Is cloud backup and recovery a can of worms or a world of possibilities? Your fear cannot be brushed aside. It must be acknowledged, addressed and mitigated. The cloud does open up a world of possibilities, but if improperly handled it can prove to be a can of worms. The result of your actions will determine the nature of the cloud backup you acquire.

Here are a few things you must examine before signing up for a cloud backup service:

  1. Data transmission and storage: Most businesses (including consumers) move their data to the cloud initially to find additional means of offsite backup. What attracts them to the cloud backup is the ease with which data is taken offsite automatically, continuously or as per predefined schedules. However, if the cloud backup service has not paid much attention to data security by provisioning for proven and tested encryption algorithms, effective de-duplication and compression technologies, you may end up with a data transmission system that is vulnerable to hijack or breach and a data store that is corrupted, unreadable and inaccessible.
  2. Scalability: While the cloud infrastructure may be scalable, not all applications used by your business may be scalable. If some of your custom applications are not scalable, you may not be able to port it to the cloud backup and recovery system for wide spread use by your employees. You may have get the application recoded, re-architected to meet the needs of cloud computing.
  3. Tooling: Cloud specific languages are still in their infancy. The language of development normally used by you may not be the language that is recognized in cloud backup and recovery applications. You may have to change your IDE for your custom applications unless you are lucky enough to be using the same language as that used by cloud backup service applications.
  4. Portability: There is a world wide concerted effort to introduce standardizations into cloud applications and to make applications portable across cloud backup services. However, in the current set up applications developed for one cloud service may or may not be portable across cloud services. Therefore, it may be a good idea to keep in mind this fact while developing and deploying custom applications.
  5. Compliance and Governance: Businesses are answerable to authorities and governmental bodies for compliance to legal mandates. The legal and operational requirements may determine where and how you store the data generated by your business. While the abstraction of the infrastructure layer may be a boon, you may find that your data is being transmitted to locations which breach privacy laws of your country.