Cloud data backup versus cloud storage
Cloud data backup is basically the process of backing up data to the cloud so that it can be used for the purposes of recovery. While it is in the cloud, it will be held in cloud storage (and if youâ€™re using the public cloud it will be backed up again by the cloud platform vendor). The term cloud storage is actually quite broad. It can cover anything from â€śinstant accessâ€ť storage which is meant for â€śliveâ€ť files (for example to facilitate collaboration), to â€ścoldâ€ť storage, which is used for long-term archiving and which generally has a (very) lengthy retrieval process.
Understanding data backups
In principle undertaking a data backup means making an exact copy of the data in a system. This data is then kept for a given length of time and then if itâ€™s not used itâ€™s deleted. In practice, this approach is only feasible when dealing with very small volumes of data. Most companies will therefore only undertake full data backups on a periodic basis, such as once a week, or even once a month (and preferably out of hours, when users arenâ€™t going to complain about the system being slow).
The rest of the time they will use incremental or differential backups. Incremental backups only back up data which has changed since the last backup (regardless of whether it was an incremental backup or a full backup). Differential backups only back up data which has changed since the last full backup.
Choosing between incremental and differential backups can be a bit of a challenge. Incremental backups generate less data, so they are quicker both to perform and to upload and if you’re charged data-transmission costs, these will be lower. On the other hand, it can be a real pain to recover from them.
Differential backups are essentially the opposite. They can generate a lot more data, which means that they take longer to perform and upload and if you’re charged data-transmission fees, these will be more expensive. On the plus side, however, it can be much less hassle to recover from them.
The basics of performing a data backup
In simple terms, a data backup involves identifying what data needs to be backed up, collecting it, compressing it, encrypting it and transferring it. When you switch to a new data backup system, your first backup will need to be a full backup. If youâ€™re using the public cloud, then itâ€™s a very good idea to schedule this for out-of-hours so you avoid being put under pressure from users if your first attempt at this goes a bit off-track.
If youâ€™re using a private cloud, you might want to use the strategy of â€ścloud-seedingâ€ť, which is when you send a hard copy of your data to your private-cloud vendor for them to copy into your private cloud. You can then make your first â€śproperâ€ť backup a differential/incremental backup. Again, however, you might want to schedule this for out of hours to ensure that thereâ€™s no disruption to users.
Cloud data backups and the law
Staying on the right side of the law (and any relevant compliance programs) is obviously a major concern for any company. If you work with a cloud data backup provider in Davis (or at least near Davis), then your cloud data backup provider will be working within the exact same legal/compliance framework as you and will be subject to any penalties which can be imposed by your local courts/regulators. This is a strong incentive for them to ensure that they are fully in compliance with everything which is required of them.
The further away your cloud data backup service is from you, the less you will be able to supervise them and frankly the less relevant your local courts and regulators are likely to be to them. In principle, you could try to counterbalance this through the terms of your contract, but that would only work in practice if you were able to enforce it and the further away a company is located from you, the more challenging (and expensive) this can be.
If youâ€™d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data backup service in Davis, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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