It’s official: the days of physical backups being ideal for data-storage needs are long gone. Whether it’s a large business or an individual entrepreneur with a laptop, there is simply too much risk involved in keeping valuable data on an external hard drive or CD. These items are vulnerable to things like theft, damage and fire. Should any of these incidents occur, the information will likely be lost forever. There’s simply no need in this day and age to experience those type of data-loss horror stories anymore. Not when cloud is available.
By now, most people are aware that cloud data storage involves the process of storing data digitally on off-site servers where it is ready to be streamed at a moment’s notice. And it is just this type of storage that every business – big and small – should be using for their backup needs. With that in mind, here are some considerations everyone should take into account when making the switch to cloud.
Tips for Selecting a Cloud Based Data Storage Provider
There’s no sense in searching for a cloud provider without first understanding the full scope of an operation’s backup needs. Those who are running a business tend to find that there are three areas that need total security: account info, customer transactions and intellectual property records. Losses of these types of data are often devastating to a business.
Having said that, mobile is another area that can benefit from secure backup. These days many organizations have employees that do business over their smartphones, and much of this data needs to be secure. By performing a once-a-year data audit, business owners will have a solid idea of their total backup needs.
Find a Reputable Provider
Cloud storage is no longer a niche market. There are a number of options for cloud backup services all across cyberspace. The trick is finding the most reputable outfits around. This doesn’t need to be a headache, as these companies are periodically rated and listed according to their quality of service and overall security strength. There are a few providers currently operating that have built a strong reputation over time. These include: Mozy, Carbonite, Box, Egnyte and BUMI. Each of these providers offers a number of different data plans that should suit everyone from individuals to large companies.
Do the Diligence
Of course, not all companies are created equal. To this end, those looking for cloud backup are going to want to ensure the organization in question is operating at the top of their game and offers total security. It’s important to check on things like “uptime,” which is the amount of time a cloud provider guarantees their servers are operational (no provider worth their salt has anything less than a 99% uptime).
The overall speed at which data can be recovered in the event of loss is also a crucial question people should ask of their cloud providers. Also, many companies will try to tack on additional fees and charges into their service agreements. Those looking for a good cloud service will do well to read the fine print thoroughly.
In the end, most folks will find that the majority of cloud providers offer solid uptime and reasonable contracts. Ultimately, it’s up to the business in question to choose a solution that accommodates their unique backup needs.
Idera provides comprehensive application and server management software, including a backups SQL server. Susan Howard specializes in writing about leading software solutions.