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Cloud-Based Backup | @CloudExpo #BigData #DataCenter #Storage
The cloud has emerged as an attractive option for backup, allowing organizations to achieve optimal protection for their data
Mar. 24, 2016 02:00 PM
Easing the Path to Cloud-Based Backup
Many organizations today require 24x7 access to the data they need to run their operations. According to a recent survey, when IT teams modernize their data centers, high-speed recovery and data loss avoidance are the two most sought-after capabilities. Eliminating any "availability gap" is the aim; however, cost and lack of skills are often a roadblock.
The cloud has emerged as an attractive option for backup, allowing organizations to achieve optimal protection for their data in an affordable, scalable and efficient way. Market research shows that cloud backup is the most rapidly growing area of cloud storage adoption. While many IT teams acknowledge the benefits of moving to a cloud-based data backup model, they are nervous and reluctant. As such, they continue to fall back on antiquated models like tape, which are inherently far less secure and reliable. Here are five perceived drawbacks that are preventing many organizations from moving head:
The Initial Data "Seed"
It's true that an initial data transfer can come with high network costs, long transfer times, and can cause problems for production systems. For example, the highly mission-critical data in most production systems should be backed up on a daily, if not hourly, basis. To initiate cloud-based backup for these systems, companies can use techniques like log-shipping over high-speed Internet or mirroring. There are also mechanisms with SAN and virtual technologies to keep data that's far away almost up to the minute. But these techniques are all very expensive and require tremendous expertise to set up and maintain, and will inevitably impact production environment performance.
Fortunately, industry advances are making the initial data seed process simpler and faster than ever, removing a major obstacle to realizing the benefits of cloud-based backup. AWS Snowball is one example. This is a petabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure appliances to transfer large amounts of data into and out of AWS. Using Snowball addresses common challenges with large-scale data transfers including high network costs, long transfer times, and security concerns. Cloud-based backup services are now integrating with tools like AWS Snowball.
Inoperability with Existing Storage Tools and Systems
NAS is an interesting example because while it is mainly a storage device, it's often used for data backup, one advantage being exceptionally fast recovery time. Using NAS and the cloud as an additional layer of protection can yield comprehensive protection for data with particularly low RPOs.
Cloud backup can change this paradigm, and the good news is IT teams don't have to manage it nearly as much. Paradoxically, the bad news is that they don't get to manage it, and the benefits are often offset by having to work on the cloud vendor's terms, dealing with their new interfaces, schedules and so on. Cloud vendors like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud provide interfaces for their services like storage and cloud computing. They also usually provide some guidelines on how to set up a proper backup process, but this is not a turnkey solution and involves a lot of learning and configuration to set everything properly.
Today, services are available to help remove all the hassle from configuring a proper cloud backup, and these don't require any IT administration or cloud technology expertise. These services are a good option for small businesses that don't have much of the dedicated IT staff and that want to leverage low-cost cloud storage for their data backup.
Cloud backup is not a standalone entity. For cloud backup to witness more widespread adoption, it must be flexible, allowing users a wide range of choice and allowing them to switch as their business proprieties change. Cloud backup services therefore must be extensible, not just facilitating integration with current storage infrastructures, but also offering broad multivendor support for backup.
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