10 Pros And Cons Of Cloud Backup You Should Know About
Cloud technology is not only powerful, it is game-changer, allowing small and larger businesses to grow much faster than they could on their own. With no hardware upkeep on servers, the funds allotted formerly to this function can be funneled straight back into the business. Is it all unicorns and rainbows, though? Are there also downsides of this wonderful technology? Yes, while there are numerous benefits, there are also limitations and potential pitfalls to consider.
Today we are going to discuss Cloud Backup and Cloud Computing in general. We’ll tell you about some of the benefits that you can enjoy first, followed by a list of equal length to ensure a fair review in our consideration of the medium. Lastly, we’ll try to answer some questions that we anticipate you would like the answers to or may not have even considered. So, if you are considering Cloud Backup as a growth and money-saving option for your company then let’s tarry no longer, let’s discuss the 10 Pros and Cons of Cloud Backup!
The 10 Pros of Cloud Backup
If you have ever experienced data loss and are now looking for a solution that comes with a lot of protection, accessibility, and growth options then Cloud Backup may be a good fit for you. Here are 10 strong benefits of Cloud Computing that you should know about to help you to make an informed decision about this powerful technology.
1. Data Loss risks are minimized
An enormous bonus is that your data is much safer when stored on the Cloud than locally. This is typically because virtual disk space can be increased by modifying a value and restarting the server Virtual Machine. When you are relying on a physical server then adding space is much more difficult, as it will typically involve searching the system for what you can replace, cleaning the .mdf and .ldf files if it a SQL server, or physically adding a new drive if you want to use a backup scheme that allows you more than one backup. With daily backups and Cloud redundancies in place that protect your system images, losing your data becomes next to impossible. If you have ever had to restore and repair a SQL database, losing days or even a week of data, then this Pro alone may be the only reason that you need to go with a Virtual Machine on the Cloud.
2. Centralized data provides versatility
Your data can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from just about any device. This is also extra useful if your company has satellite locations in other regions. With centralized data, you don’t have to worry about differences in time zone or making sure that you access a specific database because the data from the others hasn’t migrated. Not at all. You can set up a centralized data scheme and when anyone accesses the data from any location it is always going to be up to date.
3. Cloud backup is cost effective
One of the clear advantages of Cloud Backup is that you don’t have to worry about hardware preventative maintenance and cost. With the ability to instantly bring up a virtual machine you can save on setup time, avoid troubleshooting with quick restorations, and if you are looking to expand then you can often find packages at a fraction of the cost that you would incur with the purchase of a number of servers that you would then need to direct resources at in order to get configured and then further maintained. The savings can, in turn, be directed instead towards company growth and this is a huge benefit.
4. Cloud backup provides a higher level of security
With Cloud Backup, your data is typically going to be protected at a higher level than your company may currently provide. This is because with multiple clients your Backup provider is typically going to rely on Enterprise level security. This is the type of security normally reserved for large corporations and government entities. While the data itself is going to be protected in this fashion, security software which may be available for the image will likely still need to be configured if you would like additional security for the server itself as opposed to the database data alone.
5. Upgrades become almost hassle-free
The biggest worry with upgrades is a failure, where it stops halfway and leaves you half-upgraded or worse, where one component didn’t upgrade and you are forced to find out which one so that you can get things operational again. With Cloud backup you will either have someone from the Provider managing a server for you, in which case they would handle the upgrades, or you would be managing the Virtual server yourself. In the latter case, you still have the advantage, as a backup failure can be remediated with a simple reboot of a previous server image. The process takes minutes as opposed to the hours or days you might suffer with a physical machine. This helps to make the decision of whether to upgrade or not quite a bit easier and is a definite Pro.
6. Fast implementation with your environment
Implementation is a snap. You can make virtual clones of existing physical servers, for instance, and upload them to the cloud so that you can then direct test systems to this resource and instantly know if there will be any issues. This makes switching to a Cloud environment backup scheme a simple matter of changing your local applications setting for the database location and then applying it across your environment. It’s quick, easy, and effective.
7. Testing Scenarios are easier to construct
When a company wishes to evaluation new software for the management or handling of their data the biggest concern is damaging an important database through an unforseen compatibility issue or a 3rd party software bug. This is not a worry when you are dealing with the Virtual Machines available in a Cloud environment. In a Cloud, you could simply clone your primary database in moments, designating a new network name for the cloned machine, and then test it to your heart’s delight.
In a strictly physical scenario you would need to load a new server, whether physically or through your own licensed virtual machine software, configure it from scratch, then migrate a copy of the database after-hours when you can take it offline. This is time consuming and a definite Pro on the side of Cloud Backup.
8. You will likely have access to the most current software available
Do you normally find that you are running older versions of popular software such as Microsoft Word or SQL server in your environment? One of the bonuses of a virtual environment is that your provider will typically have a range of licensed, recent software, which means that your Backups will be done on the latest database software builds. This also means that you might be able to use other software applications that back up to a later version of database software than you might currently be employing in your physical environment, increasing the variety of software packages that you can use to do business!
9. Centralized management allows for easier verification of Server and Backup Scheme integrity
Depending on the provider and package that you have selected for your Cloud Backup, you may be provided with direct access to an interface where your Backup Virtual servers are managed. This is nice, because you can check server integrity at a glance, as well as verify that the Backup schemes which you require are in place for every server.
10. Licensing of Software is no longer a concern or issue
With volume license purchasing on the part of your provider then you will no longer have to deal with the hassle of keeping up with a number of licenses which expire at varying times for the SQL and other databases which your company was maintaining. This is yet another thing which your Cloud Backup provider will handle when it comes to the images you are running on their platform (it does not apply, of course, to software that you have purchased and are using on your physical workstations!).
The 10 Cons of Cloud Backup
Now that you’ve seen the silver-linings of the Cloud technology, let’s get into the stormier aspects. No technology is perfect and while Cloud backup offers many advantages it is only fair that we warn you of 10 potential pitfalls that you should know about as well.
1. Potential support issues
Unlike your local support team, your Cloud Backup provider has no idea what kind of bandwidth you are employing, whether or not you are using load balancers, nor are they likely to be familiar with the software that you utilize most. Support may also only be available by email or FAQ’s, so choose your provider carefully to make sure there is someone you can at least call.
2. Bandwidth is going to be a concern
Another downside of a Cloud-based Backup solution is network bandwidth. As the internet is also used for email, viewing videos, and more, during peak times of business you might some of your applications slowing down. A strong local security policy in regards to which sites may be visited can help to mitigate this but you still can\t predict what will happen until you see it running during your busiest times.
3. Security consultation is still a good idea
While your Cloud Backup provider will have their own security in regards to protecting your data, you are still interfacing with a third party and as such, you will want to have a security consultant perform an audit to determine best-practices for desktop and laptop connections accessing your Cloud Backup provider to ensure data transfer is safe and encrypted
4. Software features may vary
While your Provider will typically have the latest software, this is not always the case. Also, your organization may purposely use an older version of some software due to features no longer available in said product. As such, if you need to upgrade to a supported version to use the Backup schema then you may be losing features which your users have grown used to. Just a little food for thought.
5. Possible compatibility issues
Some companies utilize what is known as ‘homegrown’ software, which is simply custom software or modified builds of popular software that backs up to a local database in their current setup. As such, compatibility issues may arise which can incur costs if you need to bring in a 3rd party support technician into play to help your Cloud Backup provider to find a solution that lets you use the modified software. There is also a possibility that a solution may not be possible in this scenario, so be sure to let a potential provider know about any custom software before migrating to a Cloud environment.
6. Determining needs may be time-consuming and costly
As with the homegrown software issue, before migrating all of your backup needs to a 3rd party you will still need to audit all of your needs locally in order to ensure compatibility and to minimize costs by purchasing only what you need. While migration is generally easier with Cloud computing, an audit is still going to be a good idea.
7. Providers must be carefully selected
This is your data and as such, you must be careful who you trust with it. Selecting a larger provider such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft is a good idea, so that you won’t need to worry about potentially losing data if a Cloud Provider ‘goes under’.
8. If the Cloud is down you have to wait
The same feature that makes Cloud Backup so versatile can also be an issue in some scenarios. Keep in mind that if you don’t have an internet connection or if there are issues with the network then you will NOT be able to access your data, nor run certain applications.
9. Some contracts are non-negotiable
Be vigilant in your examination of your contract. Some Cloud Backup providers can be quite inflexible. It is recommended that you employ the services of a seasoned consultant or your own in-house Cloud expert to ensure that your contract gives you what you need for your Cloud Data Backup and Application requirements.
10. Costs need to be closely compared
. While Cloud computing is the wave of the future and offers a lot of chances for upgrade and growth, current ‘running costs’ should be tabulated and compared to the package you are considering for Cloud Backup. You might find that in some cases, while the features are nice, you might end up paying more for what amounts to ‘overkill’ in regards to your Cloud Backup migration. Simply put, make sure that you need Cloud Backup and that it’s going to save you money, not cost you more!
Frequently Asked Questions: The Pros and Cons of Cloud Backup
1. Is Cloud Computing vulnerable to hacking?
Yes, it is possible that your data could be hacked. Any time that your data is hosted by a third party or accessible through the internet and hosted locally then hacking is a potential concern. That said, if you are going through a larger provider and have employed your own security consultant when implementing your Cloud Backup solution then the chances of this are minimal.
2. Is Cloud storage a safer option than Local storage?
Generally, yes. This is because due to the nature of the storage medium. Cloud Backup providers are heavily invested in Data security and are generally going to be employing a higher level of it then your company might currently employ locally. Cloud Backup providers often employ machine intelligence options with their security to make it more adaptable and utilize frequent security audits in order to ensure the safety of your data. Any breach of data would damage the sustainability of their business model and so this high level of security is in the best interests of both you and your Provider.
3. Which free Cloud storage is best?
Cloud backup is not limited to large companies and is also good for individuals who just want to keep their data safe. With that in mind, there are a number of providers offering up to 50 gigabytes of free storage space which you can take advantage of. Among the most popular free providers are Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, pCloud, and Media fire, but there are many more providers out there that you can find with a quick Google search. Just keep in mind that you are unlikely to get the same sorts of bells and whistles that can expect to find with an AWS or an Azure account.
4. I’ve heard that I can get a free Azure account, is this true?
This is absolutely true! If you would like to take advantage of Microsofts offer of a free Azure account for one year then simply follow the link provided here: