Cloud Backup is a third party data storage service that enables users to save regular snapshots of selected data. The scalable online data backup service may be used to provide businesses of all sizes with a desirable level of business continuity. Data may be restored via the cloud - within agreed time frames - upon user request.
How does Cloud Backup Work?
The Cloud Backup service provider will install client software on all relevant devices connected to the business network. The purpose of this software is to collect, encrypt, and transfer all selected data via the internet to an offsite data centre owned and maintained by the service provider. Data transfers will be scheduled to occur at agreed intervals (hourly/daily/weekly etc.).
The service provider will assist the service user in assessing the appropriate level of services required to ensure a desired level of business continuity. This assessment will dictate the optimum frequency of data backups. For example, businesses with higher levels of client interactions may require a greater level of service in terms of more frequent data backups.
Benefits of Cloud Backup Services
The major benefit of investing in third party Cloud Backup services is that of lowered costs, both in terms of the reduced associated setup costs regarding IT infrastructure, and the reduced staffing requirements in terms of employing a specialised in-house IT team. The ongoing operational and maintenance costs of housing and running the data centre are also removed.
Benefits of Cloud Backup include:
- Scalability - The Cloud Backup service provider will offer data storage solutions via a dedicated data centre facility. This staffed facility will typically be capable of automatically responding to evidence of an increased requirement for data storage space - this means that the service user will benefit from automatic increases in data storage as required.
- Cyber Security - Cloud Backup services are often seen as a reliable means of business continuity because the service is inclusive of cyber security elements. This means that the service user can expect to receive the highest level of protection regarding cyber attacks - removing the need for the service user to focus internal resources on cyber security.
- Instant Data Access - Cloud Backup offers unlimited data access and data transfer options between devices. This means that the Cloud Backup service user has the freedom to access and transfer data stored in the data centre at any time, resulting in timely data sharing between colleagues and clients from both onsite and offsite locations.
- Range of Restore Options - Depending on the services available through a particular vendor of Cloud Backup solutions, a range of restore options may be offered. For example, where data seeding from the cloud is not an option (e.g. due to loss of onsite hardware), USB flash drives containing all relevant data may be delivered to a business address.
- Convenient Mobile Access - Cloud Backup is not simply a useful resource in terms of providing an up to date copy of critical business data in the event of an in-house IT catastrophe. Convenient mobile access means that individuals may view, upload, download or edit data from remote locations. This opens up possibilities such as out of hours or remote data access.
The installation of important software updates (i.e. software patches released by the software provider) is also typically carried out by the Cloud Backup service vendor. This means that the service user is not required to remain vigilant regarding the release and timely installation of software updates, and nor is the service user required to provide expert IT staff for the task.
Why Invest in Cloud Backup Solutions?
Cloud Backup solutions provide business owners with a variety of both upfront and long-term flexible benefits. Depending on the nature of the business (including potential considerations such as geographical location, level of competitor relevance, and average daily / weekly / monthly / yearly revenue), Cloud Backup services could present a significant means of business continuity in a number of client-specific scenarios.
For example, potential risk-assessed catastrophes may include:
- Cyber attack
- Theft of in-house IT assets
- Natural disasters (floods, fires)
Where a company makes regular use of remote access services, there is a heightened risk associated with loss of network connected devices. Not only will Cloud Backup service vendors potentially be able to assist in locating any lost devices, but work carried out on the device will be stored in the cloud (meaning no loss of data, despite loss of the device).
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