Continuing the discussion from the previous article titled Risk Profiling Cloud Backup Services — Part I; let us look at some of the other issues that must be discussed in this context:

If you are a growing organization, there is a natural concern around accommodating growing data volumes. Check whether the service provider is offering a scalable storage service with provisioning for customization for data retention and archival.  If the service provider does not promise to scale up storage on demand, the organization is not really getting a “true” Cloud backup service. The service must have the capability of scaling up in real time so that the organization can expand storage during peak loads and shrink storage with leaner loads.

If the business is operational 24 x 7 x 365, data center uptime and data availability is crucial. The organization will be serving its ends if it examines the uptime promises of the Cloud backup service vendor detailed in the service level agreement (SLA).  The fine print should not be missed! The CIO should take out time to discuss ‘uptime’ and provisioning for ‘high availability’ of data with the Cloud backup service vendor and ensure that the vendor delivers on the promises made.

Organizations that have short “time to recover” conditionality must pay some attention to the disaster recovery and Business continuity plans offered by the service provider.

If ‘bare metal recovery’ is a feature listed out by the service provider, it may be good idea to examine what they mean by the term. Some Cloud backup service providers offer “bare metal recovery” to “similar hardware” and others offer bare metal recovery to “entirely dissimilar hardware”.  The advantages of the latter are obvious.

Finally, organizations planning to adopt a Cloud service must take into account the return on investment (ROI).  They must arrive at a realistic picture of costs they will incur if they set up the IT stack themselves versus subscribing to a Cloud service. They must list out all elements of cost including any capital assets the organization may bring to the table.  These must include organizational investment in Network, data center space, man hours invested, design and set up fees incurred, data protection and offsiting costs and any opportunity cost of capital; and compare it with the costs that will be incurred in subscribing and operating their business using Cloud backup services.

Remember migrating organization data to the Cloud backup service is not the ideal or perfect solution to all problems. A little common sense and a lot of diligence will help the organization build and develop the Cloud solution that is a best fit for it.

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