6 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cloud Backup Solution

January 21, 2013 · Filed Under Cloud Computing · Comment 

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Security

Security should be a primary consideration when choosing a remote cloud backup provider. To ensure the safety of your company’s data you will want to make certain the vendor you select provides substantial encryption and password protection for their clients. This ensures that the only people who can access your company’s stored data are those authorized by you, and to whom you have given the password. With proper encryption and password protection, even your backup service provider will not be able to access your information.

A system that offers 128-bit encryption is sufficient for most users. However, if you require the utmost privacy and security you might opt for a much stronger encryption, such as the 448-bit encryption offered by some providers. Whichever you choose, your data must remain secure once it reaches the destination server, which means the provider should have appropriate policies in place to ensure that employees cannot access client data unless authorized to do so. Most providers take a very serious view of the security of their clients’ information.

Support

Support is another key issue when deciding on a cloud backup solution. Find out if the company has an emergency user support system that you can contact whenever you need assistance. Will you be required to fill out a lengthy online form before receiving help? The best companies will offer 24/7 support via both telephone and email, and will gladly tell you how long it typically takes their support team to respond to requests. This should be true not only for their technical support, but also for general customer support and service.

  • What type of technical support does the provider offer?
  • Will support be available during the hours you are most likely to need it?
  • Is there any extra charge for technical support?
  • Does the vendor offer a toll free number to call?
  • Is technical support available 24/7?
  • Does the company’s website list their physical address?
  • How quickly do they respond to email queries?
  • Does the company have an international presence?
  • Are there any customer support satisfaction reports available?
  • What is the average hold time for phone support?

 

Space Requirements

You should carefully consider how much space will be required to store your company’s data. Find out whether the vendor will be able to support all the files that you need to have backed up. You don’t want to sign up with a provider only to find that you have to choose which files to back up and which ones will be left vulnerable.

It’s important to note that the initial backup will require the most time and bandwidth since all the files you’ve selected for backup must be delivered to your service provider. If you need to prepare multiple computers for online backup, be sure to stagger the first few backups to prevent overburdening your Internet connection.

Archiving Period

It is vital that you know how long your data will be kept on the company’s servers if your account has not been accessed for a certain amount of time. Most companies do delete data after a designated period of account inactivity. If you anticipate a need for extended storage, find out if the provider will accommodate your needs, and what additional fees they might charge. You want to be sure that you can readily access your archived files from any computer whenever you wish.

Speed, Reliability and Up-time

These are three key factors to look at before making your final selection. Since backups are usually the only option for recovering data after a system failure or disaster, remote online backup services do not have a great margin for error. The data stored with them must be there when needed. Find out what steps the provider has taken to secure their clients’ data. Feel free to ask such questions as:

  • Does the center have a continuous, un-interruptible power supply, including a back-up generator in a secure location?
  • What is the up-time for the data center?
  • How many clicks are required to actually begin the online backup process?
  • When the backup is running, many disk resources or CPU does it consume?
  • Is the backup continuous?
  • How quickly can files be restored?

Cost

The price you will pay for remote online backup service will naturally be one of your prime considerations. Many remote online backup providers offer unlimited storage for a very affordable price, either on a monthly or yearly basis. Some provide enough free storage to accommodate the needs of most smaller businesses.

Your own company’s needs will be the determining factor when comparing prices. For example, do you simply require a scheduled data backup at the lowest possible price or are you willing to pay more for real-time backup of email and database applications?

Some key pricing details to ascertain from the company include:

  • Do they charge per computer or per account?
  • Is there a free trial period available?
  • What are their set-up fees, if any?
  • Will telephone technical support cost extra?
  • How much does the provider charge per GB per month?
  • Will I be charged if I exceed the allowable traffic and storage quota?
  • How frequently and what amount of data backup is allowed daily or monthly?
  • Can I cancel at any time or am I obligated for a minimum period?

Be sure to compare the services of a few different companies before settling on any one remote online backup provider. It will be worth your time to find a company that has the best reputation, price and storage space. Reviewster’s cloud backup comparison chart can make your search much easier. We did the research to make choosing easier for you.

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