By JG Heithcock, GM, Retrospect, a StorCentric Company
A solid data protection strategy is required for optimum knowledge management that safeguards critical company content. Recognizing that today more than ever, an organization’s data can always be threatened by cybercrime, lost by accident, or damaged through natural disasters, off-site data protection becomes an indispensable component of every enterprise’s data protection strategy.
Key to your backup strategy should be two layers of data protection: local and off-site. This layered approach translates into added protection for your important business data.
By choosing an off-site location, companies can ensure a safe place for archived content that must be saved but isn’t currently in use. Even more powerful when it comes to data protection is utilizing cloud backup to protect your Windows, Mac, and Linux environment off-site via third-party cloud storage providers—such as leaders in the public cloud storage market, Amazon and Google, as well as regional providers, according to Gartner.
Public Cloud Storage for Content Distribution and Backup
Gartner also recently reported in “Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Services, Worldwide” that “use cases such as content distribution, media streaming, archiving, backup and disaster recovery” on premise can be effectively augmented with public cloud storage. Moreover, by 2025, more than 80% of public cloud managed and professional services deals will require both hybrid cloud and multi-cloud capabilities from the provider, up from less than 50% today.
Effective cloud backup software support can help companies protect their critical content in several ways:
- Cost savings. Worldwide cloud storage options like Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage offer not only “continued innovation” but “aggressive pricing,” according to Gartner. Cloud storage providers represent a significantly more cost-effective route than flat-fee storage tiers. Third-party cloud storage can offer the lowest prices because they are based on a pay-for-use model for storage.
- Encryption for security.Since the possibility of data breaches with cloud storage providers can’t be ruled out, it’s important to have industry-standard AES-256 encryption to safeguard your valuable data. This assures companies that they retain hold of their own data and encryption keys, even if a breach of a third-party provider does occur.
- Avoiding lock-in.Cloud storage lock-in is a common nuisance, so securing the right cloud backup support ensures you don’t get stuck with one vendor and instead can easily move between providers to fit your needs.
- Advanced seeding.Uploading to the cloud can be time consuming, leading to bandwidth limitations. To avoid these, it’s important to find cloud backup that offers seeding options for cloud storage, particularly for the first backup. Multiple cloud storage providers do offer seeding, which lets companies use a local hard drive to back up their data. The hard drive then gets sent to the cloud storage provider, which imports the data into the organization’s storage location. The advantage is that companies can transfer huge volumes of data to the provider much more quickly than it would take them to upload the same amount. Once this initial import is complete, the company can switch over to the cloud location for incremental backups.
- Recovery support. Though you can download faster than upload, another tedious endeavor is downloading from the cloud. For a large-scale recovery for cloud storage, companies need a speedier choice, and to be able to request their backup data from their cloud storage provider. So you need a vendor that offers this service, allowing you to order a hard drive with your data. But once you receive your full data set, backup software can allow you to revise the cloud location to the new local location and quickly get going on the large restore job.
The “Disk-to-Disk-to-Cloud” Backup Strategy
Your goal should be to leverage backup software that enables local and off-site backups with just a few clicks. What this looks like strategically is a local backup, that quickly protects your data on fast local disk storage, followed by a transfer to the cloud; in other words, a “Disk-to-Disk-to-Cloud” workflow.
Here is what the setup looks like:
- A backup script is set for data protection on local disk storage; this runs during the week.
- A transfer script/copy script is created to transfer your backups to a cloud set; this can occur on a weekend.
- The backup script performs daily backups to local storage.
- The transfer script performs weekly transfers of backups to cloud storage.
You can think of this approach as an extra insurance policy on your company’s most important data, protecting your business from the many unknowns. By safeguarding the knowledge that your company and customers need most using cloud backup software, you can avoid the panic and pain of data loss.