Cloud backup refers to a simple way of backing up data to an online target. This could be a generic public cloud, a public managed cloud or even a private managed cloud. With the pace at which technology is evolving, vendors that offer cloud backup are making it a modern-day alternative to backing up to local targets. It’s a new way to secure both company and personal information for a nominal cost.
Companies have been using backup software on-premise to write backups to tape or disk using well established backup software. These backup vendors have incorporated public cloud as a target for their backups to be written.This is non-disruptive, with people being able to use their existing backup solution and just repoint it to a supported cloud.
Some backup vendors have also made their own clouds available and sell you a complete turnkey “backup to the cloud” service. In addition, newer vendors have entered the market with backup to cloud as their only offering.
Cloud backup reduces ongoing investment in backup hardware, it also reduces some burden on your own IT staff. Buying a turnkey backup-as-a-service offering will mean all responsibility for the backup is transferred to the service provider, whereas simply using cloud as a target for your in-house backup solution, means that your IT retains a varying degree on the responsibility.
Cloud backup also has the advantage of automatically ensuring you have a copy of your backup offsite, which gives you immediate protection from disasters that could affect it based on your primary location.
Given the economics, it is likely that over time, cloud will be become the primary target for all backups, whether or not companies retain responsibility for the process, or turn the whole process over to a Backup as a Service provider.
There is also a new wave of replication technologies that are making people look at whether backup is the way to go long term. Companies like Zerto provides software that enables replication and automatic recovery of production workloads—both to and from— public and hybrid clouds, rather than merely backing up data to the cloud. This enables enterprises to achieve greater IT resilience with flexibility and mobility across disparate infrastructures and cloud platforms. Although the major limiting factor here is long-term archive. But for those not needing long-term archive, moving to a DR-cloud approach may eventually replace the need for backup. Ultimately, as you move to cloud, the decision becomes about your recovery SLA, not the technology itself.