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.
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.
Also keep in mind that Internet connectivity from the data source to the backup location plays a key role when it’s time to recover. If you have hundreds of gigabytes or more to restore, restoring from the Internet could take many more hours than you can afford. Consider local backup as a first line of defense. See item three!
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, or use a tool that leverages both OS-level and VM-level backup.
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.