Cloud Backup and Recovery is a subset of Cloud Computing and a form of Online Backup.
Cloud Backup and Recovery has the following characteristics:
- The assurance, guarantee, or validation that what was backed up is recoverable whenever it is required is critical. Data stored in the service provider's cloud must undergo regular integrity validation to ensure its recoverability.
- Cloud BUR services need to provide a variety of granularity when it comes to RTOs. One size does not fit all either for the customers or the applications within a customer's environment.
- The customer should never have to manage the back end storage repositories in order to back up and recover data.
- The interface used by the customer needs to enable the selection of data to protect or recover, the establishment of retention times, destruction dates as well as scheduling.
- Cloud backup needs to be an active process where data is collected from systems that store the original copy. This means that cloud backup will not require data to be copied into a specific appliance from where data is collected before being transmitted to and stored in the service provider's data centre.
- Cloud BUR utilizes standard networking protocols (which today are primarily but not exclusively IP based) to transfer data between the customer and the service provider.
- Vaults or repositories need to be always available to restore data to any location connected to the Service Provider’s Cloud via private or public networks.
Scalable and Elastic
- Cloud BUR enables flexible allocation of storage capacity to customers without limit. Storage is allocated on demand and also de-allocated as customers delete backup sets as they age.
- Cloud BUR enables a Service Provider to allocate storage capacity to a customer. If that customer later deletes their data or no longer needs that capacity, the Service Provider can then release and reallocate that same capacity to a different customer in an automated fashion.
Metered by Use
- Cloud Backup allows customers to align the value of data with the cost of protecting it. It is procured on a per-gigabyte per month basis. Prices tend to vary based on the age of data, type of data (email, databases, files etc.), volume, number of backup copies and RTOs.
- The underlying enabling technology for Cloud Backup is a full stack native cloud multitenant platform (shared everything).
- Data mobility/portability prevents service provider lock-in and allows customers to move their data from one Service Provider to another, or entirely back into a dedicated Private Cloud (or a Hybrid Cloud).
- Security in the cloud is critical. One customer can never have access to another’s data. Additionally, even Service Providers must not be able to access their customer’s data without the customer’s permission.
Enterprise-class Cloud Backup
An enterprise-class cloud backup solution must include an on-premise cache, to mitigate any issues due to inconsistent Internet connectivity.
Hybrid cloud backup is a backup approach combining Local backup for fast backup and restore, along with Off-site backup for protection against local disasters. According to Liran Eshel, CEO of CTERA Networks, this ensures that the most recent data is available locally in the event of need for recovery, while archived data that is needed much less often is stored in the cloud.
Hybrid cloud Backup works by storing data to local disk so that the backup can be captured at high speed, and then either the backup software or a D2D2C (Disk to Disk to Cloud) appliance encrypts and transmits data to a service provider. Recent backups are retained locally, to speed data recovery operations. There are a number of cloud storage appliances on the market that can be used as a backup target, including appliances from CTERA Networks, Nasuni, StorSimple and TwinStrata.
- Gartner Research: U.S. Federal Definition of Cloud Computing: Handle With Care; Analyst: Andrea Di Maio 
- NIST definition of Cloud Computing. 
- ^ Vendor Landscape Storyboard: Cloud Backup. InfoTech Research Group Research, July 2011. p. 4
- ^ "Ctera Drives Hybrid Approach to Backup". CTOEdge. April 13, 2010. http://www.networkcomputing.com/backup-recovery/barracuda-boosts-capacity-of-premisescloud-backup-appliance.php. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- ^ Boles, Jeff. Hybrid cloud backup: D2D2C emerging as a viable data backup strategy. SearchDataBackup, 02 May 2011
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