How to Choose a Cloud Backup Provider

January 21, 2013 · Filed Under Cloud Computing · Comment 

how-to-choose-cloud-backup1When you have a reliable and trustworthy provider, you can place your company’s data in their hands with confidence. But with dozens of companies offering cloud backup services, how do you go about choosing the best provider? What are some common issues you will need to consider? And in what ways do the services of various providers differ?

Since pricing and features can vary greatly, it’s important to assess your needs before you begin the process of selecting a vendor. Remote online backup services designed for small businesses are very different from those intended for larger enterprises. A lower priced service with basic features such as web access, scheduled backup and the ability to share files or send files by CD/DVD may be adequate for the needs of a smaller company. A larger business will require more complex features such as historical backup, live database, tighter encryption and the ability to back up operating system files.
Below are a few basic questions to ask when considering different providers:

  • Does the provider offer historical backup?
  • Will the software be able to recover from an interrupted backup process?
  • Does the service offer live and continuous backup in addition to scheduled backup?
  • Is there an option for network backups?
  • Is database and operating system backup–including registry files–available?
  • Will the vendor make copies of my company data available on CD-ROM for emergency data restoration?
  • Can I delete or edit stored files?
  • Can I select an entire folder to back up rather than individual files?
  • Does the service allow scheduling of multiple file sets for different times?
  • Can I set up filters to include or exclude certain file types?
  • How long will the provider keep my data on their servers?
  • Will my files be duplicated to at least two separate geographic locations?
  • Where is the provider’s data center located?
  • How many different versions of my company’s data will be stored?
  • Is this company a re-seller or an original provider? (If speed is important to your business, you might want to consider paying a bit more for faster service.)
  • Does this provider support my company’s type of computer system?
  • Will the service provide tight enough encryption to keep my data safe?
  • Does the company perform frequent automatic updates?
  • Will the system be easy to use?
  • Who are the clients of this company?
  • Does the company have a solid financial history?
  • How long has this vendor been operating?

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