A multi dimensional evaluation of a cloud backup decision is mandatory.

The cloud backup system must meet the organization’s estimate of affordable recovery time objectives (RTO). If the data backed up in the cloud cannot be recovered within the specified time to recovery, the organization will lose business. The key to effective cloud backup management lies in using the available bandwidth effectively. The volume of data generated, the type of backup scheduled, and the intelligence of the software in use and the use of acceleration, de-duplication, encryption and compression will determine the effectiveness of bandwidth use.

Cloud backup software that require one time data backup seeding and thereafter adopt incremental backup processes will certainly be faster. Multi threading is another technique that is often used to ensure accelerated upload of information. Pre upload data compression and de-duplication are other techniques that may be used to speed up data upload.

Security is the next key factor in cloud backup and recovery evaluation. Security of data implies that data should remain inaccessible to unauthorized entities, only authenticated and authorized individuals must have the capability of modifying data and the software must ensure that all compliance requirements are met at every point that the data is uploaded or downloaded.  To this end, the cloud backup service must encrypt data at source and transmit data in the encrypted format over the Internet. The data must be stored in an encrypted format at rest.  All access to the data must be authenticated and user logs must record every attempt at access. The software must be SAS 70/ Type II certified and must permit the organization specify the policies and procedures for access to information security and safeguards with preservation guarantees must be integral to the cloud backup and recovery application.

Accessibility and high availability of data must be guaranteed. The data must be accessible even when there is multiple and simultaneous failures of the system or devices.  A data center outage should not bring the business to a standstill. The users must be switched seamlessly and automatically to a secondary data center till the primary data center is restored and made operational. Further, the data must be accessible from anywhere, anytime and from any kind of device via a web portal.

Finally, the cost of accessing data in the cloud must be reasonable, cost effective and comparable with other methods of data storage and recovery in monetary terms. This evaluation must take into consideration, costs of not being able to access data in the cloud due to third party server failures and data center outages.