Cloud storage remains a growing trend today, but is it right for your organization? Not all types of data should be placed in the cloud, while some operations require an isolated environment. Companies that want the protection of on-premise storage may benefit from solutions like private cloud storage, for example.
The following explains the concept of cloud data backup and its importance, discusses on-premise backup solutions and compares the pros and cons of cloud-based and on-premise storage models for backup purposes.
This article is part of a series on Data Backup.
What Is Cloud Backup?
Cloud backup refers to the process of sending a copy of the cloud data to another location. This enables the restoration of information in the event that data is compromised, minimizing downtime and damage. In addition, organizations often need to backup cloud data to comply with industry regulations, facing penalties and fines if they neglect to do so.
There are several options for backing up your cloud data, including:
- Public cloud backup—involves copying data to cloud services providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure. This option tends to be cheaper than other backup options.
- On-premises—this option is geared for companies with an existing storage infrastructure. It can be more expensive, especially if you are using traditional storage solutions, however, it has the benefit of giving you complete control over the data and is therefore suitable for security, compliance, and sensitive data, which is protected behind your own firewall.
- Hybrid backup—some data is backed up on-premise, while other data is stored in the cloud. This hybrid approach provides increased protection of data loss and data corruption.
- Hosted, private cloud—for companies working with SaaS data, a private cloud offers the versatility of the cloud while maintaining the privacy and protection of an on-premise solution, without the additional costs of infrastructure, security or maintenance.
What Is On-Premises Backup?
While a recent trend has been to store everything in the cloud, many have found hidden costs in the solution and have determined that an on-premises backup strategy makes sense. Typically, this process involves the storage of backup files on local servers, typically at the company’s offices or premises.
Using this approach, the data is secure, readily accessible, and easy to execute. The transmission of data over network channels has low latency, and the process of transmission of data is fast since the backup servers are in close range. On-premises data backup does require a some upfront investment, but some solutions grow with you, while others require you to buy now for future growth.
On-Premises vs Cloud Backup
When choosing between on-premises vs cloud backup storage, there are a few aspects to consider. Let’s compare the two options:
Cloud— involves the cost of the backup software license plus a monthly or yearly cloud subscription fee.
On-premises—involves the cost of the backup software license plus the cost of infrastructure if more machines are needed.
Cloud—high investment in security solutions with value-add services. However, in a cloud environment, the security is out of the control of the customer’s IT team.
On-premises—provides complete control of the security for the organization.
Cloud— when storing data in the cloud, you should usually encounter thresholds or speed limits set by the cloud vendor. Therefore, if your organization manages large amounts of data, the speed limits can be a setback. Too much traffic to the cloud can stall or lag the connection for customers or employees. There can also be significant costs associated with pulling data back down from the cloud.
On-premises—local backup speed depends mainly on the LAN connection, making bottlenecks less likely, thus having a clear advantage over cloud environments.
Data Center Redundancy
Cloud—has high fault tolerance and aids on disaster recovery by replicating the data, especially in cases of multicloud systems or multi-server replication.
On-premises—has the advantage of being fully redundant.
Cloud—most cloud vendors offer an availability of 99.9%, meaning that the downtime will be minimal. Unfortunately, server downtime is an unavoidable reality and to access the cloud you need an internet connection.
On-premises—with local storage, you can access to your data without worrying if connected to the internet. You can schedule your machines for maintenance and decide when to back up your data.
Cloud—data localization policies require data collected from citizens to remain within the borders of a country. Therefore, this sensitive data needs to be stored in local cloud regions, ensuring you can control the physical location of the data in the data center.
On-premises—local backup solutions make it easier to deal with data localization policies for highly sensitive data by keeping it under the administrator’s control.
Why Backup Cloud Data?
Why should you store your data in-house instead of in a cloud environment? Cloud storage is not suitable for every kind of data, or for every organization, however popular it may be. Let’s check out some reasons you may choose to keep your data on-premises.
Keeping the data on-premises is a good option when leading with warm data, which needs to be accessed frequently and quickly.
Companies that require high-performance computing tend to manage huge amounts of data, which needs to be processed frequently. These users typically deploy private, on-premises clouds for their data-intensive infrastructures, which allow them to manage hundreds of petabytes of storage.
Data breaches are more common than ever, with attackers intensifying their attempts to steal customer data. Cloud providers make efforts to protect the perimeter and detect threat indicators. However, it is often a matter of time before the next data breach. Storing sensitive data, such as irreplaceable or personal customer data, is often subject to regulatory restrictions. This kind of data is typically stored in-house, where it is easier to protect it from breaches.
Cloud provider downtime
Downtime incidents for public clouds are rare, but they do happen. Since cloud storage is based on internet service, a power outage or disruption to internet service can cause you to lose access to the data. For example, in March 2018, a power outage caused the data of an AWS region to become unavailable. Storing data in local servers prevents data loss in the event of downtime.
Data resilience services provided by cloud vendors automatically check file systems for flaws or data corruption. However, they do not prevent application code or users from corrupting data. That means that every time an application interacts with the data, there is a chance for accidental or malicious corruption. Storing the data on an on-premise server helps control access to the data and contain corruption attempts.
Insider threats such as data deletion
Most attackers target cloud storage with the intention of stealing sensitive data. However, a company could also face an insider threat from a malicious employee who deletes data to harm the business. Backing up the data on-premises can help you restore business operations swiftly if such an attack occurs.
Companies with demanding Service Level Agreements (SLAs) often rely on in-house storage to be able to meet the throughput response time. Organizations in the financial sector typically need High-Performance Computing (HPC) and require low latency, which is difficult to achieve with public cloud storage.
Backup Your Cloud Data with Cloudian
Despite the many benefits provided by cloud storage, it is not exempt from risks such as power outages, malicious deletion or internet connection downtimes. Backing up cloud data is thus a crucial process. Whatever your chosen approach, be it a full on-premise backup or a hybrid solution, you should back up regularly to ensure the protection of your data.
Cloudian solution provides a scalable and cost-effective, on-premises hybrid cloud storage for backup solutions such as Rubrik and Veritas. This provides your backup data with an on-prem target, effectively accelerating RTO and RPO, at a lower cost than cloud storage. Cloudian’s full S3-compatibility also gives you the flexibility to natively and easily tier to the cloud for a complete hybrid or multi-cloud solution.
The solution allows users to access migrated data by automatically returning it to the chosen location, without waiting time or the need for manual transfers. Cloudian integrates data protection across sites with central control, thus enabling fast offline disaster recovery.