Cloud Backup for Businesses

The cloud

As of 2022, a staggering 94% of businesses have employed cloud computing services of some form. The UK cloud market is also estimated to be worth £7-15 billion and is growing at an unprecedented rate. For businesses, digital transformation is not without its challenges. Sure, storing files in their digital forms means saving on printing and file storage expenses. But it also allows businesses to be more agile since business details and critical information can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. However, the growing dependency on digital solutions means increased risk for your business.

The particular risk we are going to discuss is the risk of data loss. This can be due to anything, from file corruption to complete hardware failure. The only way to mitigate this risk is by having a comprehensive cloud backup plan.

On-Site Backup

Before we get to cloud backup, let’s consider on-site backup solutions. For years, businesses have been using external drives, storage servers, Network Attached Storage or NAS units, as well as other backup solutions to safeguard their files. This type of backup is easy to establish and can be very affordable for your business.

Backing up files to on-site backup options is also easy. You can either connect the backup drive directly to the computer, or you can send files over ethernet to the backup server or NAS. Once files are copied, you are all set. However, backing up multiple machines become a challenge when this is your only backup routine.

Backup management solutions were introduced to solve this challenge. The same storage server or NAS can now be used to maintain incremental backups of all computers in the network. The process can be automated too, so there is no need to spend hours copying files manually. That said, an on-site backup is still a risky option.

Possible failures lurking around the corner include:

  • Hard drive failure that affects the storage server or NAS
  • Network failure resulting in corrupt files
  • NAS and server hardware failure, which usually results in catastrophic failure of the entire backup system
  • Accidents and natural disasters harming the backup drive physically

While on-site backup is very practical, it is not the safest solution. Now we have established onsite backup, it is time to take a look at another solution.

Business Cloud Backup

Cloud backup is the better way to go in today’s modern world for several reasons. For starters, cloud backup services don’t rely on a single piece of hardware or a physical server. Instead, your data is stored in a remote server using clusters running in the cloud and managed by a service provider. As backups occur outside of the office network, there is no single point of failure. In addition, your third-party IT service provider will perform real time monitoring activities to effectively secure your stored data in the Cloud. This is an added protection to your critical and sensitive files.

UK cloud backup is also extremely fast due to proximity. You don’t have to worry about uploading large files and downloading them again in the event of a disaster. Local connections can download and upload data with little to no latency. That lower latency also makes real-time cloud backup solutions for businesses possible.

The best cloud-based backup service also supports on-site backups. This means you can back up your machines to a local server or NAS and then have the backup images synchronised with the cloud-managed backup service. Both backup routines operate in tandem, so you can recover files from any backup image and still get the latest version.

Cloud Backup Services Small Business Features

There are more reasons why cloud backup is the way to go, starting with the fact that most cloud backup services for small businesses now support file versioning natively. Up to 30 versions of your files are stored in the cloud, giving you the flexibility of reverting to any past version at any time. If you accidentally edit an important business contract, an unedited version is a download away.

It is also easy to integrate and automate cloud backup services with other services that your business already uses. If you want to back up customer history from Salesforce, you can connect the cloud backup storage account and automate the process from within Salesforce. The same is true for other business solutions on the market.

To make UK cloud backup solutions even more appealing, there are also features like native collaboration tools and advanced access management. These can allow various members of your team to seamlessly view and edit projects simultaneously or simply enable better group communication. Access management is also important since it allows you to carefully manage employee access to certain files, folders, or the entire backup image. You must ensure that the backup solution you use is secure.

Storage space should not be an issue. Many cloud backup storage UK companies now offer unlimited storage space. Those whose service plans include limited storage space offer terabytes of storage for virtually nothing. Cloud backup has gotten so affordable in recent years that it makes more sense for businesses to store backups in the cloud than on-site.

Choosing a Cloud Backup Service

Before you get started with backing your files up in the cloud, you must complete two important steps:

Choosing a provider

The first step is choosing the right provider to work with. There are a lot of cloud backup services for small and medium enterprises; they are not all the same. Some offer more features, while others highlight reliability and availability.

Consider what security packages the provider includes – encryption and credentials management are essential for your business’ data security. If you have completed a recent audit, reflect on whether they can meet your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). The same goes for their availability, as they should provide a time to access your data in the event of failure.

Choosing a cloud backup solution

Secondly, which cloud backup solution should you use? To answer this question, you must first understand your backup needs. With the help of an IT support company in London, you can get an assessment of your IT infrastructure and figure out your backup requirements. You can also complete the process yourself, but getting help minimises any possible mistakes and keeps the process effective.

When comparing cloud backup solutions, try answering these questions:

  • Do you get enough storage space for all your machines?
  • Does the backup routine run automatically?
  • What are the tools provided? Are native clients for your operating systems available?
  • What about incremental backup and file versioning?
  • Is encryption done with a private key?
  • Is encryption done on your machine or in the cloud? Or is it both?
  • What about failsafe and measures for protecting your files?

For example, a good cloud backup service provider may offer multiple redundancies and off-site backups in different locations. No matter what happens to the primary cloud cluster, you will always have access to your files.

Other features that are also useful include recovery and physical backup, where you may choose to send hard drives to be backed up to the cloud. Recovery is an addition to simplify disaster recovery. This way you don’t have to download backup images and can instead have drives shipped to you physically. And if you work with London IT support services you can get your business up and running again quickly in the event of a disaster.

The 3-2-1 Rule

When it comes to maintaining business backups, the 3-2-1 Rule is the best one to follow. The rule says that you need to have at least three backups of your business files, two backup storage types for maximum security, and one off-site backup. A cloud backup helps you meet all three when combined with on-site or hybrid backup solutions.

Of course, choosing a suitable cloud backup solution is only the beginning. The next step to take is establishing a backup routine. This starts with setting up a cloud backup to be part of your information security policy. The process is usually as simple as installing the native client of your backup solution and defining the folders to back up.

If you are not sure about how to complete this process – or if your backup routine requires more complexity – be sure to enlist the help of IT support in London. Rather than experimenting with your critical business information, leave it to professionals to establish a good backup routine for you.

Hands-free automatic backup with the Cloud

Once the initial backup has been completed, you can use all devices and forget about backing up your files completely. Cloud backup solutions are designed to be maintenance-free and require no human input. Depending on how the backup solution is configured, the backup runtimes should be executed periodically. You have the option to go as far as backing up files every time you save a new version.

To complete the setup, establish policies on both backing up files and restoring them. A disaster recovery policy will help your business recover from catastrophic data loss in as little as a few minutes. Fast disaster recovery means sustainable business operations. This will prevent your business from suffering financial loss or dealing with angry customers after a data loss. You also don’t risk losing years of operational history, customer relationship data, and other immensely valuable business files that put you apart from your competitors.

For more information get in touch with us here and we will advise you on choosing the right technology for your business.