As businesses look to bolster security and data protection, the cloud is fast becoming the location of choice to store data. The cloud offers multiple benefits, such as greater accessibility, flexibility and scalability, but most importantly, it allows businesses to manage data with improved security and save costs. It is estimated that over 90% of organizations use some form of cloud service today. The global health pandemic has further intensified cloud adoption. As such, the global spend on cloud services increased by 37% to $29 billion in Q1 of 2020.
What Is Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup?
Many confuse cloud storage and cloud backup to be one and the same. While these are two important aspects of cloud computing and certainly complement each other, their functions are quite different. Let’s get into the fundamentals to better understand what these terms mean.
Cloud Storage: As the name implies, cloud storage involves storing information or data in a “cloud,” which is an off-site storage location managed by an organization (private) or a third party (Public or Vendor Cloud). Think of the cloud as an external drive, the contents of which you can access over the internet.
Cloud storage does not necessarily include backup or redundancy of data. While redundancy may be in place to protect against infrastructure threats, the same controls are not necessarily provided natively for the data being stored. Selecting which files to store in the cloud versus on a local drive (i.e., DropBox or OneDrive) is typically a manual process.
Cloud Backup: This process involves the creation of a copy (backup) of user data that is facilitated by a software to create and transmit the backup to its storage destination, which in this case is a cloud storage service. Data is transferred over the WAN (internet).
Cloud backup solutions offer granularity by allowing you to choose which files or data will be included in the backup as well as performing processes, such as compression and deduplication, to more efficiently transmit and store the data. Today’s backup solutions automatically perform backups at regular intervals, which ensures the data (copies) is up to date with changes to production data.
Compared to cloud storage, cloud backup provides greater data security and enables quick recovery in the event of a disaster. When a data loss or corruption incident occurs, the cloud backup software enables recovery of the data, often to the same or a different target, without disrupting your business.
Globally, 50% of enterprises spend over $1.2 million on cloud services per year. Public, private and hybrid clouds are three popular cloud services available today that you can leverage to meet your organization’s needs and enhance security.
Understanding Pure Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup
In this case, when we refer to “pure” cloud storage and cloud backup, “pure” indicates that we are only using the cloud as the storage location for backup files, with no intermediary device in between. For example, Unitrends Cloud Backup.
Pure cloud storage and cloud backup may be limited by the gap between the source (asset being backed up) and the target (cloud destination) since they are at the mercy of the performance of the WAN being used to connect the two.
WAN acceleration leverages a number of techniques to overcome these challenges by optimizing data for transfer through the use of compression, deduplication, rate limits, bandwidth throttling, encryption, etc.
The use of an Incremental or an Incremental Forever strategy (initial backup is always full and all subsequent backups are incremental with synthetic full points created automatically as a periodic background operation to reduce RPOs) also helps to optimize WAN by minimizing the amount of data transferred after the initial full backup is seeded.
Pure cloud storage is easy to deploy and scale. It is ideal for startups and small and midsize businesses since it doesn’t require on-premises storage or local IT management. For instance, with Unitrends Cloud Backup, you simply download an agent to Windows machines or use your favorite endpoint management software to push agents to your fleet and you can start backing up right away.
Choosing the Right Cloud Storage for Backup and Recovery
According to the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report, 83% of survey respondents considered the cloud to be very or extremely important to their organizations’ future strategy and growth. Today, there are multiple cloud vendors that provide credible cloud backup services. However, the real problem with online backups is recovery. Your backed-up data wouldn’t do you much good if you can’t recover the data when you need it the most.
With Unitrends Cloud Backup, protecting the data of your on-the-go workforce and customers is effortless, simple and secure. There’s no need to set up an appliance or local storage. Unitrends makes efficient backup and recovery as effortless and hassle-free as possible. It allows you to back up your end-user data and initiate recovery from anywhere with internet connectivity, including Wi-Fi. You can restore files to the original endpoint or another machine running a Unitrends backup agent.
Unitrends Cloud Backup provides up to 1 TB of cloud storage for each workstation, more than enough cloud storage for even the largest endpoints. The storage space is based on the data volume on the endpoint and not the total data stored in the cloud, which helps take the guesswork out of sizing. Plus, you don’t need to pay extra fees to access data or restore files, so you have a total cost of ownership that’s predictable.
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