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Cloud Backup vs Cloud Storage – Which is Right For You?

cloud storage

Whilst sounding similar in name, cloud backups and cloud storage have very different use cases. When used together, your business can be prepared for anything.

The Need For Storage

Most, if not all of modern businesses require digital data of some form to function. The need for usable, secure and reliable storage space has exponentially increased in recent years, and for many reasons. We need capacity to keep up with detailed customer records, databases, emails, inventory, and so on. We need security to keep up with stricter data regulations, and enhanced cybersecurity threats. Most notably, we need high-speed remote access as more of us than ever continue to work from home.

Cloud storage has proven itself to be vital for businesses for many reasons:

  • It’s safe. There’s minimal risk of data loss due to hardware failure or disaster.
  • It’s green. Cloud providers have a huge focus on optimising their servers to be energy efficient.
  • Scalability. It’s always easy to increase your cloud subscription, capacity and number of users.
  • Accessibility. Cloud services can be connected to from any device, anywhere (with internet access).
  • Synchronisation. You can setup your local device to mirror the files in the cloud, so you can access them offline and work on them locally.
  • Centralisation. Having all your business files in one place helps security and stability, and keeps things consolidated.
  • Security. Cloud providers have to comply with GDPR, so you don’t have to worry about it on your end.

The Need For Backup

Things go wrong. Accidents happen. Hardware breaks.

We can’t pretend the inevitable won’t happen, and it’s important to be prepared. If you can’t afford for your storage system to become completely unusable, you need another backup. Prevention is always less impactful than recovery and/or repair.

NAS’s (local servers) are just amazing. The value they can provide to businesses, and home users occasionally, is immeasurable. However: fires, theft, and major incidents do happen. Accidental deletion and file corruption are surprisingly regular events. Have a second, separate copy of everything off-site. That way you have a much better chance of being unscathed by these unfortunate scenarios.

Just remember:

Full backups allow full restores. Full restores mean business continuity.

The Difference

It’s quite simple, really. Both cloud backup and cloud storage, as the name suggests, involve storing files on the cloud. The difference is in the usage. Keeping your most recent backup saved online is an example of cloud backup. The result is that your company files are safe and sound, off-site, out of the way, ready to be downloaded again.

Cloud storage is a flexible way to increase the total capacity available. One example of usage would be saving files to the cloud and working on them directly, so that nothing is stored locally.

Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds

A private cloud, fairly self-explanatorily, is inside an organisation, usually on site, and should be protected by a firewall.

Misleadingly, a public cloud is still private, sort of. A third-party (public) service, such as OneDrive or iCloud, allow users to rent space on their hosting systems. Only authorised users can access the files associated with an account, keeping your files private. These are very popular for domestic users to backup to, since they usually have no need to run a home server for their camera roll.

The hybrid cloud, as the name suggests, is a hybrid of these two options – we recommend this type of storage the most. The private cloud is used to work on and access through the day. This syncs itself with public cloud, so there is an off-site constant backup of everything important. In this instance, the office could literally burn to the ground, yet every single file from the last backup is still safe (and if you’re using DaaS, see below, everyone can keep working too).

Remote Working With The Cloud

The “work from home” movement in the last year has proven the importance of the cloud. Not only for storage and backup, but for communication and collaboration. The public cloud industry is forecast to grow even further than it did in 2020, in 2021. We’re looking at another 18.4% this year!

Software as a service (SaaS), or software subscriptions, is expected to remain the largest market segment for the foreseeable future. The desktop as a service (DaaS), or virtual machine subscriptions, is forecast to experience a large boost in spending too. This is because DaaS offers an inexpensive and straight forward way for organisations to allow remote working to be flexible, secure and stress-free. Workers can log in to a virtual machine from any system, from any location. They’ll always appear to be working from the same computer, with the same files and programs. The entire virtual computer’s worth of information is stored in the cloud. Clearly, this has shown its value over the multiple lockdowns.

In Summary

2020 taught the tech industry a valuable lesson. We’ve learned, as a whole, to be adaptable, flexible, and rely on networking more than ever before. Backing up became vital as information became distributed across locations and devices. The cloud has become more useful, as we’ve needed to collaborate from a distance. Most importantly, we acknowledged how we were vulnerable, and how to prepare. We never know what’s around the corner, so protecting yourself, your data, and especially your business is absolutely worth the expense.

Discuss backups, cloud storage, or anything networking – give us a call at 03333 055 055.

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