Decrying the need for local backups was the unique selling proposition (USP) during the infancy of the cloud. After all, the problems with local backups were experiential and real. The cloud was unchartered territory and the possibility of taking data offsite with little or no effort on the part of the consumer was indeed an attractive proposition. Moreover, the software that was used for cloud backup was crude, unsophisticated and down to the basics! The USP had to be comparative and even negative.

Today, the cloud needs no props/ no negatives to sell. The USP no longer relies on comparing alternative technologies, down-crying them in order to establish the superiority of the cloud. The cloud is mature, sophisticated and its USP is well defined—positive. It can now afford to absorb and even integrate alternate technologies and create a platform that encapsulates the power of multiple technologies.  Online and local backups can be created with a single click using hybrid cloud concepts that are evolving, maturing and becoming integral to the cloud.

Cloud service providers are offering online and offline backup services by linking up with or associating their software products with hardware vendor products.  Vendors of online software now offer single interface backup services on to removable hard drives and NAS / SAN appliances.  For instance, Asigra has partnered with Intel to offer Intel Hybrid Cloud backup. This allows small companies to buy/rent their hardware form Intel and use the AppUp service of the company (that includes Asigra software) to create local backups even while data is being streamed to the cloud. KineticD has acquired ROBOBAK to support local backup services. Mozy integrates with 2xProtect for the same purpose.

The available solutions are many. The resolution depends on the type and number of questions that are to be asked.

  1. How do the online and local concepts work together?
  2. Do these solutions accommodate varying types of backup needs?
  3. Do they work well with all kinds of local backup tools?
  4. Will the online backup continue working when the local backup fails or vice versa?
  5. Can online backup schedules be different from onsite or local backup schedules?

The answers to the questions will depend on the intensity of a particular need. Satisfaction with the technological solution will depend on the level of customization that is built into the software being selected.