February 04, 2015
What Is The Best Cloud For Data Backup: Purpose Built vs. Public
Is the public cloud the best place for your critical business data?
Not all clouds are created equal, and even more so when it comes to cloud backup and data protection.
As more and more businesses want to leverage the benefits the cloud as part of their data protection process, it’s important to dig a little deeper what type of cloud is best for the job. Data protection comes with a very unique set of needs vs. typical cloud storage. The type of cloud chosen can specifically impact backup and recovery performance.
The first step is to identify the different options. A new paper by analyst George Crump highlights the differences between purpose-built cloud and public clouds, specifically as they relate to backup.
The preferred method of backup for most businesses, ranging from SMBs to Enterprise, leverages a hybrid cloud-based model, comprised of an on-site appliance at the customer premises with redundant cloud backup. The software sends data from the servers, desktops and laptops being protected to the appliance. Then, as that appliance collects data, it is replicated to the cloud provider. The key differentiators between solutions are:
- How well the software does the job of collecting, securing and sending data
- How well the software recovers data and applications
- The type of cloud data center used
The type of data center can directly impact the backup and recovery capabilities of the solution.
Many cloud backup solutions start as a software only package that leverages a generic cloud like Amazon, Rackspace, Google or some other provider. But these clouds also support thousands of other non-backup related applications. For example Amazon hosts both Netflix and Dropbox. Google of course supports the entire Google ecosystem. Vendors that choose this option are typically software development focused or may not want to invest in the backend infrastructure.
A purpose-built cloud is one designed solely for a specific purpose. In this case, cloud backup. These vendors have typically created the software to perform the backups as well as built out a data center to store this data. They more than likely have built a second data center to store a redundant copy of data in case the primary data center fails. This obviously is a much more significant investment. A purpose-built backup cloud means all the resources of the cloud data center are focused on receiving inbound backup jobs, initiating recovery requests and, increasingly, actually running the application if Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is offered by the provider.