Using cloud doesn’t eliminate the need to have a backup and recovery strategy. Reasons you need your own backup strategy include:
• file versioning. A cloud provider creates backups that allow them to recover failed instances. They don’t keep historical versions of data that you may need for analytics or regulatory and archival purposes.
• cloud outages. Cloud is highly reliable, but outages happen. If a cloud goes down and your only backups reside in the cloud, you may not be able to bring your systems up at an alternate site.
• flexible recovery. Needing a backup to recover from a major outage is fairly unlikely. You’re more likely to need to recover a single critical file that was accidentally deleted or restore a good version of data that was incorrectly updated.
Backing Up in the Cloud
Your backup and recovery process in the cloud will probably look fairly similar to your backup and recovery process in your data center. Backups need to happen frequently, on at least a daily basis. The cloud provider may offer a backup service, and there are also many third-party backup tools available for use in the cloud. In addition, backups should be encrypted to keep them safe, and access controls should restrict access to authorized personnel.
Archiving in the Cloud
There are many storage options in the cloud. The key point to remember when choosing archival storage is that this is data you won’t access very often. As a result, you should select cheaper storage options; the devices may be slower, but that shouldn’t matter for archival data. As with cloud backups, you’ll find options available from third-party vendors as well as from the cloud provider. And as with cloud backups, you should ensure archived data is encrypted and protected via appropriate access controls.
Managing Cloud Outages
Backups can help you recover from a cloud outage, but only if you don’t need to access your backup data in the cloud during the outage. Traditional backup recommendations include keeping a copy of your data off-site, and if you’re using the cloud, you should consider keeping a copy of your data out of the cloud. Some cloud providers offer the ability to store data in a different region, which provides some protection. You can also keep a copy on backup media at your data center, store a copy of the backup in a different cloud, or establish a complete backup instance in another cloud provider.
Cloud requires rethinking your approach to backups and recovery. VAST IT Services provides comprehensive data protection services that ensure backups are available wherever your data resides. Contact us to learn more about how to assess your backup needs in the cloud.