Cloud backup and recovery (BURR) is not new technology. It is a name given to a network that uses the Internet to transmit data to a remote server. The term “Cloud” was originally used to indicate the fact that the remote server is the “non specific” part of the network and derives its nomenclature from the cloud like drawings that were used to indicate this.

Today, we speak of federated clouds, private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds. What are they?

A federated cloud or a cloud federation is a managed set of external and internal cloud services that are deployed to meet different business needs. Public clouds are networks that use shared resources in the cloud for achieving economies of scale and lower costs. Private clouds are dedicated cloud computing networks that are exclusive to the organization deploying it. Hybrid clouds use both public and private cloud technologies to ensure that their data (all categories of data) are sufficiently protected offsite and onsite.

Cloud integration makes it possible for users to configure multiple application programs to share the same data set in the cloud. Cloud backup service provider software makes it possible for users to communicate with their applications and data from anywhere, anytime; using any kind of computing device. This has resulted in the development of a software distribution model known as SaaS or Software as a Service, which enables the sharing of applications and information over the Internet.

Users who wish to backup huge volumes of data without consuming large amounts of bandwidth or time can make a first copy their data into removable disks (or appliances provided by the Service Provider) and ship the same to the cloud backup service provider’s data center for “seeding” into the remote server. Once the seeding process is complete, users can update their files incrementally using “Incremental Backup” options or “Differential Backup” options. This can be done online and is known as online backup or cloud backup or remote backup. This gets the data offsite instantly to the remote cloud backup server. Local only copies of the data can also be simultaneously created by the organization using backup devices provided by the service provider or on existing backup hardware.

Cloud backup can be agent based or agentless. What does this mean?

Agent based backup implies that a small agent interface will have to be downloaded by the customer from the backup service providers website and installed on to every computing device that will be connecting to the cloud backup account in the remote server.

In agentless cloud backup systems, the “agent” or client software component will have to be downloaded and installed on a central machine at the client premises to which all other computing devices are connected over a network. Only the central console connects to the cloud backup server and streams the information that must be backed up.

It is obvious that cloud backup has a language of its own. Users must learn the jargon if they want to understand what is being said to them!