Cloud Data Backup Service: 9 Things to Look For

There are plenty of ways you can keep your data secure today with third-party service providers. A data backup company can not only help you retrieve data from deleted files and corrupted hard drives, but also help you back up your files to the cloud.

Backups should be non-negotiable. Businesses have experienced financial setbacks to the extent of fully shutting down just because they hadn’t invested in protecting their data early on. From hard drive failure to acts of God, anything can come in the way of your business’ growth because data loss without a backup solution ultimately means a period of downtime. 

With a cloud data backup plan, your business becomes disaster-proof; plus, you save time and money if you have to restore business operations. In this post, we cover 9 things to look for when selecting a cloud data backup service. 

Storage space

Based on your unique business requirements, you need to determine the amount of storage space that will suffice. This is because the storage required is directly proportional to the service costs of a cloud data backup provider. Fortunately, a cloud data backup won’t be as heavy on your pocket as opposed to buying your own storage servers, but that doesn’t mean you overlook storage requirements. This way, you can also compare the rates of other backup providers and stay within your budget. 

Storage scalability

Though determining the amount of cloud data backup storage is essential, it’s not always easy. The reason being is that maybe five years down the line, as your business grows, you’d require double the storage. Therefore, you need a service that offers scalability and flexible solutions to purchase more space in the long run. This is also beneficial if you take on large-scale projects and require temporary backup regularly. 

Level of availability

Disaster strikes and all your data is lost in a span of a few minutes. Luckily, you have a data backup and recovery plan in place with cloud backup. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Then, you’re informed your backup server was offline regularly throughout the month, and none of your critical business documents got saved. If your vendor isn’t available at such crucial junctures, you should opt for a service provider with a better availability percentage (up to 99.995%).

Efficient disaster recovery 

The main reason to opt for a data recovery solution is to protect your business in the event of data loss and failure. But where do you go if your vendor’s server crashes? Double-check whether your service provider has a data recovery plan that includes multilocation backups and cyberattack mitigation plans so that you can get back online without too much hassle. 

An example of this is when Amazon’s northern Virginia servers crashed due to thunderstorms, plunging powerful companies like Netflix, Instagram, and Pinterest into periods of downtime. 

Backup frequency

Backup frequency varies across different cloud backup service providers. What’s most suitable for you depends on your type of business. Some services create a backup as you’re editing, while others offer hourly, daily or monthly schedules. You can also set your own backup schedule with some vendors. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, you’ll require frequent backups as transactions will constantly occur. 

Data security

Cyberattacks are on the rise, with hackers getting more sophisticated than ever. It’s crucial to ensure that your backup service provider has stringent measures to protect your data at all times. Look for 256-bit encryption for storage and data transfer, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Protection (TLS), and off-site data storage. Additionally, extra protection like security staff and CCTV cameras makes a big difference in keeping your data secure. 

Terms of service

Don’t forget to read the fine print of the terms and conditions so that you’re in absolute clarity of what your vendor provides. A decent vendor will include guarantees and SLA’s. Also, look for limitations like vendor lock-ins that may make transferring to another third-party service provider an arduous process. 

Pricing

Pricing typically depends on the amount of storage and extra features that your backup plan comprises. It can either be billed on a monthly or yearly basis. Usually, a 250GB cloud storage plan will cost around $800 every year. Alongside storage, it may also include highly advanced features such as databases, live applications, and virtual servers. 

Support

When you allow a third-party owner to keep your data protected, trust is a vital factor. If by chance, things go south, you want to know if you’re going to be supported or whether the company is going to wash its hands of you. Go for a backup service provider that can be contacted easily and via multiple channels. This ensures they’ve got your back and are ready to listen to any problem that may arise. 

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