Gartner defines enterprise backup solutions as, “software solutions that are designed to capture a point-in-time copy (backup) of enterprise workloads in on-premises, hybrid, multi cloud and SaaS environments and write the data to a secondary storage target for the purpose of recovering this data in case of loss.” Enterprise cloud backup solutions add the cloud’s inherent scalability, accessibility, and reliability to backup, making it apt for enterprises with distributed workforces. As an IT administrator, security team member, or Chief Security Officer, you know that protecting your data is essential to your business. However, the enterprise cloud backup market is a crowded one with no one size that fits all. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key considerations you should keep in mind when choosing a cloud backup solution for your enterprise. We’ll also provide some specific recommendations to help you make the best decision for your company.
Here are five steps to better choose an enterprise cloud backup solution that’s the best fit for your organization.
#1 Define Your Backup Strategy
A backup strategy is an essential component of any organization’s data landscape. A backup strategy is a plan of action for preserving data and preventing data loss due to system failures, user errors, malicious attacks, or other disasters. A backup strategy should include the following:
- What needs to be backed up: Do you need separate solutions for various workloads such as virtualization backup, SaaS data backup, on-premises data center backup, IaaS and PaaS backup?
- The RPO and RTO: The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are essential to determining the frequency and comprehensiveness of your backup solution. The RPO refers to your data loss tolerance – the maximum amount of data you can handle losing in a breach. As far as backup goes, it’s the maximum time gap between two separate backups. The RTO is the timeframe needed to restore normal operations when data has been lost. When considering a backup solution, it determines how long it will take for any missing information or files to be retrieved. Determining your RPO and RTO will help you determine the frequency of your backups, recoverability, backup solution SLA, and recovery capabilities.
- Where should the backups be stored: Would you prefer your backups to be stored on-premises or on the cloud. There are pros and cons on either side of the on-premises vs SaaS backup dilemma. SaaS backup takes ownership of the infrastructure, security, and support. With on-premises backup you take the onus of the servers and operational costs. Hybrid backup offers a mix of both.
- Understand your audit requirements: Every industry has its own specific set of industry/legal requirements and regulations to adhere to. Check with legal on your industry-specific ones as far as backup and recovery goes. HIPAA, for example has very stringent mandates on processing PII and its recoverability. GDPR has data sovereignty laws in place that govern the location of your backup provider’s data centers.
- Finally, putting a backup strategy in place requires close collaboration between IT and business goals and objectives to be able to choose a backup solution tailored to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Only when your backup strategy is defined will you have a checklist of must-haves for an enterprise cloud backup solution that meets the needs of your organization.
#2 Research and Compare Cloud Backup Solutions
When evaluating different backup solutions, it is important to consider supported platforms, redundancy, security, recoverability and RPO/RTO. Making sure the supported platforms are compatible with your digital infrastructure will ensure smooth backups and avoid potential compatibility issues. Redundancy helps protect against data loss in case something goes wrong during a backup session. Security is another important aspect; make sure the solutions offer encryption protection as well as authentication and authorization restrictions. Recoverability also needs to be considered – how long does it take for data to be retrieved? Test the solution’s RPO and RTO for a sample data set so you can determine how fast system components can be recovered. Keeping these characteristics in mind when researching different backup solutions will enable you to make an informed decision regarding what best suits your requirements. An insider note: request the cloud backup solution providers that you are evaluating for an in-depth comparative analysis of various cloud backup solutions.
#3 Calculate the ROI and TCO
Calculating an accurate Return on Investment (ROI) or Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is essential to making informed investment decisions. Cost-benefit analysis is the name of the game when it comes to long-term capital planning, and understanding the fine print can help ensure significant savings over time. Calculating TCO and ROI can be complicated and time-consuming, but the effort pays dividends in terms of efficiently budgeting for the future. Taking a close look at these various costs should be part of any strategy for controlling expenses and continuing to grow profitability. To best calculate the ROI and TCO of your chosen enterprise cloud backup solution, ensure that you study the product datasheet well and weed out all the fine print.
#4 Test Your Cloud Backup Solution Shortlist
Testing your cloud backup solution shortlist should include setting up test recovery points and test recovery times, to help ensure that the system you end up choosing meets your recovery objectives. Certain systems may initially appear more attractive due to shorter setup times and lower adoption effort, however, fundamental features like ease of recovery and security are more important in the long run. Make sure to thoroughly test these features by simulating real-world scenarios to confirm that your chosen system can handle any foreseeable disaster scenarios. Here are five pointers for backup and recovery testing.
#5 Finalize and Incorporate it in Your BCDR Policies
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) involves developing plans that account for any potential disruptions to workflows and other processes, so the company is ready in any given scenario. Within it, the incident response plan covers scenarios where an attack or disaster could occur. Developing BCDR policies help protect company data, teams, and customers from catastrophic effects in the case of an emergency or cyber-attack, allowing for a swift self-service recovery process. Backup and recovery is an integral part of your BCDR plan as they help you restore your data and ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster. Consequently, your enterprise cloud backup solution should be well embedded in your BCDR plan, particularly in the Ransomware Incident Response plan, given.
A Must-Have Enterprise Cloud Backup Solution Checklist
Here are some must-have considerations and features for enterprise cloud backup solutions spanning various aspects.
- Data Security: Encryption, authentication, app security and certifications.
- Ease of Recovery: RPO, RTO, Recovery, export and download options, cross-user/site/org recovery, self-service recovery options.
- Audit Compliance: Certifications, regulatory compliance checks, data center locations, connectivity, availability, monitoring and audit logs.
- Backup Storage Type and Limits: Cloud or on-premises storage, storage limits, BYOS (Bring Your Own Storage) options.
- Backup Automation and Comprehensiveness: Applications included in the backup, multi-platform support, automated/on-demand backup.
- Rating and Reputation: Company history/ownership, robust development pipeline, Capterra/G2 reviews.
- Customer Support: Multi-channel, Tier-1 customer support, real-person, responsive customer care. Knowledge base with exhaustive user guides and video tutorials.
- Ease of Adoption and Maintenance: Does the solution work out-of-the-box? What is the adoption and maintenance effort?
- Admin-friendly tools:Reduce the effort on admins with capability to auto-add and auto-archive, fine-grained admin permissions, backup notifications and alerts.
- Pricing and ROI: Check for enterprise-special pricing, no-commitment licensing, pay-as-you-go pricing.
Secure All Your SaaS Data With An Enterprise-Grade Cloud Backup Solution
At OpenText Cybersecurity, we understand the need for a reliable cloud backup solution that won’t break the bank – something every business is looking for in this competitive and fast-paced market. We pioneered SaaS backup more than a decade ago, and our SaaS data protection platform for Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Dropbox, Box, and Google Workspace is stringently secure and audit compliant. Plus, we proudly protect and serve over 16,000 customers across the world every day – now that’s something worth bragging about!
Contact us today for more information on how Carbonite Cloud-to-Cloud Backup can help your business improve its data security strategies and protect valuable information in times of distress.