For practically any business, losing its data because of a computer crash, human error, hack or other calamity would be disastrous. A business’ information may be one of its most important assets, so it’s important to take measures to protect it. Backing up your data is a critical step in safeguarding your business against losing important information.
Increasingly, businesses are backing up their files to the cloud, a remote site that stores data. By 2018, three-fourths of all data center traffic is expected to be cloud-related. Backing up your data to the cloud does offer some distinct advantages, but starting the process and choosing the right service can be challenging. So, here are nine tips for backing your data up on the cloud.
1. Have Multiple Backups
Many security experts recommend having a multi-level defense strategy against data loss. The first level, they say, is your on-site copy. The next line of defense is your on-site backup. You should view the cloud as your third and final level of protection.
Multiple back-ups can be expensive, but generally the more back-up locations, the better. If it’s possible for you to have the best of both worlds, you should.
2. Back up Continuously
The ideal time to back up information is whenever anything changes, which is probably pretty often. One advantage of cloud-based back-up services is that it can update continuously with little to no effort on the part of the business.
If you only have files that rarely change, you might not want continuous updates. In that case, look for a service that offers that option.
3. Consider the Volume of Data
If you have a monstrous amount of data, you’re going to need a monstrous amount of equipment to store it on-site. If you have large quantities of data, look for cloud software companies that can handle that capacity. If you don’t have much, find a smaller storage space option so you don’t end up paying more than you have to.
If you think your data may grow a lot in the future, make sure the service you choose allows you to change your storage requirements. With many cloud companies, changing the storage capacity of a plan is relatively simple.
4. Take Recovery Time Objectives Into Account
If you need to recover some files quickly, you may want to consider storing those on a physical device since data transfer speeds are slower for online options like the cloud.
If quick recovery time is not one of your main needs, the cloud should work just fine. For most people’s needs, data transfer is usually fast enough. If some of your files are more time-sensitive than others, you might consider also keeping those on site.
5. Consider Data Growth Rate
If you expect the volume of your data to grow quickly, cloud storage is probably the best option for your business. Online storage is much easier to scale than on-site backup, which requires setting up additional infrastructure.
If flexibility is a priority in your cloud back-up plan, make sure you choose one that allows you to easily scale up.
6. Consider Your Budget
The more private and flexible your online storage solution is, the more expensive it generally is. Public cloud sites serve multiple businesses. They’re less secure but also cheaper than private options.
Private cloud storage sites offer you more flexibility and, of course, you have it all to yourself. However, it’s also expensive.
If your budget is low but you require some private storage, you could opt for a hybrid option and keep some files on a private cloud and some on a public one. You could also create a hybrid option of physical on-site storage and cloud storage. The best option differs based on your business.
7. Consider Security Needs
If your data is highly sensitive, however, you may need to go the private route. It’s more expensive, but if security is a top priority, it may be necessary.
If security does take precedence over other factors in your cloud storage decisions, you could also choose a company that focuses on storage, like SpiderOakOne or CertainSafe Digital Deposit Box.
8. Consider Access Requirements
How you need to access your data may affect what service you should choose. For example, if you use Apple devices, you should choose a service that is compatible with Apple devices or even Apple’s own cloud storage solutions.
You might also want to access data on the go or collaborate with others on it. Check to see if the services you’re looking at offer those amenities before making a purchase.
9. How Quickly You Need to Locate a File
One of the best aspects about the cloud is the ease with which you can locate files on it. It’s convenient because everything is all in one place and doesn’t require using any physical equipment. Note that this different than transferring and restoring data, which the cloud generally does more slowly.
To speed up your file-location process even more, you could use a service like If This Then That. You can tell If This Then That to fetch files for you, automatically upload to the cloud and transfer information back and forth.
Backing up your business’ data is a critical step in protecting your company from losing important files and information. Increasingly, businesses are turning to the cloud to store their files. Each business’ storage needs are different, so its important to consider all available options and choose the cloud storage option that’s right for your company.