Gmail that gained substantial traction with individual users. Over time, growing bandwidth has made it possible for businesses to leverage the power of cloud infrastructure.
While on-premises and remote location backup are still in use by a wide range of businesses, certain advantages of cloud-based backup make it a more compelling alternative. We look at a number of the benefits of online backup solutions below.
Zero Infrastructure Investment
Technology infrastructure is incredibly expensive. The largest corporations spend tens of millions of dollars each year on hardware and software acquisition. Worse still, growing enterprise demands and shifting market dynamics mean that such infrastructure becomes obsolete a couple of years later and must be replaced.
Such costs are substantial for multinational companies and enormous for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cloud-based backups are deployed as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). Businesses are only purchasing a service. Investing in the underlying infrastructure is the sole responsibility of the cloud service provider.
Unlike traditional backups where one must routinely physically extract the backup disks and tapes for transportation to a remote site, cloud-based backups are completely internet-based. Since you can connect to and transfer data to your backup whenever you want, cloud-based backups are much easier to fully automate.
Start by defining the key aspects of your backup routine including the systems covered and the frequency. Once you have these configured, you’ll have hardly anything more you need to do. Perhaps the only time you will need to modify these settings is when changes in your production systems necessitate an amendment to your backup procedures.
Cloud-based backup offers a much faster recovery time compared to traditional technologies such as tape backups. Since you can access your cloud backups in near real time, you can initiate the recovery process pretty quickly.
That being said, pay attention to the amount of bandwidth available to your business. Bandwidth constraints can be a bottleneck especially for large corporations where backups often contain voluminous data. Make sure your contract and service level agreement (SLA) with the cloud-backup provider clearly articulates your bandwidth allocation including provision for emergency bandwidth upgrade if a recovery is needed.
Outsourced Support and Maintenance
Technology doesn’t always work as expected. Wear, system bugs, malware, space constraints and infrastructure obsolescence can progressively diminish performance. Traditionally, the job of resolving these problems rested with the in-house technology department. While large enterprises can afford a dedicated IT department, SMBs have no such luxury.
Cloud-based backup automatically outsources a significant proportion of your tech support headaches. Even for large corporations, cloud-based backups free up IT departments to concentrate on other pressing issues such as software development and end user support.
One of the problems with on-premises technology solutions is the limited options when it comes to the cost of acquiring the infrastructure. There is a rigid price structure and even the lowest option is still relatively expensive.
Cloud-based solutions feature tiered pricing that allows both SMBs and multinational corporations to identify the plan that’s most suitable and/or affordable. That way, the business pays for exactly what it needs. In addition, businesses can move from one plan to the next at the click of a button. Cloud backups are scalable and can adjust quickly.
If you have been sitting on the fence about moving your backups to the cloud, these advantages should provide just the incentive you need.