Businesses thrive on their data, and making sure that it’s secure is critical. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on data security recently reached $81.6 billion.
Unlike other traditional services in the IT industry, backup services were something that was not only bound to evolve but also had the buy-in of the consumer in accepting this evolution. It was obvious that cloud was the next step.
Cloud-based backup services are referred to by several names yet carry the same meaning. They may be known as Cloud backup, Remote backup, Managed Backup as a Service, Online Backup or even Backup as a Service (BaaS).
Unlike other cloud services where the consumers have usually been a little apprehensive when transitioning to any cloud-based service (at least initially), cloud backup was quite readily accepted.
Even if there was any skepticism, it wasn’t for very long. Due to the rise of cloud backup services, there has been rampant speculation that Traditional backup services are dead.
But why did consumers feel the need for this backup services evolution? For example, during the initial days of cloud-based security services, many companies were hesitant to adopt it and opted instead to maintain their own in-house security measures.
However, the case for backup services was different, owing perhaps to some of the challenges businesses faced in using traditional backup services.
Challenges in Traditional Backup Services
1. Corrupt Magnetic Media Tapes
In the traditional Backup environment, magnetic tapes are used to store the data. Magnetic tapes could be easily corrupted due to a fingerprint or exposure to magnetic field or a magnetic object.
However, the problem lies in the fact that it is almost impossible to find out about it until the media is put to use for restoring purposes. Corrupt media could render the tapes unusable.
Theft is probably one of the most common and prevalent problems with on-premise backups. Poor security within the infrastructure could result in the theft of backup tapes.
Companies generally rely on employees to secure them, however, losses typically occur when the tapes are in transit to a new location.
3. Natural Disasters
Natural disasters cause problems on multiple levels. A large disaster will likely destroy all of the backups if stored within the premises of the region where the disaster occurred. The problems will not be mitigated even if the backups are secured at a different location not affected by the disaster.
It usually takes time to move tapes back to their source, which if moved will still be rendered as useless since the backup systems required to restore the tapes may be destroyed by the disaster. This results in longer downtime, loss of clients, a poor reputation and a possible loss of data if the tapes are corrupted.
4. Restore Time
As mentioned in the previous point, if the backup units are assumed to be destroyed in a disaster, it could take days or weeks before the restore process could even begin. Only once the backup units are procured, can the restore process be started.
However, it is impossible to predict the length of time it would take for the restore to be completed as it also depends on the size of the data. Not to mention the fact that the data will be of no use unless the required applications are also restored and configured.
Cost is another one of the major challenges in traditional backup systems. Backup providers charge per size of the data which obviously only grows over time. This is in addition the cost of the infrastructure, maintenance and the management of the backup services.
Cloud based backup service successfully overcomes all these challenges and more. Unlike the traditional third party vendors, cloud backup service vendors have very meticulously defined SLA’s that are highly flexible and scalable. Businesses using cloud-based services have greater flexibility and control over the complete backup and restore process.
Feature Image Credit – DepositPhotos