Many businesses today are increasingly leveraging cloud backup for business as the foundation of their backup strategy with trust in the cloud continuing to grow.
The need for cloud backup is a possibility as not all data require the same level of protection. Critical data and infrequently accessed data may have different backup frequencies, recovery times, backup amounts, number of copies made, and storage location. Businesses need to make sure requisite apps and settings, along with metadata, are also protected.
The multiple choices and decisions encircling cloud backup can be formidable for any business. The main concern is that an effective cloud backup strategy should provide:
- Cost reduction
- Global accessibility
- Maximized performance
- Data protection and business continuity
Designing an effective cloud backup strategy for a business must start with determining the goals.
Determining Backup Strategy Goals
Cloud backup for business starts with a defined form of what data sets, systems and application the company want to protect. There should be also predefined types of disasters against which backup and recovery should be made. It also should analyze the relative significance and associated costs in the event a threat becomes reality. This is how a company can prioritize their threats and costs.
Without data there is no business and data loss can happen anytime as a result of natural disasters, cyber security threats such as a virus or malware, or a software or hardware. A virus, malware, or employee error such as deletion or overwrite can corrupt an entire database table of a company. Therefore, the importance to protect data against different threats requires companies, big or smallest, develop a solid backup strategy.
Determining critical requirement of applications and workloads begins with a thorough mapping of all applications in terms of compute, storage, network, and security parameters, as well as the company’s dependencies. Only then a business can make a final determination on what requires to be backed up and how. This determination enables the team to address:
- Backup frequency
- Type of data to be protected
- The amount of data that requires to be copied
- The duration for how long it need to be copied
Compliance and Security Needs
For many businesses, regulatory compliance like HIPAA, SOX, and PCI is a constant concern. Audits for compliance need that businesses must be capable of verifying compliance with both data at rest as well as in transit both inside and outside the company. These are especially important parts of the cloud backup recovery strategy plan.
To understand the needs of both data in transit and at rest is essential to backup strategy and needs fundamental encryption tactics. The challenge of assuring that level of encryption in transit can be a challenge without automation.
Determining Backup Schedules and Testing
While full backups cover an entire system and all the data that need to be protected, they can be storage-intensive. Frequent full backups usually result in easier recovery operations. Partial backups that are set on a more frequent basis only back up new data and system changes from the last full backup, which optimizes storage space and provides cost savings. Image-level backups are best when a company want to protect an entire system at once.
For a business-critical data to be available in real time, your cloud recovery solution must continuously back up the data. Backups should not obstruct your day-to-day operations. The success of this process is directly tied to determining the right backup schedules. Data duplication and compression are also key considerations of a cloud backup strategy.
Every data set, application, or system scheduled for recovery requires to be paired with parameters that define how long the business can proceed without access before it begins to suffer financially or otherwise. This is measured in recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). RTO is the amount of time you will take to recover, while RPO represents the target amount of data lost.
An important part of an effective cloud strategy for business lies in the testing. Thorough and regular testing will reveal any error or challenges that can be corrected to ensure that the backup and recovery plan opted will work as intended when an actual disaster or emergency arises.
Every business must consider the reality that cloud backups are not always static. This means that at all phases of strategy development, execution, and testing, there are potential challenges that need process automation. From application mapping and provisioning to migration and testing, automation can remove barriers to ensure that your cloud backup strategy is effective, and secure.
written by- Simpi Nath