Get Your Head Out of the Cloud Part 3: Final Words on the Cloud

September 20, 2011 – Backup is essentially a type of insurance – insurance against the loss of data. Your backup provider is providing the regular SAVING of your data as the insurance benefit. But you also need a guarantee for RESTORING your data. This is a critical, but often overlooked point. In an emergency you need your data right away, or at least within a short time frame, but no backup provider can realistically guarantee this, since anything outside of their own infrastructure is not under their control or responsibility.

Everyone has experienced fluctuations in transfer speeds in personal, non-critical use and no one really cares if a web page takes a few seconds more to load. But what happens if the restore that was supposed to take ten minutes suddenly drags on for more than two hours? Or even worse, just keeps failing? Who do you ask for help? The point is – there are no guarantees of speed, dependability or safety. If your data is critical to your production or your enterprise, one backup is not enough; you need a second one as a local reserve. This copy should be a duplicate of your data, which can be integrated into the production immediately, without the need for a restore. This copy should be created in the background during your production with the help of synchronization.

From a corporate perspective, online backup offers two important advantages: The costs are transparent and the service is scalable. The only important requirement is Internet access with the necessary upload and download capacity (depending on your backup volume). Unfortunately these high-performance connections are still very expensive. The biggest disadvantage is the lack of safety on the local level and the reduced availability of the data, e.g. in case of a total breakdown. The only remedy for this is an additional local synchronization of your data.

The deciding factor when thinking about online backup is the question of safety – whether one should entrust important company data to a third party. Even with encrypted data, there still remains a risk, because anything that is encoded can be decoded.

In conclusion, while Cloud backup is a great solution, it’s not appropriate for everyone and every purpose. This is particularly true for large data sets and/or operations needing fast and/or constant availability. A service that has no guaranteed data transfer rate may be a problem during upload and while you are restoring your data back to your systems. The idea of a failover solution within the Cloud may turn out to be useless, because you never know the variables you are dealing with.

What to take away from all this: If you would like to backup in the cloud, do it with a local copy of your data. And what could be a better way to achieve this then use PresSTORE Synchronize.