4 things to look for in a cloud backup solution

4 things to look for in a cloud backup solution

Almost every business leader understands the importance of having an off-site data backup in place. After all, having any single point of failure in your business is a recipe for disaster. However, before cloud computing came along, the available options were limited: organizations had to rely on manually archiving their data and having it shipped to an off-site storage facility.

Today, backup is a very different picture and one that comes with practically limitless possibilities. But it’s still not a decision to take lightly, and it's why you should consider the following factors:

#1. Full Automation
In the old days, businesses would manually back up their data, typically at the end of every working day, to tape drives before having them moved to a secure facility. However, these manual processes increased risk of human error, which inevitably resulted in failed disaster recovery routines.

Most cloud backup solutions are fully automated, so there’s minimal need for user input after initial implementation. You should always choose a cloud backup service that will consolidate and synchronize all your data as per your RPO (recovery point objective). This critical metric defines how much data you can afford to lose, and it’s something a top-class cloud backup provider should be able to accommodate.

#2. Scalable Storage Plans
Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on digital data. However, it's impossible to determine how much storage space you’ll need in the future. That’s why traditional backup routines relied on regular hardware upgrades, which could quickly get very expensive. Instead, you need a scalable solution that will grow with the requirements of your business.

The cloud offers potentially limitless flexibility and scalability, but only if you go with the right service. You’ll want to choose a provider that can accommodate the growing needs that come with having more employees, computers, and ultimately more data to look after. While there’s no need to waste money on space you don’t need, you will need the facility to scale back and forth on demand.

#3. Straightforward Recovery
Most business leaders are already familiar with the benefits of cloud backup, but not many successfully plan for any eventuality. Backing up your data is just one part of the process -- you also need to be certain that you can recover it quickly and efficiently in times of need. That’s why disaster recovery and backup go together and must be approached as a unified strategy.

Another important consideration is the cost and time involved in disaster recovery. For example, most cloud providers won’t charge you anything to upload data to the cloud, but they may charge (typically per gigabyte), every time you want to download the data or move it to another service provider. For this reason, it’s important that the provider you choose gives you service-level guarantees that ensure quick recovery times and charge you fairly for backing up and restoring your data.

#4. Security & Compliance
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to cloud migrations is in regard to the safety of your business data. No doubt, your backups contain lots of sensitive corporate information, so it’s only reasonable that you’d be reluctant to hand it over to a third party. Ultimately, you want a provider that takes all the necessary security measures to keep your data safe.

Protecting customer data is also subject to strict regulatory compliance. This means you can’t simply copy everything over to a public cloud storage facility without giving it a second thought. To ensure the highest degree of protection while also staying on the right side of the law, you’ll need a provider that’s compliant with any regulations facing your industry, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS and so forth.

WhiteOwl works with organizations across a wide range of industries, including those that are subject to specific data protection legislation like HIPAA and PCI-DSS. If you need a technology partner you can trust, our security and compliance measures will help you make sure your business data stays in the right hands. Call us today to find out more.