Eight Things to Consider Before Moving Your Storage Backup to the Cloud

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Eight Things to Consider Before Moving Your Storage Backup to the Cloud

by Chris Preimesberger

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Align Your Business Resiliency Expectations with the Providers Capabilities

Be sure to vet the experience curve and capability breadth of vendors. Do they offer heterogeneous support for all platforms and applications? How do you define roles/responsibilities? Do they offer service-level agreements, and do they stand behind them? Most importantly, do you have access to that vendor when disaster occurs? Do they offer 24x7 access to a dedicated support and service organization?

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Online Backup Does Not Guarantee Business Resiliency

Make certain the provider you select is focused on data protection. How many data bunkers does the provider have? How comprehensive is their service portfolio? Do they offer other capabilities than just backup; can they provide dedicated as well as multi-tenant offerings?

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Be Aware of Data Security and Privacy

Be wary of free or near-free online backup services that use customers' data to derive revenue; for example, some companies scan sensitive information and use it for remarketing for their own purposes. Vet each provider to truly understand what their intentions are with your data.

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Backing Up Virtual Machines Is Different than Physical Machines

Make sure that the provider you select can protect virtual environments, such as file-level data and system images. If they can't back up VMs, they won't be able to restore them in the event of a disaster.

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What Is the Mobility of Your Data?

Can your provider get you access to your data at a moment's notice? Can they burn it to a DVD or CD if need be? Can they ship that data elsewhere in event of disaster? What are their capabilities when power is lost or a hurricane strikes? Be sure you partner with a provider that is credible, and that will be able get you your data back, whenever you need it.

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Are You Paying for Data Storage or Data Protection?

Some providers charge customers based on the amount of data stored. So enterprises that implement frequent file saves can incur skyrocketing costs based on the accumulation of file changes over time. Conversely, providers that incorporate technologies, such as advanced deduplication and file compression integral to their data protection strategy, can help customers keep their costs down.

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Demand Service Flexibility/Capability, Regardless of Location

How large a data protection footprint does the provider have? Some have the ability to back up data locally first, and then replicate it to the cloud. Because bandwidth is at a premium internationally, an on-premises solution for multinational organizations can mask infrastructure issues in the geography of certain countries.

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Know That One Size Does Not Fit All

Every vendor has a different approach. Evaluate vendor capabilities/services to tailor a solution that addresses your enterprise needs.