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Cloud Back Up Services
Post: 08/01/2014

The use of offsite backups is not a new phenomenon. However, cloud or backup as a service (BaaS) takes remote backups a step beyond simple offsite backups. The BaaS offering provides a method of completely offloading the entire infrastructure required for backups to an Internet location, with a service provider ensuring that the infrastructure needed is available for use. These services are fullyfunctional—on-demand backups and restores, ability to schedule backups, group policies application— all the features you would expect from a piece of backup software.

Great! So. Why not replace all the backup software with a BaaS and call the backup problem solved? There are a number of issues with BaaS services. The primary one is chat of scale. While backup services can handle a number of clients, the ability to ingest backups is largely gated by the connection to the Internet. As the numbers increase, so does the use of the bandwidth. While this is not typically an issues in sites with well-defined ‘’off hours’’, it will impact other jobs or access because the BaaS services can take significant amounts of bandwidth otherwise used by regular client access.

Additionally, BaaS clients also have a significant impact on the performance of the client on which they are run. In order for the backup lo run quickly—as all of these BaaS clients use some type of either block-level tracking, Real-time file tagging, or deduplication. The client software must consume a significant portion of CPU in order to work efficiently, thus dragging down any available CPU for use by normal operations. Most BaaS client software can be throttled but this significantly increases the time required for the backup to complete.

A more basic issue is with access to the Internet. If this is placed in an environment with dial-up access only, Metered Internet access, or generally a slow/unreliable link, the backup software may have issues with reliable completion. More important, Restores may be made more difficult for the same reasons—if you cannot get to the Internet, You cannot get the files back. Some BaaS services mitigate that by providing a mechanism to request CD/DVD copies of files. But this requires you to know exactly what file(s) you need, the directory where they are located, and which version you require—a process that generally requires a paper or local electronic record of what was backed up when. Also, if the site has a slow link to begin with, there may be only enough bandwidth to deal with a very small number of restores in parallel.

This will become an issue if there is a requirement to restore multiple files or file sets in parallel. For instance, if multiple desktops delete different files and request restores within the same time period, the restore requests will attempt to consume as much bandwidth as possible, slowing down both the restores and normal connections to the internet. BaaS services are not free either—there is generally a significant charge for this, as well as the delay for the files to be recovered from the BaaS service, burned to CD/DVD, and then shipped to your site. If you want more information about cloud back or searching for professional who can help you out in this issue then visit www.woodgatecomputers.comfor more information.