Cloud storage is getting cheaper and cheaper while Internet broadband connections are getting faster and faster – actuallly not everywhere and not at the same pace.
So cloud storage is becoming more interesting not only for consumers (that already uses it to share files and store photos), but also for companies.
You should consider to adopt cloud storage for your backups at least for 4 reasons:
- Infrastructure management: cloud storage is managed by the cloud provider, you don’t need to take care of hardware, software and data redundancy
- Variable costs vs fixed costs: you only pay for what you use
- Scalability: disk occupation peaks aren’t a problem anymore
- Location: a far more easier way to have backups located out of your headquarters
There’s no free meal in this world, so there are downsides too:
- Upload/download speed: local storage is faster in saving/restoring your data
- Control: someone takes care of the infrastructure so you loose the control of it
- Uptime: cloud platforms are far more reliable than many storage infrastructures adopted by businesses, but it can still fail
Don’t confuse collaboration tools with backup tools!
Today, there are many collaboration platforms offering free cloud storage and tools to edit/create documents online. Google Drive – paired with Google Apps – and Microsoft OneDrive are two widely known solutions.
Of course you can use these platforms as destination for your backups but we don’t suggest to do so.
Backups are copies of your important data maintened for an eventual restore in case of disaster. It’s a deprecable practice to let users access – and eventually corrupt – them.
A good backup destination must have solid access permissions management. Furthermore, real time updates of the synchronized files can “spread” corruptions and don’t protect from human errors.
Data retention is important and it’s tricky to manage on these solutions.
If you’re looking for a cloud backup solution, be sure to adopt one that really performs backups, not a synchronization service.