Tech Results

All about Cloud Backup

What is Cloud Backup & how does it work?

The demand for cloud backup is increasing exponentially every year due to the vast adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS), high volume of business data generation and affordability, especially among startups and small businesses. Additionally, cloud backup allows easy access of business data over the internet, on-demand availability, automatic backups with better security.

Below are some latest statistics to showcase the growing popularity for cloud backups.

  1. The backup-as-a-service market is expected to grow by USD 10.41 billion, progressing at a CAGR of almost 31% during the forecast period. [Source: Technavio Global Backup-as-a-service Market 2020-2024 Report]
  2. The cloud storage adoption will rise sharply with 39% of businesses already using cloud-based storage infrastructure and an additional 20% projected to adopt by 2022 [Source: Spiceworks’ Data Storage Trends in 2020 and Beyond]
  3. 93% of small businesses store data or backups in the cloud [Source: Unitrends Cloud Survey Report]
  4. The cloud backup market size worldwide from 2017 to 2025. Between 2018 and 2025 the cloud backup market is expected to boom, with a compound annual growth rate of 23.4 percent, eventually reaching 6.82 billion U.S. dollars by 2025  [Source: Statistica]

What is Cloud Backup?

Cloud Backup refers to backing up of data (files, apps with database) to a remote cloud-based server. It is usually hosted by a 3rd party service provider who charges a service fee based on storage space used, volume of data, number of users, data transmission bandwidth, number of servers and add-on services. 

Cloud backup is also known as remote backup or online backup. It’s a perfect alternative to in-house backup or on-premise backup which is quite expensive, time consuming and resource intensive.

How Cloud Backup works?

The key objective of cloud backup is to ensure continuous and on-demand availability of data even during equipment failure, natural calamity or catastrophe events. 

Basically, cloud backup process takes place in 3 steps:

  1. Buy a 3rd party cloud backup service (or say BaaS – backup as a service)
  2. Install the software in your IT system
  3. Select files and apps that you wish to backup

Once this is setup properly, backup will start automatically as per predefined schedule. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Backup

Below is a list of pros and cons of cloud backup that you should know before selecting this as a backup strategy.

Pros of Cloud Backup:

  1. Costs are relatively low and cheaper to in-house backup. It also eliminates the need of any hardware investment or maintenance 
  2. It’s highly scalable as businesses can automatically backup data as volume of data grows. However, this may increase your cost depending upon the plan you might have purchased.
  3. Cloud backup management is made easy and simple. Most cloud backup service providers take care of this as part of the service.
  4. Cloud backups are generally more secure against cyber attacks as cloud backup service providers offer the most latest and advanced security features which otherwise are too expensive for businesses to procure.
  5. It also comes with multiple range of data restoring options whereby businesses can restore backuped data in case of accidental deletion, software upgrade failure, DB corruption or loss of onsite hardware.
  6. Cloud backups can be made immutable to aid Ransomware protection preventing the backups from being modified over a specified number of days.
  7. Instant data access from anywhere, anytime depending upon user roles and permissions

Cons of Cloud Backup:

  1. Cloud Backup is internet dependent. Without the internet, you won’t be able to access your data stored on the cloud.
  2. You will need sufficient reliable bandwidth to backup a high volume of data. Certain BaaS provide unlimited bandwidth, whereas others may offer limited bandwidth and may charge you additional cost, if you need more bandwidth. 
  3. Since your data will be stored on a 3rd party server, it becomes very important to find and choose a trusted cloud service provider that offers top-level security features to ensure that your enterprise data is fully safe and made available when required.

Remote Backup Vs Local Backup for On-Premise Server Systems

Every business needs a backup system regardless of the size. There are two choices for on-premise systems when it comes to backup a) remote backup and b) local backup

Local backup (or say onsite or on-premise backup) is the process of taking backups of your IT system on a local storage device. Key advantages is that it’s not dependent upon internet connection, allows quicker access, easy to install and manage and low storage cost. 

On the other hand, remote backup (or say cloud or online backup) stores data on an offsite server which can be accessed using an internet connection. Advantages of this option are covered in the above section.

So, the question is which is best for your organisation if you have on-premise servers? Answer it depends. Both these options have pros and cons. These days, businesses opt for hybrid backup which is a combination of both local and remote backup services. Only drawback of this option is the cost.


Difference between Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup

Cloud storage and Cloud backup are two different terms which are often used interchangeably and can get confusing.

Using cloud storage, you can store all your important files, photos, videos etc at a centralised location on the cloud. It basically acts as an external drive with an option to scale up storage capacity as needed at an additional cost. All files stored in the cloud are the exact replica of your local files, which you can retrieve back when required. 

Only thing to note here is that all files are selected manually that you wish to store on the cloud and in most cases, it won’t replicate automatically.

Whereas in Cloud backup, you can make copies of selective files into a cloud storage system with an easy way to restore files when needed. The process can be automatically backup as per preset schedule with auto sync feature. This means any change made to the original (local) version will automatically update to the cloud version. 

Plus, all data is stored in encrypted format with multiple file versioning options to keep track of changes. In the event of data loss (such as a computer getting damaged or infected by malware, accidental data deletion), you can retrieve a clean copy of all or selective data for the version selected.

What is Hybrid Cloud Backup?

Hybrid cloud backup is nothing but a combination of local backup and cloud backup taking advantage of the best of both worlds.

  • Offers much faster data backup and recovery especially when you have a large volume of enterprise data. Thanks to the local storage and backup in place.
  • Cloud backup is fully integrated with local backup and does automatic backup of all critical data as setup and pre-scheduled. So, if local backup fails, you can still recover the full or partial data from the cloud backup. This means a double protection strategy.

How Safe is Cloud Backup?

One of the key purposes of using Cloud backup is to get the highest level of security features along with in-built end-to-end data encryption features – which acts as an extra layer of data protection. So, it’s definitely robust and safe, however cyber attackers still can use malware and social engineering techniques to hack your devices by gaining unauthorised access to steal or corrupt data.

How much does Remote Backup cost?

Cloud backup cost is usually a pay-as-you-go business model with no upfront costs. BaaS providers may charge or have plans based on the amount of data to be stored on cloud, bandwidth, support for no of local devices and add-on features that you may select.

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