Forget the pains of setting up Virtual Private networks that eat into your budgets and take up immense amounts of your precious time. Cloud networks can be set up sans switches, hubs, cables and all the so called “essentials” of networking with almost no expense of time and energy. Sign up your branch office with the local Internet service provider (ISP) and you are all set to connect up your branch to your main office.

If you are skeptical about the simplicity of the task, just try out various Cloud backup services (a number of trial versions are available for free download) at a no cost basis and get the assurance you want–hands-on. It is really very simple.

Cloud backup services use the Internet as their network.  Users need to sign up for an account with the service provider and download the interfacing “agent” on to the system(s) they wish to connect up with the Cloud backup service account.  Multiple computers can be connected to the Cloud service via a centralized agent interface (agentless) or each connecting system may have to download the agent interface for connectivity (agent-based).  All computers connecting to the user account in the Cloud can be managed and maintained from a central administrative console.

User accounts reside in the service provider’s server in a geographically remote data center. Every user account is isolated from other user accounts at the software level (public Cloud) or the hardware level (private Cloud) depending on the type of Cloud that has been selected by the end user.

Users can, initially, sign up for a minimum amount of server space and request for a scale up as the volume of data increases or peak loads are experienced. Similarly, scale-down options are also available to customers who are experiencing reduced workloads.  Users only pay for the amount of server space they use to the Cloud service provider. Of course, they pay ISP for the Internet connectivity and the amount of bandwidth consumed for each billing cycle.

Security of information transferred to the Cloud database repository is maintained in three ways. All data scheduled for backup is encrypted before transmission and remains encrypted at rest. User management systems are integrated with the “interfacing agent” to help administrators identify authorized users and assign the rights and permission they may need for accessing the information located in the Cloud service account. User logs and user tracking mechanisms are “always on” to ensure that unusual activities on the network are captured and alerts are generated to get the attention of the IT Administrator.

To top it all, a number of other technologies are used to ensure that data remains highly available to the user and is entirely recoverable in the event of disaster. Service level agreements (SLAs) stipulate a 99.9% uptime and the service provider ensures delivery of the promise by replicating and mirroring customer data to their disaster recovery and alternate sites. Failover services are set up to switch the user from the primary site to the secondary site seamlessly, in case there is an outage of the primary site.