Gabriele Sposato, Chief Marketing Officer at Aruba S.p.A discusses Cloud backup strategies.
More individuals and businesses are turning to cloud so that they can preserve what they hold dearest: their data. To an individual, the primary reasons for turning to the cloud are to save their photos, or archive e-mails and other personal documents. For a business, the cloud provides a great storage option if the sheer volume of data being collected and processed threatens to overwhelm it, as well as providing another safe backup option in case the first one fails.
This is an essential part of business, as losing even a small fraction of your most important data for a brief period of time could be a real disaster – especially with GDPR regulations in place. It can even threaten an enterprise’s existence, with the potential to cause financial and reputational damage. Although faulty hardware or lost devices can always be replaced, the value that data represents, including confidential work (legal, medical, educational, etc.) or crucial CCTV footage, is often irreplaceable. In our increasingly digitalised world, understanding the best practices and measures that businesses can take to look after their data is more important than ever.
At Aruba, we have seen an increase in demand for cloud services from companies looking to secure business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the global lockdown, various sectors relied on cloud and data centre services to achieve a strong and reliable infrastructure to support the surge in demand from employees and customers. Now, as the lockdown lifts, businesses around the world are adapting to new ways of working. What we’re finding is that businesses that have problems achieving the level of IT service they desire require reliable, end-to-end backup infrastructure solutions that can be managed remotely, ensuring that services can operate 24/7.
Cloud is powerful
At its core, backing up data on cloud enables a business to send a copy of its data to another location, so that it can be easily restored if it is compromised to ensure business continuity. Cloud servers are housed in warehouses offsite and are often heavily guarded, protected from local weather disturbances, outages, and other potential IT crises. This data is also encrypted, making it difficult for any malware attacks or hacking to penetrate its defences. Most businesses today rely on 24/7 continuation of services, and having a system in place that protects you from potential disruptions is a great advantage.
The data hosted on these machines is also protected by disaster recovery systems capable of coping with any type of destructive event. This is even more important in this era of GDPR, where regulatory compliance and increasing attention to privacy and data protection make it crucial to be able to count on a data storage system that is flexible and integrated into existing systems. The focus is on implementing retention effectively in the cloud, making sure that breach notification obligations and protocols are included in data processing agreements with cloud providers and several other clauses including data ownership, risk management and privacy security.
Now, carrying out consistent and efficient data backups, either on a physical tape copy stored in a remote location or on a local network service such as a private FTP minimises the chance of losing data in a force majeure situation. Although a network backup serves to replicate and restore networked services when a primary network is unavailable, such as in the case of a natural disaster, its implementation should also be seen as a way to protect information. This is a high priority measure for those businesses dealing in critical data, such as government institutions, where security is of paramount importance.
Deploying a cloud backup strategy enables employees and other business stakeholders to easily run apps and access data files through an online backup service that stores data on physical servers within a data centre. This is a popular option for enterprises to consider, as online backup via cloud encrypts and synchronises files in real-time on the servers of the data centre hosting the service. This ensures that there is always a copy of that data in the cloud – easily accessible and safe.
The scalability of the cloud also offers quick solutions to transfer and save data on a remote server. Benefits include ease of browsing files and the ability to modify them from anywhere in the world, without limitations of compatibility with software or operating systems. There are also software programs that
can automatically perform regular backups on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis, thus reducing user intervention to a minimum and minimising bandwidth usage so as not to interfere with other daily operations. This fully automated and easy to use backup strategy means that services can continue to function, whilst eliminating the need for manual intervention and freeing up employees to deal with other core functions of the business.
Prioritising the right strategy
Although businesses have many things to think about at the moment, the preservation and archival of data should always be front of mind. The good news is that automating backups into the cloud or to onsite storage is simple to set up and comparatively inexpensive to manage. It’s important that enterprises have a good grasp of how to do this, as well as being aware of the latest technologies out there.
Businesses of all sizes should ensure that they have an efficient backup setup and a consistent recovery test program to prevent data loss. It is crucial that the leaders of these organisations make this a business priority. Even those that already have backups in place can always look to make them more secure and more comprehensive – continuous improvement is vital in today’s fast-paced world. The others that have yet to do so, should mitigate against the various risks out there and prioritise finding a solution before disaster strikes.