More businesses are moving their storage to the Cloud as the economic and technical benefits grow. Companies can usually migrate all of their data from local disks to the Cloud in a matter of days or weeks so the good news is that the initial loading process is relatively simple and straightforward.
However, Cloud backup is another matter altogether. Cloud backup is not just a “set it and forget it” proposition as there are other ongoing issues to consider. The bad news is that all too many businesses assume that now their data is in the Cloud there is no need to monitor, manage and validate the backup and data integrity. But in reality there must be much more thought put into these factors which are crucial for the long-term viability of a Cloud backup service.
Maintenance & Monitoring
Any component involved with the Cloud storage, retrieval and backup process must be updated when vendor changes occur. Once it is updated, the new configuration needs to be tested to verify that ongoing backups are continuing to occur as expected. Cloud storage and backups must also be monitored to ensure 24/7 uptime. Whether there is a bug, a power outage, a natural disaster or any service interruption, the backup needs to continue to perform. Both internal and external monitoring ensures that crucial backup processes are always available so appropriate and aggressive action will be triggered if the resources decline.
Perhaps the most important ongoing task is to keep up with security. The backup files often have crucial and private documents such as patents, financial information, strategic planning, social security numbers, staff bank account information and more. Keeping the files safe and secure is an important task for the entire staff.
Keeping data safe applies to C-level executives just as much as other employees.
Passwords should be changed regularly to avoid attacks. Malware protection must be frequently up dated. Finally, multi-level authentication and file encryption can be added to further protect the most confidential of files.
It is also important to recognize when the business needs change and adjust the Cloud backup accordingly. Often, companies rapidly grow their storage capacity due to new projects, increased data collection or a variety of other factors. An internet connection with increased bandwidth along with expanded storage capacity will ensure Cloud backup systems don’t become overloaded. Once again, close monitoring will alert a slowdown and appropriate management will ensure that backup processes and data quality doesn’t suffer.
NPI Technology Management includes continual maintenance, monitoring and security activities in their Cloud Backup & Recovery service. When the goal is to avoid a “recovery nightmare”, careful analysis should never be compromised.