The conversation about cloud and cloud storage has shifted. Organizations no longer discuss if they will use the cloud. Rather, they may determine how many clouds they will use. As they do, many will minimally use cloud storage as a target for their backup data.
Cloud storage affords them access to a virtually unlimited pool of storage capacity for their backup data. This eliminates the effort, overhead, and cost of implementing and managing on-premises storage. Further, enterprise backup solutions make implementing and adopting cloud storage from multiple providers almost a wizard-like experience.
However, ease of adoption does not automatically equate to ease of management. Beneath cloud storage’s front-end simplicity, complexities exist. Organizations should initially examine which types of cloud storage their enterprise backup solution formally supports. They should also note in which cloud region they store their data. Finally, they should confirm how well or if their backup solution manages different tiers of storage available from different cloud providers.
Cost overruns represent another issue that may catch organizations ill prepared. While the capacity used by the backup storage contributes to cloud costs, other hidden costs exist. These include data access, egress, and transfer fees. These may unexpectedly appear when organizations move data between cloud regions, perform recoveries, or retrieve archived data.
To minimize these cloud complexities and costs, there are three best practices organizations can follow when storing their backup data in the cloud.
- Identify how your backup solution manages and uses cloud storage. This will include quantifying which clouds it formally supports and which types and tiers of storage it uses in each cloud.
- Determine which cloud region or regions where backup data will be stored. Compliance and recovery requirements will influence the choice of cloud regions
- Identify who manages tiering in the cloud. Tiering can lower cloud costs but only if done correctly. Incorrectly tiering data can lead to unexpected costs and delays during recoveries.