Even today, the cloud is somewhat a polarizing subject. The very mention of “going to the cloud” can produce eye rolls, cringing, and shaking of heads. And when you add the word backup to the subject – the idea of taking your most valuable data and IP and putting it in the cloud on purpose – the response turns to crossed arms, frowning faces and other demonstrations of disapproval.
No doubt, cloud backup itself has some inherent issues, which is why we want to discuss hybrid cloud backups. If you’re not familiar, it’s where backups are stored on a local NAS and then archived to the cloud. Note, the cloud is still front and center in this kind of offering but, as you’ll see, using a hybrid approach takes away all the pain and leaves all the benefits of cloud backups.
So let’s take a look at 4 myths that have risen about the cloud in general and have somehow been tacked onto hybrid cloud backup, and see just how true they are.
This is the one myth that must be addressed before your customers will even bother to consider the cloud for housing any kind of important company data, regardless of whether using strictly cloud backups or a hybrid cloud backup.
The litmus test of whether the cloud is secure for backups can be boiled down to a single question – Who has access? After all, if both the customer and the storage vendor have access to backed-up data, it’s a non-starter.
The reality is cloud backups are secure - for two reasons. First, serious cloud backup vendors are encrypted using military-grade 448 blowfish where the data is encrypted 16 times before being stored. In theory, it would take a lifetime to crack. Second, the only holder of the private encryption key is the customer. That means no one else, not even the cloud backup provider, can access the data.
Ok, since cloud backups are secure, they’re too slow to use, right? I mean, GBs or even TBs of data over a wire with a comparably slow upload speed translates to an absolutely useless service. Or does it?
From a speed standpoint, with a hybrid cloud solution in place, you have a very fast local backup from which the data can be copied to cloud-based storage over a period of time. But let’s not stop there. Backups are performed at a block level (not a file level), sending only block-level changes up to the cloud. This makes for very tiny (read: fast) backups.
Cloud backup providers tout “bare metal restores” which, of course, brings to mind GBs and GBs of data. Surely I can’t pull down an entire server form the cloud, can I? The reality is, by using a hybrid cloud backup solution, hopefully you won’t need to.
Recovery means “get me my business operational!” so speed is critical, so restoring from the on-premise half of the backup solution will provide fast restores. The cloud provides the redundancy needed in the event local storage isn’t available or a restore needs to be performed to an alternate site.
Ok, in the context of a cloud-only backup solution, this one would be true. All it would take is a downed Internet connection. But, because we’ve been talking about hybrid cloud backups, where local storage is utilized to provide speed and redundancy, your backup is highly available, even when the Internet isn’t. And in cases where you need to restore to somewhere other than the location with the NAS server on-site, the availability of the cloud gives you access where on-premise simply can’t.
To be overly “punny”, it appears the cloud has a silver lining. MSPs and customers alike who have legitimate concerns about the security, speed and availability of cloud backups can rest assured that with a hybrid cloud backup solution, customers get the best of both local and cloud-based features providing them with the most secure and highly available backup solution on the market.