When reviewing and implementing a backup solution it’s important to remember that the purpose of it is to provide the ability to recover. Recovery is an aspect that could easily be overlooked or not properly understood, many solutions providing multiple restore options which may in some cases have different costs.
What is cloud recovery?
As with any non-cloud backup medium, once a cloud backup has taken place, it will be stored for its retention period so that data can be recovered from it if required. Cloud recovery is the process of restoring data that has been lost, accidentally deleted or corrupted, over the Internet or network, from a cloud-based system.
This kind of restore typically involves the recovery of data to a desktop, single server or network attached storage system. Cloud recoveries could be a single file, directory, database or even a full system or systems.
- Disaster Recovery refers to policy driven procedures to restore data, infrastructure and systems on a larger scale if a natural disaster or a human-made disaster takes place. Disaster Recovery could also include failover to systems that data is replicated to.
Why would I need to recover?
The most common reason to need to recover or restore data is data loss, which can be caused by anything from an accidental deletion of data to hardware or software failure or disasters.
Other reasons for needing to restore data could include for testing or insurance purposes, to be able to reference historical versions of documents or to comply with an audit. Alternatively, a novel use for cloud backup and recovery is the migration of data between systems or when the hardware is upgraded.
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Benefits of recovering using a cloud service:
Using a modern cloud backup and recovery solution gives an organisation the ability to be highly selective with what data is being backed up, how often it is backed up and how long it is kept for. Organisations can grow or shrink their backup selection with ease and extend retention periods or increase the backup frequency with just a few clicks.
Cloud-based recovery comes into its own in a similar fashion. Traditional tape-based backups, while reasonably reliable, are no guarantee of being able to recover data. For example, tapes stored for long-term retention are susceptible to damage and corruption. Even if the tapes aren’t damaged, simply identifying a tape with the right version of a file can take some time. Once a tape has been identified and retrieved, it then must be restored in its entirety before specific files or folders can be used. Cloud-based restore solutions on the other hand typically have intuitive search functionality enabling the right versions of files or directories to be restored very quickly.
P2V or not 2V
With new technologies changing the landscape of modern business, it is important to have different recovery options available. Being able to not only recover in different ways but to different locations, will give more flexibility and allow for different platforms to be catered for.
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Virtual servers and appliances give the option to scale resources on demand, but they need to be covered by backup and recovery procedures or risk being lost.
With the ever-increasing threat that malware such as Cryptolocker or other ransomware variants pose to data, being safe in the knowledge that you can roll back to a successful backup is invaluable.
Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions give the ability to test restore data instantly with a few clicks. As restores can be tested quickly and easily, they can be done more often and on more systems, providing assurance that all data is available for a real-world restore should it be needed.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery processes will need to bring together many aspects of an organisation to allow the organisation to get back to operational capacity quickly. As different data sets have different values within an organisation, they can be prioritised for restore whether this is from one backup or multiple.