How to Choose a Cloud Backup Solution

Searching for a cloud backup solution for your small to medium business? Here's some of the features you should be ticking off your list.

Businesses are increasingly looking at cloud backup solutions for their business. But in the rush to move storage to the cloud and make it someone else’s problem, many businesses aren’t selecting the right product for them.

Not all businesses are made the same, and that means your cloud solution needs to be tailored to you as well. If you’re a small business with less than 25 employees, you’re not going to want to use the same cloud backup solution as an Enterprise-sized company with 10,000 employees.

It’s expensive and needless overkill – in fact, you’re probably paying more for a cloud solution that is more confusing to use because of all the high-level requirements of a large-sized business.

Why people are going to the cloud

There are lots of reasons for this trend. Firstly, it’s indisputable that cloud backup is incredibly convenient. Sure, you can store all your data on external devices (E.g. Hard drives, tapes), but this requires manual, physical handling.

With public or private cloud backup, however, you don’t have to keep track of physical storage devices and have a safe place to store them. It removes a laborious step from the process. That said, a comprehensive backup strategy will still incorporate some form of non-cloud storage.

A cloud backup is practically impervious to physical threats like theft, fire, or flooding. Even if your whole business is reduced to rubble, your business data is entirely intact. In fact, because your data is stored on highly encrypted and secure servers, it’s a pretty good bastion against incursion.

That said, it’s not impossible to gain access to public cloud backups, so it pays to invest in additional layers of protection in case this happens.

Cloud backup is also very affordable, and this is probably the main point that businesses care about. Compared to the cost of storage drives, servers, or other elements needed for backup storage, cloud backup is fairly cheap. It’s also scalable to your business needs, so if your need for storage increases, you can simply increase your storage plan.

First Step – Don’t Get Locked Down

A lot of cloud backup software might not make you pay much for the software itself, but for the storage. They force you to use the vendor-preferred storage choice, so you have to buy it from them instead of shopping around.

Being able to shop around is going to save you money in the long run and give you flexibility. What you want is a product that allows you to use different widely available cloud providers like Azure or Amazon Web Services. You can also seek out software that lets you use a protocol like WebDAV so you can use any public cloud provider with WebDAV support, or set up your own private cloud server that uses WebDAV.

Advanced Encryption

Remember how I mentioned before that you want additional layers of protection in case a cloud provider gets breached? Make sure your cloud backup solution offers high-level end-to-end encryption (On the original destination, in transit, and in the cloud destination). The backups should be kept in a container with an encryption key – this way even the cloud provider can’t access your business data.

Deduplication & Compression

Your cloud backup solution should high level deduplication and compression, preferably able to reduce your backup size by over 60%. That compression ratio is important – if a company is selling you both cloud storage space and cloud backup software, they might not want your compression rate to be high. This is because you’ll have to pay for more storage space.

Other Factors

Some other things you’ll want to tick off is resilient transfers, bandwidth throttling, and non-convergent encryption. The last one is very important, because when you delete your data from the cloud or close your account, you want to make sure it’s entirely gone from the cloud provider’s servers.

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