Send your backups… to the cloud!

Cheaper and simpler cloud-based backup solutions could finally solve one of the longest lasting issues in business – poor or non-existent backup procedures. The high cost and hassle of backups has meant few companies have practiced safe computing. One poll suggested only six percent of systems are backed up on a daily basis, according to Harris Interactive in 2011.

Failure to backup can be devastating. Almost 90 percent of companies go out of business every two years due to failure of data recovery at the event of an outage, Harris Interactive found. The reason for this direction varies, but perhaps the most common sentiment is the costs associated with archiving.

Traditional archiving usually relies on copying data to different hardware such as a Network Attached Storage (NAS), external hard drive or tape. However, the costs associated with these types of archiving can reach upwards of thousands of dollars. For instance, most tapes cost $25 – $50 each; but businesses would need several of them per week.

Tapes also needed to be transferred to a secure vault – this make the capital costs, maintenance and support take a decent chunk of a company’s IT budget. In my experience, businesses are gearing towards cloud based-backups.

Cloud-based backup is a service that stores and archives data on virtual servers over the internet. These virtual servers are hosted in data centres that are secure, redundant and recoverable in the event of a disaster. Cloud-based back-ups are often cheaper and easier to use because loud computing is founded on the theory of economies of scale. It makes use of resource pooling – an approach where multiple companies can share a common yet highly secure server resource to store data.

Cloud-based back-up is such a promising technology that its market is estimated to grow up to $2.5 billion by 2014. Several reasons are making cloud-based backups more attractive. Businesses using the cloud to backup have lower capital costs and eliminate the need for storage capacity such as disks, tapes or other removal media. The pay-as-you-go model gives SMBs more predictable operational expenditure.

Cloud-based backups also make it easier for companies to be compliant with industry standards and best practices for disaster recovery. With this technology, SMBs can easily implement policies and access control giving more confidence in the efficiency and regularity of the procedure. It also reduces staff involvement, which can further bring down costs of IT support and maintenance. Other than archiving, storage and reduced costs, the most important facet of cloud based backups to SMBs is its role in risk management. The cloud gives business continuity, protection against data loss; together with data security and reliability.

If you’re in the 94% of businesses that don’t back up daily, it’s worth exploring cloud-based backups and see how easy it can be to find peace of mind for your data.

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