Should I or Shouldn’t I?
Trusting the support of your company’s IT infrastructure to a trusted provider is something you probably already do, at least in part if not all together. This is Outsourcing, or as some in the industry call it, Managed Services. But what about backup and recovery of servers, workstations, and your data in general?
Right now, you are invested in some sort of system whether it might be tape with a good rotation schedule, Network Attached Storage, or even a Cloud Backup. You might even make sure tapes go off site – most of the time. You may have heard of other folks outsourcing their backup and recovery and wonder what it’s all about. Providers are even pushing outsourcing and cloud backup and recovery, and some (like us) even talk about hybrid deployments.
We’ll try to clear up the concept of hybrid cloud backup and recovery. When providers talk about “the cloud”, we usually are talking about sending block level changes to an Internet based solution using technologies like de-duplication to utilize the least amount of bandwidth possible for backup and recovery.
The “hybrid” part of that means utilizing local storage as a fast back up target and recovery source as well as sending all that data to the cloud. What you have when you use hybrid cloud storage is backups that are local and in the cloud and synced up, highly available, redundant, and as fast as the situation allows.
At this point you are either thinking “this needs to make financial sense” or “this needs to be a better recovery solution than what I have today”. Which way you are thinking probably depends on whether you are a CFO, CIO, network admin, or a business owner with all those hats. We’ll address both concerns.
Outsourcing: Financially Sensible
At this point, your recovery solution consists of capital expenses that get amortized because they cost so much. These have a tendency to have little redundancy because of the cost. So, financially you are spending quite a bit up front, but in the long run are putting your business at risk should you have a serious recovery need.
As soon as you outsource your backup and recovery to a hybrid cloud service provider (in the U.S. of course), you move your expense from capital to operating which is far easier to budget for and can easily accommodate growth. I know you’ll miss the large capital expenditures (ok, maybe not), but cash flow will even out, you’ll have a lower overall cost and when you grow, the operating expense grows proportionally, not in huge leaps. You also get the benefit of having much more redundancy. Servers and data can be recovered to any location, anytime, and anywhere. What that means during a disaster is that your business can resume operations quicker and easier, which lowers the financial risk of a disaster.
Outsourcing: Better Recovery
When your backup and recovery is outsourced to a hybrid cloud provider, you have access to a highly available, highly redundant (and geo redundant) data centers that securely store backups for you. Part of that “hybrid” deployment also means that you have a copy of your data on premise, usually on some sort of NAS device. This means for most recovery needs, you’ll have fast local access to your data and of course for the worst disasters, it will be synced in the cloud. Having a local copy of your data means speedy backups, quicker recoveries and restores and no matter what kind of recovery, you simply can’t lose.
Definitely the Best Move
When you outsource your backup and recovery to a provider that also has eyes watching the health of your other IT operations, it just makes sense. After all, it makes for a vested interest in keeping you running and getting you back up quickly in the event that it is needed. This also provides a lower expense to the company for recovery while providing better, quicker service that will get you back to business more quickly!