With the increasing amount of data processing and a wide variety of application usage, data protection has become a critical component in the IT strategy of every business. Even the slightest of downtime can significantly impact productivity. Therefore your daily operations can be compromised if you fail to recover your precious data quickly in the event of a natural disaster, storage failure, or cyber-attack.
A vast majority of companies are aware of the importance of data protection. However, nearly 3 out of 4 companies worldwide are failing in terms of disaster readiness, according to the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey, 2014.
While cloud backup disaster recovery providers often offer affordable, reliable, and efficient data protection solution for companies, choosing the right service for your specific business needs can be a challenge. So, before you implement your backup and DR strategies in cloud, here are five things you need to take into consideration when evaluating cloud backup providers.
1. Experience – DR budget typically ranges from 5-7 percent of the total IT budget. Hence, finding a cloud backup service provider that has the capability to meet specific requirements of your organization and the one who has got the expertise to work within the available budget is important.
2. Testing Recovery– Testing recovery operations is an essential ingredient when selecting a service provider offering DRaaS/BaaS capabilities. It is recommended to perform an initial test at the provider’s location before you sign a contract with the provider to bring up any impending issues that might occur during the test.
Varying infrastructural differences may confine you to work within the boundary of the provider’s cloud which may force you to redesign your infrastructure from scratch.
3. SLA – When considering SLA, you should be careful of even the minutest detail of service that your service provider is providing. Before signing up with any backup as a service (BaaS) or disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), verify to read the fine print in the SLA. If something is not explicitly written into the SLA, you should not assume that it is a covered service.
4. Security – Some providers encrypt data at rest on their servers, but not data in transit. It is recommended that data should be encrypted at no less than 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) levels before it leaves the customer's site for the cloud provider so that the data in transit cannot be stolen as plain text. The companies should hold all encryption keys and not allow the BaaS or DRaaS provider to have the ability to decrypt any data stored on their servers.
5. Compliance – As cloud-based storage today has become a commodity, hence, providers might tend to store your data on inexpensive storage having poor security. So, if your data backup pertains to government or industry related security regulations, you must ensure that the data centers where your backups are stored, meet the required compliance standards.
For example, customers' health should be stored in HIPAA-compliant (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) clouds and credit card data should be stored in PCI DSS-compliant (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) clouds.
In short, SMBs who tend to do all the recovery themselves may miss some essential requirements. Hence, having a key person at the provider side should help eliminate those errors. However, it is highly recommended that you do your due diligence to ensure that the provider you choose for cloud backup disaster recovery services, can assist in the recovery of files in a right way while providing technical support and assistance as and when needed.