What Is Cloud Backup?
Cloud backup typically refers to a method of storing data backups on remote servers, accessed through the Internet, instead of on local storage or physical tapes. This allows for easy access to data and ensures data availability even in case of disaster or hardware failure on the local side. The data is typically stored in multiple, redundant locations for increased security and reliability.
However, there are other ways to store cloud data. In some cases, cloud backup solutions may provide on-premises or hybrid options for backing up the data used by cloud services. For example:
Why Is Cloud Backup Important?
There are several reasons why cloud backup is an important aspect of data protection and management.
Security and Compliance
A cloud backup solution typically provides enhanced security and compliance management capabilities, making it easier to meet the requirements of data security regulations. Data is stored on remote servers, away from the potential risks of local hardware failure, theft, or natural disasters. This makes it much less likely that sensitive data will be lost or stolen. Cloud backup solutions are often designed to meet various security and regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA or PCI DSS, which are critical for businesses that handle sensitive data.
As the amount of data grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage and store on local devices. Cloud backup eliminates the need for local storage capacity and enables businesses to scale their backup solutions as their data grows. This means that businesses can continue to protect their data without worrying about running out of storage space.
Another advantage of cloud-based storage and backup services is that they tend to have flexible pricing models. Thus, cloud backup solutions are easier to scale than on-premises backup systems.
Cloud backup providers typically invest in highly redundant systems, with multiple layers of backup, to ensure that data is protected even in the event of server failures. Storing backups off-site enables organizations to access their data even if the local system is down.
In addition, many cloud backup solutions use data deduplication and compression techniques to minimize the amount of data that needs to be stored, which reduces the cost of cloud backup and makes it more affordable.
Cloud Backup Pricing Breakdown
Organizations often miscalculate the cost of adopting a cloud backup solution because they overlook or underestimate the costs of data transfer, data storage, and ongoing maintenance and support. Cloud costs differ from on-premises costs because they often include hidden or unpredictable charges.
When adopting a cloud backup solution, there are two main cost factors that organizations need to consider:
For example, see the pricing structure for AWS, starting with storage costs. Here are some of the pricing option for the US East (Ohio) region:
There are other options available, but this sums up the range of pricing options.
Next, you have to pay for retrieval requests. For example (in US East):
Most significantly, transferring data also costs:
In addition, AWS charges for data replication, management, analytics, and services like S3 Object Lambda. For example, monitoring in the US East region costs $0.20/million objects per month for the first 25 billion objects and $0.12/million objects after the first 100 billion objects. Analytics jobs cost $0.25 each (for batch processing). Thus, it is important to consider the cost of optional services and requests.
Key Points to Consider for Backups Using Cloud Storage
Here are some important things to consider when planning your cloud storage and backup strategy.
Monitoring Cloud Backup Costs
Regularly monitoring cloud backup usage and costs can help organizations identify aspects that they can optimize their usage and reduce costs.
Here are some steps to monitor cloud backup costs:
By following these steps, organizations can effectively monitor cloud backup costs and take steps to reduce costs as needed.
Know When to Choose Hot of Cold Storage Tiers
Hot storage refers to data that is frequently accessed and requires fast retrieval speeds. This type of data storage is typically used for operational data, such as databases, and requires high-speed storage solutions, such as solid-state drives (SSDs) or RAM (News - Alert).
Cold storage refers to data that is infrequently accessed and has a slower retrieval speed requirement. This type of data storage is often used for archival data and requires low-cost storage solutions, such as magnetic disk drives.
In cloud offerings, different storage tiers are used to categorize data based on its frequency of access, cost, and performance requirements. For example:
It is important to choose the right storage tier for each type of data used in the cloud to ensure the right balance between accessibility or performance and cost effectiveness.
Implement Data Retention Policies
A data retention policy is a set of guidelines that specify how long a system must keep data, what types of data must be kept, and what data can be deleted. This policy helps organizations manage their data storage and ensure that they are in compliance with legal or regulatory requirements. For example, financial data must be kept for a certain number of years for tax purposes, while healthcare data must be kept for a minimum of 7 years to meet HIPAA regulations.
Compress and Deduplicate Data to Reduce Costs
Data compression and deduplication are two methods used to reduce the amount of data that must be stored and transferred, thereby reducing cloud backup costs.
Data compression involves reducing the size of a file by removing redundant data and using algorithms to compress the remaining data. Compressed data takes up less space, which means that organizations can store more data in the same amount of storage space. This reduces the cost of data storage and data transfer, as less data needs to be stored and transferred.
Deduplication is a process that eliminates redundant data, such as multiple copies of the same file, from a data set. This reduces the amount of data that must be stored and transferred, as only one copy of each unique file is stored.
Cloud backup is an essential part of data management for organizations of all sizes. However, the cost of cloud backup can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including data storage costs, data transfer costs, and the level of security and reliability offered by the cloud backup provider. Organizations must take these factors into account when choosing a cloud backup solution to ensure that it is cost-effective for their needs.
In the end, organizations must carefully evaluate their needs and choose a cloud backup solution that provides cost-effective data storage and data transfer options, as well as meets their data management, security, and regulatory compliance needs. With the right cloud backup solution in place, organizations can ensure the security, reliability, and scalability of their data and meet their data management needs in a cost-effective manner.