Before the cloud backup applications burst upon the technology scenario, organizations were investing huge sums into the purchase of computing hardware and setting up Wide Area Networks for their local branches. Much of the hardware was acquired with the view to build in redundancy in the event of failure and to ensure that the availability of hardware kept pace with the growth of the organization. However, only a portion of the installed capacity could be used and the hardware became obsolete even as the organization grew. It seemed to be a losing battle and budgets became tighter and every request for upgrade or hardware was regarded with suspicion.
The cloud backup applications promise to do away with capital investments in computing hardware and offer an OPEX model that is extremely attractive to the IT manager and the top management of the organization. The cloud backup / computing option promises optimization, capacity utilization and a scalability that comes sans capital investment! Further, it does not threaten to junk the hardware that has already been acquired and has been put to use. If you look closely at what is really happening, the existing hardware is being merely redeployed more meaningfully and is being used optimally. The cloud is helping the organizations consolidate the data that exists in disparate systems into a remote cloud backup server, and extend the reach of the organization by allowing remote users access the information securely over a ready made network—the Internet. The existing hardware is going nowhere. It continues to reside within the organization serving the needs of the enterprise more effectively.
Redeployment of hardware following upon subscription to the cloud backup service essentially means breaking up silos and re-designating servers for tasks other than backup. Public, private and hybrid configurations of the cloud with the local hardware can be deployed to the advantage of the organization. Data control, data availability, data security, user authentication / authorization and data life cycle management, can be configured on the local server, and implemented in the remote cloud backup server. A whole gamut of possible configurations can be explored, and implemented.
Organizations that have a short Recovery Time Objective (RTO) can consider re-designating a server to function as a local backup for instant recovery and business continuity. The cloud backup and the local backup can be created simultaneously, continuously or as per schedule using the cloud backup software. The backup process can be controlled and monitored from single administrative console.
The list of possibilities is endless.