Insights Into Data Backup: Is Your Data Protected in the Cloud?

By: Mijee Briana Walker| - Leave a comment

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Remember the cartoon of a character tying a CD to a helium-filled balloon? As he lets go, he asks, “Is this is the right way to send data to the cloud?”

Despite the prevalence of cloud computing, most of us aren’t aware of where our data physically sits. We assume both data backup and disaster recovery are in place, but this isn’t usually the case. Unless resiliency is specifically included in the contract, data and applications are often kept in a single instance, in a single data center and not necessarily backed up off-site. In this case, if something happened to the data center through a natural or man-made disaster, that data could be gone forever. Even with some backups in place, it could be months before the data center can recover everyone’s files.

Data Backup Is Not Guaranteed With Cloud

“Cloud is not a commodity,” IBM notes. “And no matter what you call it, computing doesn’t come out of the sky. It comes from physical hardware inside brick-and-mortar facilities connected by hundreds of miles of networking cable. And no two clouds are built the same way.”

Do you know where your business data is and where your cloud applications are running? Are you sure they’re backed up and recoverable? It’s up to us to ask the right questions to ensure our data is resilient in the cloud. We should never assume that cloud implies data copies between sites, backups, security and recovery. To protect your data, always ask business cloud providers these questions:

  • Where is the data center located?
  • What is the resiliency of the data center?
  • How are data and applications secured physically and virtually?
  • If data is backed up off-site, where is the data center located, and does it adhere to country and industry guidelines?
  • For off-site data centers, who is responsible for restoring data and applications when needed and how quickly can they be restored?
  • Are data and applications replicated with a disaster recovery solution? What is the recovery time objective and the recovery point objective?
  • In the event of an outage, how will I be notified?

Choosing the Right Solution for You

If there’s no data backup and disaster recovery plan in place, it’s time to take action. Many cloud providers offer resiliency solutions and the ability to back up your data in various cloud data centers. Remember, you don’t need to be tied to the same cloud services provider for your resiliency. Today, many companies are expanding their footprint to cross public and private clouds to offer backup-as-a-service and disaster-recovery-as-a-service in the environment you need, run by managed service providers you trust. These services enable you to choose whom you trust to back up and recover your data and ensure your business stays always-on.

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About The Author

Mijee Briana Walker

Asia Pacific Leader for IBM Resiliency Services

Mijee Briana Walker is the Asia Pacific Leader for IBM Resiliency Services. With 20 years in Information Technology, she has worked with companies around the world to help them determine how they can best achieve their availability and continuity goals - from both a business and technology perspective. She has consulted on resiliency programs for businesses on 6 continents, while working with industries that included financial services, banking, telecommunications, healthcare, casinos, hotels, utilities, distribution, government, and education. Mijee is an experienced speaker on resiliency topics, including disaster recovery, business continuity, crisis management, and resiliency program governance.

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