Remote backup – also called online or cloud backup – is an increasingly popular way for businesses of all sizes to protect their data. Pricing is attractive because cloud backup is charged as a pay-per-use service, typically on a monthly or annual basis. This saves the upfront costs of backup systems and tape or disk storage as well as ongoing management overhead. Instead of bearing the burden of backup, IT staff are freed up to focus on other valuable initiatives.
Remoteness is another draw. Backup data is encrypted and sent to the cloud provider’s data centers. In the event of a local outage or disaster, data is still accessible and recoverable over the Internet. This adds a layer resilience to data protection and business continuity.
If you are considering a cloud backup implementation, start by understanding your data protection requirements
– Do you need to back up PCs, file servers, applications, etc.?
– Does your company have a single site or distributed locations?
– What is the recovery time objective (RTO)? In other words, how quickly do you need to get systems back online after an outage?
– What is the recovery point objective (RPO)? How current does recovered data need to be? Do you need the flexibility to roll back to specific points in time?
There are a variety of cloud backup providers on the market, and features vary among them: Real-time versus periodic backups, file versus full system (bare metal) recovery, individual files versus folder and group recovery, virtualization support, application support, administrative console for defining backup policies and initiating restores.
Consider several viable options and select a reputable provider whose offering meets your requirements at a fair price.
Work with your cloud provider install agents and set up backup policies
Some cloud providers hand over a manual and ask you to do it yourself, while others offer professional services for bringing your company onboard. If you need assistance or want to outsource installation fully, make that part of your selection criteria.
All PCs and servers will require backup client software to be installed. There are several ways to do this. IT can manually install the software on each system, which may work for small, single-site operations. Another option is to send users a link that, when clicked, automatically installs the software. Finally, some providers offer push-install capabilities, such as through Windows® and Active Directory®, which allow administrators to push the installation to remote servers and PCs automatically. This is a big advantage for large, distributed organizations.
After clients are installed, the initial backup commences. This may take some time since it is a full system backup. Subsequent backups are much faster because they only update new or changed files. Administrators can set up backup policies that define frequency and data retention periods.
With that, your company is off and running with remote backup.