4 Tips for Backing Up Your Data in the Cloud

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4 Tips for Backing Up Your Data in the Cloud

Backing up your data off-site is easier than ever, but you need to examine your needs in depth before choosing this important service. If you are updating your data backup strategy, consider these four tips for backing up your data in the cloud.

Every IT manager knows that backing up data is essential to protecting a company’s most valuable commodity. Backing up your data off-site is easier than ever, but you need to examine your needs in depth before choosing this important service. Consider this, Cisco reports that global data center traffic is firmly in the zettabyte era and will triple from 2013 to reach 8.6 zettabytes annually by 2018. A rapidly growing segment of data center traffic is cloud traffic, which will nearly quadruple over the forecast period and represent more than three-fourths of all data center traffic by 2018. With this in mind – how do you create good backup and redundancy strategies for your environment? Most of all – when does cloud make sense?

As you examine your options, consider these four ways to backup your data in the cloud.

1. Consider how you will restore data

When you back up a system and all of its storage, you are protecting everything on that OS instance. This is useful if you find yourself needing to restore an entire environment using bare metal recovery scenarios. However, if you just want to protect a service, such as a database like Microsoft Exchange, you may want to restore only a specific mailbox. The point is to consider what you might want to restore, and then make a backup decision that will facilitate your goals.

2. Understand that hypervisor level backup may not be enough

Virtualization offers numerous capabilities, including the ability to perform backups at the hypervisor level of the virtual machines (VMs). However, this type of backup limits your restore to a VM-only level or to files within the VM. Consider running backup agents within the VM OS, rather just on the virtualization host, for the best restoration options.

3. View local protection as a first line of defense

Using the public cloud offers unlimited server and storage resources, and cloud storage is flexible and scalable. However, while the public cloud is a valuable step in securing your data, consider on-premise backup as your first line of defense for greater peace of mind. Using resources local to the systems and data often yields the best performance.

4. View cloud protection as a second line of defense

In the event of a disaster, cloud-based backup protection can literally save your company. So, if local protection is your first line of defense, then cloud protection should be a necessary second. Prioritize the servers and data that need offsite disaster recovery protection by identifying key business processes that are critical to your company’s day-to-day operations, and don’t forget to include the dependencies of those services, such as databases and middleware.

Just like any technology, there will be benefits and challenges. Today, there are numerous different kinds of services being offered which are originating from cloud vendors and providers. The really interesting part here is that these products and services are being delivered to more verticals and more organizations of various sizes.

The bottom line is this – the cloud model has a powerful presence and many organizations are adopting some part of the technology. But like any tool, piece of software or technological advancement, there needs to be a fit. Partners like MTM Technologies are here to help demystify cloud computing, aligning storage services with cloud, and helping the business understand specific cloud use-cases. Working with a partner like MTM takes the guessing game out of cloud, storage, and creates direct business enablement.

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