Cloud or On-Site Backup: What Suits Your Company Best?

More and more often, companies store their databases digitally. However, despite the apparent advantages, there are certain drawbacks, including the high risk of losing or corrupting information. As a result, you can lose your order files, customer database, and other important information. According to Comparitech, in 2020:

  • 86.2% of surveyed organizations were affected by cyberattacks.
  • Almost 50% of business PCs and 53% of consumer PCs that got infected once got re-infected within the same year.
  • Almost 200 million ransomware attacks occurred in the first nine months of 2020, representing a significant increase over the previous year.

These days, companies use data backup software to prevent such incidents. There are two main backup options - cloud and on-site. In this article, we will analyze the main features of cloud and on-site backups and tips to build backup and disaster recovery strategies.

What is a Cloud Backup?

Cloud backup is a third-party service like Titan Backup that allows you to securely store and backup your essential data in the cloud. The cloud can act both as a standalone and second data storage. It is mostly used for the replication of backups and as a long-term archive. The main advantages of such a solution are:

  • Automatic backups. Database updates can take place automatically, e.g., once a day or once a week.
  • Saving money. Running backups in the cloud is cheaper than using local storage as you save on hardware maintenance.
  • Possibility of full data backup. We mean the inclusion of the current status of the operating system, installed programs, services, and files in the automated backup. In addition, you can set up a selective backup.
  • Easy administration. Remote storage in the cloud doesn't require an IT professional.
  • High security. Modern cloud technologies can provide good information security and data encryption.
  • Simple combination with local storage. It is possible to create a single database and synchronize files in the cloud and on the local server. Such a procedure will give the maximum degree of protection and reliability.
  • Multiple use cases. Cloud storage can be used in several modes: direct automated backup, replication of an existing copy, and archiving previous copies for long-term storage.
  • Quick backups. Data transmission is performed over high-speed channels. Only the bandwidth limits the speed of immediate recovery.

Cloud backups are more practical than on-premise backups. Data is stored on several distributed servers. This ensures high reliability and security of data. As a result, the risk of data loss comes down to zero. In addition, the best cloud backups services allow encrypting sensitive information.

What is an On-site Backup?

On-site backup is the creation of copies of documents and files on the company`s hard drive. It can be used to restore the company in case of emergency - theft or failure of the computer, encryption, etc.

What are the benefits of running on-site вackups?

  • Greater control over frequency and storage of backups.
  • Quick and straightforward data retrieval.
  • Convenient.
  • Portable.
  • No ongoing subscription fees.

Local storage is easier to install and use, and most importantly, relatively inexpensive. Therefore, it is better to choose on-premise backups if you have a small budget.

Cloud or On-Site Backup: What is Better?

Cloud or on-site backup - this question is interesting for a lot of companies all over the world. Each company is different, so it's worth comparing the pros and cons to understand which backup option is the best.

Reasons to do on-site backups:

  • An external drive works locally - you can hold it in your hands, safely store it, or take it with you.
  • Low cost, especially for an HDD drive.
  • Can be used with a variety of computers and devices.
  • Ability to take with you, share or give to another person.

Pitfalls of on-site backup you should consider:

  • An external drive can be damaged, lost, or stolen.
  • An external drive is convenient for local use, but it is easier to share data with others or yourself elsewhere when using the cloud.
  • The drive has a specific and limited capacity.

The benefits of cloud backup:

  • Data is stored on external servers and is securely protected.
  • Ability to access the cloud from anywhere.
  • Some files or the entire cloud space can be shared by several people (e.g., colleagues).
  • Many companies offer some amount of free space in the cloud.
  • If there is a break-in, fire, or other events in your home or office that results in the loss of devices and local data, the cloud and its contents will remain intact.

The not so great things about a cloud backup:

  • The data is present on third-party servers, which can be a problem for some.
  • Accessing the cloud requires an Internet connection.
  • Increasing disk space in the cloud requires a monthly fee - after a few months, this cost can approach that of buying a large external drive.
  • There is a risk of unauthorized access to data in the cloud, but you can minimize it by using a strong password.

Both solutions have their strengths. On-site backup is the traditional way to store data, while cloud backup is very convenient when a company has many computers (30 and more). More often, on-site backups are used by small companies.

Suppose you need to decide exclusively on one of these solutions. In that case, it is worth analyzing their advantages and disadvantages and adapting the solution to the specifics of your own company. However, the best and most secure solution would be to use Titan Backup - an innovative cloud-based data protection platform created with security and reliability in mind.

Contact us to request a demo.

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Backup

A hybrid backup is a solution in which the company uses cloud storage and a local one. Different elements of the same IT system - databases, services, and applications - can be hosted on different types of storage. Often companies keep mission-critical backups in-house and move less critical backups to the cloud.

Advantages of hybrid backup:

  • It is easy to test and develop backup and disaster recovery strategies.
  • Easily scalable: at peak load, you can use the power of the cloud without expanding your storage.
  • The risk of system failure as well as loss of important data and sensitive information is lower.
  • It's convenient to allocate resources not to overload local equipment and the network with automated backups.
  • You can save on hardware and software purchases, maintenance, and staff.

Disadvantages of hybrid backup:

  • It is more expensive to deploy and maintain hybrid backups than to use a simple one.
  • Increase the risk of losing data as you move it from one cloud to another.
  • If the need arises to handle sensitive data (e.g., personal data), often it has to be "anonymized" before being pushed to the cloud. It increases the burden on IT departments.
  • You must ensure sensitive data does not leave the cloud storage.
  • It requires competent specialists to work correctly.

A hybrid backup suits holdings that include companies from different fields with different data security requirements.

How Much Do Online Backup Services Cost?

Most backup services are subscription-based, and most construct pricing tiers based on the amount of cloud storage you get or the number of devices you can use with an account. A few services offer permanent free accounts, but those plans impose paltry storage limits or restrict key features to the paid versions.

In 2021 online data backup costs about $13 per 10 GB of data. Other fees include about $55 for set-up, plus $22-55 per license. Rates naturally increase in larger-scale data backup solutions. Small-sized businesses have different needs than medium and big ones, which needs to be considered.

Small companies with less than 10 GB of data to backup often pay no more than $20 a month to provide security to their data. However, giant corporations that need encrypted backups performed as data is updated and that operate on a massive scale may be paying as much as $250,000 per year to back up data.

Tips to Creating Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategy

Until recently, the "3-2-1" rule was invariably used when backing up data. Let's briefly recap what it is:

  • There must be three copies of the files.
  • Two copies must be located on different types of physical media.
  • At least one copy should not be located in the company office.

As practice shows, it is not always convenient to create many copies, especially in small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, in today's realities, the strategy of splitting copies into the following types is more effective:

  • Instant. Their primary purpose is to restore the necessary information in case of a non-critical failure. These files can be stored even on a separate drive of the copied server.
  • Archive files. Such files are stored on another server and are constantly updated (daily, weekly and monthly copies can be created depending on the importance of the information).
  • Remote. These copies are also stored on a remote server. Ideally, you should synchronize such storage with the archive storage. Then you need fewer copies.

The Recommended Frequency of Automated Backups

It all depends on how often the data gets updated. For example, 1C or an online store database should be backed up once a day - at the end of the working day.

Here it is necessary to adhere to the golden mean. Making automated backups too often is expensive. After all, precious system resources are spent creating backups, not to mention disk space for storing them.

If you do not have many employees, your data are not changed very often, and your work is "slow,” you can create backups less frequently, for example, once a week (on Fridays) or twice a week (on Wednesdays and Fridays).

How Much Data Should you Backup?

How long should you keep the backup copies? There is a temptation to delete the previous backup, freeing up space to create a new version. But don't do this: you risk losing earlier, but correct data and write data with logical errors instead. Such errors are not always detected.

The backup depth directly affects the amount of disk space for backups. For example, if one backup takes 10GB, a backup depth of 7 days a week (a copy is created every day) will require 70GB to store all backups. Also, keep in mind that the amount of data grows over time, and after a while, a single backup might not take 10GB but 11GB.

As a rule, a backup depth of 7-14 days is enough.

Should You Validate Backup Files?

Check backups from time to time. This way, you can make sure that the backup files are usable. Otherwise, it may happen that at X hour, the backup is unusable for some reason. Therefore, you should check not only the fact that a backup was created but also its contents.

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