Cloud-based backup solutions are a good choice for many organizations, but making the process easy, efficient, and secure requires careful planning. These are some questions you should think through before you start backing up to the cloud:
- How much will it cost to store data? Since the motivation for using cloud backup is often driven by financial considerations, cost is one of the first questions to look at. You won’t have to spend large amounts in advance of need but will pay for the storage you use as you need it. Costs will vary based on the service type. Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage costs range from $0.004 per GB for AWS Glacier to $0.023 per GB for S3 Standard Storage. Make sure you use the right storage tier and compress and deduplicate data before backing it up to reduce costs.
- How much will it cost to transfer data? Storage costs don’t just come from storage; getting the data also costs money. If you’re using AWS Glacier, the retrieval cost depends on both the size of the retrieved data and whether the request is Expedited, Standard, or Bulk. On AWS, costs range from $0.0025 per GB plus $0.025 for each bulk request to $0.03 per GB plus $0.01 per expedited request.
- How long will it take to restore data? Understand how long it will take to retrieve data to evaluate whether your cloud backup strategy will meet your recovery time objectives. Taking AWS as an example again, bulk retrieval requests typically take 5 – 12 hours, while expedited retrieval requests are typically completed within a few minutes. Once AWS makes the data available, the time it takes to download to your environment will depend on your network capacity. While fast network connections are important, you can also speed downloads by reducing the amount of data to be restored through deduplication.
- How safe will your data be? The cloud provider controls many aspects of security in the cloud, so you should review their security measures. You should make sure your data is stored in an encrypted format. For extra security, you should control the encryption keys, rather than leaving them in the hands of the cloud provider. In addition, it isn’t only data storage that needs to be secure; data destruction needs to be secure, too. Find out how the cloud provider disposes of damaged storage devices.
- How will you access your data in case of a disaster? If you are planning to use cloud backup as part of your disaster recovery strategy, you will need to restore machines, not just data. Understand how your cloud backup will support this process.
- Will the cloud support your compliance process? To satisfy compliance requirements, you may need the ability to create an audit trail showing how data was stored, how it was accessed, and how it was deleted and destroyed.
Once you’ve determined that cloud backup meets your business needs, look for a backup software solution that makes backing up to the cloud straightforward. Veeam features such as AWS Storage Gateway and Cloud Connect make transferring data to the cloud seamless. Contact dcVAST to learn more about using Veeam and the cloud as your backup solution.