7 Essentials of Hybrid Cloud Backup
Understanding the Cloud Options
A hybrid cloud solution combines private (internal/on-premise) and public (external) cloud deployment models.
With a typical private cloud solution, one would build, develop and manage their own cloud infrastructure. The most common deployments of private cloud solutions are in enterprise-level environments. Businesses that have the capital to fund a private cloud operation will usually purchase the necessary equipment, hire their own dedicated IT support teams, and build or lease their own data centers. This allows the company to have complete control over their cloud environment. The primary downside of a private cloud is that it is very expensive to implement and maintain. It also requires highly skilled engineers to manage the network.
In a public cloud scenario, one utilizes web-based applications and services. Hardware or software is not owned or maintained by the client, and resources are completely acquired from third party
vendors. Google Apps, Salesforce, and Amazon Web services are all common examples of public clouds. With these deployments, end-users will work strictly through the Internet via web-based portals. Generally, application data is not stored locally. All relevant information is stored through the cloud provider.
While these solutions are cost-effective, the lack of control of data center resources, monthly fees, and increased support costs can hinder the viability that a public cloud will align with every business. The fact that business critical data is stored only offsite can also be disconcerting for businesses. One must also consider the possibility that the cloud provider could go out of business, experience a service outage, be acquired by another company, or suffer a security breach. Any of these scenarios could spell disaster for a business’ data.
With a hybrid cloud model, aspects of both platforms are merged to form a single, unified platform. A business owns some form of local hardware, which is integrated with resources owned by a third party. Depending on what attributes of the business are being pushed to the cloud, there are many options for how a hybrid cloud platform can be constructed.
What is Hybrid Cloud Backup?
In the context of data backup, a combination of private and public backup solutions can be used to form an efficient and robust platform. Hybrid cloud vendors use their expertise to engineer enterprise-grade backup solutions that can be affordable for businesses of any size.
On the private cloud side, an end-user would have a local device that acts as a NAS (Network-Attached Storage) unit backing up data locally, while concurrently pushing data off-site to a secure, third party cloud. What sets these units apart from a typical NAS unit is that they also apply complex data deduplication, compression, file conversion, and other processes which are unique to each vendor. These processes help reduce storage space on local devices and off-site servers, keep local bandwidth reduction at a minimum, and optimize the backup process to make data recovery as efficient and quick as possible, both locally and in the cloud.
The public cloud side is comprised of the data center infrastructure developed by the cloud provider. Mirrored backup images from local backup devices are stored and archived in proprietary data centers, so they can be accessed in the event that backup records are not available locally (i.e. a disaster scenario).
Having the cloud infrastructure developed by a third party is valuable to end-users because through economies of scale, backup cloud vendors can provide space in the cloud at lower costs per GB than the average MSP could provide if they built their own cloud. This enables IT service providers and their clients to leverage cloud storage, without having to pay high monthly fees. Also, by utilizing third party technology, end-users and MSPs need not worry about maintenance of the cloud; that liability lies entirely with the vendor.
All in all, the hybrid cloud backup platform encapsulates the best of the private and public models to form a feature rich, highly efficient, and affordable system.
1. Business Continuity
A desired benefit of most hybrid cloud backup solutions is the ability to achieve business continuity. Business continuity is a proactive way of looking at disaster preparedness. By having the proper tools and procedures in place, businesses can be assured that they will remain functional during a disaster scenario, large or small.
Business continuity, in the context of data backup, means that in the event of a disaster, cyber-attack, human error, etc., a business will never lose access to their critical data and applications. In the data backup industry, the lack of access to business critical data is referred to as downtime. Business continuity is critical to any business, because downtime can potentially bring operations to a halt while IT issues are being repaired. This can be extremely costly for any SMB to endure….
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