The growing problem of cloud backups

Data volumes are growing at an alarming rate, and access to more  cloud storage is instant and seemingly cheap ..... and then comes bill shock!

Get cloud data backup wrong and you will have an expensive solution that takes days or weeks to recover data and requires re-entry of lost information.

We can design a cloud data backup solution that appropriately balances cost and benefits so that you (and we) can sleep at night.

The common misconceptions about backing up cloud data

1. Your cloud vendor is responsible
If you're relying on the inherent reliability of cloud platforms and the service level agreements of cloud vendors to fill your cloud data backup needs, you're in the danger zone.  Most cloud vendors do not guarantee data recovery points or data recovery times so check service level agreements very carefully if this is your strategy, and think about the worst case scenario where the vendor ceases to trade; what is your contingency for that?

2. Storage is cheap - it's not worth thinking about
In relative terms storage is cheap, but cloud storage is not  so cheap that you can afford not to think about the costs. There is a multiplier effect of backup storage because it is common to need to keep a large amount of data for a long time with the ability to access it rapidly.  Costs can add up quickly if cloud backup is not optimized.

3. You've got replication so you have 2 copies of everything
Storage replication is used to keep a second live copy of data as a protection against the actual live data being unavailable. It is an availability solution not a backup solution. If you are thinking replication can do double duty as a backup solution, then be prepared for pain when you need to recover a deleted file, or restore unencrypted data after a cryptolocker attack.    

4. Your cloud data is covered, You're good.  
Rarely is all of your most up to date data in the cloud , even if you think it is.  Employees work locally on copies of data, data still exists on paper and increasingly in shadow IT which are the bring-your-own systems in daily use by staff on their devices.  A data audit will usually reveal major gaps in the data that is being backed up and that which is not.  To be reliable your backup approach should include all devices containing business data.

5. Why just cloud data backup is not good enough

Data is one thing, but when it comes to a restore, data and it's context is everything.  If you have the data but no matching system image then recoverability will be tough or impossible because a restore will only succeed if the system state matches the data.  It's a mistake to think you're in control of system upgrades as this is seldom true when the cloud provider has the degree of freedom to upgrade hardware, core operating system, hypervisor versions and other components of the technology that they control not you.