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Once you've considered those questions, you're ready to decide whether or not cloud backup makes sense for your company. Because many organizations still rely on on-premises solutions and tape media storage for offsite copies, it's a good bet that improvements can be made to the existing data protection process. Local disk-based approaches can improve performance and reliability, which saves time in backup, recovery and management processes. And disk becomes even more cost-effective if data deduplication is part of the mix.
Alternately, leveraging a cloud-based service can save time and money. Management of the data protection environment is removed from IT (which is often the biggest expense in backup environments), cutting down on the amount of operational overhead needed. Because a cloud-based service is funded out of an operational budget, it's often more palatable for budget-constrained organizations. Finally, backup via a cloud service delivers built-in DR.
A popular approach is to combine these two strategies -- local disk-based backup for operational recovery of data and remote cloud-based backup for disaster recovery. This model delivers the benefits of both and removes a huge burden from IT organizations.
BIO: Lauren Whitehouse is an analyst focusing on backup and recovery software and replication solutions at Enterprise Strategy Group, Milford, Mass.
This was first published in September 2009