IDG Contributor Network: Back up your datacenter to the cloud? Why not?


If you are currently using the cloud to back up your datacenter, great. If not, perhaps now is a good time to a look at the costs and benefits of this service. Data is doubling every two years, with some projecting that it will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, by 2020. 

In a traditional datacenter environment, backups are typically made to tape or disk, then transported to a secure offsite location. These media are then used in the event of a disaster where your datacenter, or a portion of it needs to be restored. We tend to think of these disasters as fire, flood, and other weather-related events. The truth is, a disaster can be due to a loss of communications, a massive failure in datacenter hardware, sabotage, or a significantly corrupted set of data that cannot be recovered. 

The challenges with this method are cost and time. CIOs are repeatedly being asked to approve acquisitions of backup hardware and/or a large number of tapes on a regular basis. The capital and expense costs can be overwhelming, especially for small to mid-size businesses. These tapes are then transported to an offsite facility, costing more valuable resources. 

Then there is the time factor. The amount of time required to have these tapes retrieved is one component. The other challenge is to find hardware required to perform the restore (assuming your datacenter is out of service). The longer this takes, the more time your business could be shut down or unavailable for employees and customers.