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How the Cloud Makes Data Backups Easier

One advantage of cloud computing over in-house, onsite IT is that with cloud computing the hosting company will usually back up your data for you in order to prevent data loss. This will allow you to avoid having to perform back up your own data yourself, will decrease the likelihood of data loss, and will reduce your overall data backup costs.

Every business should back up all of its important data. Data that should be backed up includes contracts, financial documents such as invoices and bills, customer data, intellectual property such as product designs and business plans, employee records, emails and IM logs, call records and call recordings, application data, IT settings, and sales and marketing content. Loss of important data can result in lost productivity, lost sales, legal trouble, and financial penalties and other sanctions (if a government or industry regulation requires you to maintain certain records, as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires public companies to maintain records related to the financial reporting process).

Businesses should keep at least a single copy of all of their important files. This copy should be located on a storage drive or disk that’s different from the one on which the original file is stored. In addition, it would be preferable if the storage drive with the backup file was situated in a different location (ideally, in a different part of the country or the world) than the storage drive with the original file, to avoid the possibility of the two drives being affected by the same localized incident, such as an office break-in and theft, a devastating cyberattack (such as a cryptovirus infection), or a natural disaster such as a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake. (For the same reason, the two drives should not be part of the same network segment.)

It can be difficult and costly for businesses with onsite IT infrastructures to attempt to back up all of their important files by themselves. One reason this is the case is because onsite IT infrastructures tend to be fairly decentralized, with a lot of users storing their data on their device’s hard drive instead of on a shared server. Businesses with a decentralized onsite IT infrastructure will probably have to install backup software on all of their devices. In addition, these businesses will have to purchase, set up, and maintain all of their own storage drives. Also, if they don’t have another office in a different part of the country, they will have to pay a cloud provider to store their backups offsite for them.

Data backups are easier, more effective, and more cost-efficient when a business has a cloud-based IT infrastructure. In some cases, cloud providers will back up all of your data automatically and for no additional cost. Even if your cloud provider charges extra for data backups, the amount they charge will likely be less than it would cost it you to back up your own onsite IT infrastructure, since cloud providers can buy low-cost commodity hardware directly from manufacturers; can get exclusive bulk-purchasing discounts on hardware, software, and bandwidth; and because they already have multiple, geographically-distributed locations to which they can send offsite backups.

In addition, cloud providers can afford to implement advanced data backup measures that reduce costs and decrease the likelihood of data loss, including data deduplication, in-transit and at-rest encryption, continuous data integrity checks, onsite data replication, versioning, and offsite data backups to multiple different locations.

Plus, with a cloud-based IT infrastructure all of your data is stored on a relatively small number of interconnected servers (and users can access their cloud-based assets from anywhere with any device so there’s no need to for them to store any data on their device’s storage drive), which makes it easier to back up all of your important data and less likely that you’ll being unable to back up any files because they’re in an inaccessible location.