It is estimated that 83% of business workloads are on the cloud and companies are investing huge amounts in advanced backup solutions as well as employees that can manage these systems. One of the biggest challenges that companies encounter when it comes to data is finding a way to store it. Cloud storage provides flexibility yet can come with some challenges. The implementation of a hybrid backup solution can overcome many of these challenges. A hybrid backup solution gives you a dedicated on-site storage system and backs all your company’s data up automatically. This system syncs with the cloud at regular intervals making your information available on both systems so that if your on-site goes down your company data will remain on the clouds backup system
What is a cloud backup service?
This is a strategy that enables you to back up data by removing data offsite to a service provider to keep your data protected. The initial backup of the appliance is sent to the provider to upload (this is called seeding) and thereafter incremental changes get backed up to the cloud. In more simple terms it is the way in which data and applications on business servers are backed up and stored to a remote server. Backup and storage of data and applications are backed up using a web browser or a service provider control panel.
How do I backup my data to the cloud?
Automated back up otherwise knows as syncing is provided freely by most servers as a free desktop application. You can download this and install it from the website. It will then sit in the background and invisibly sync folders on your hard drive with your cloud account.
Is online Cloud backup safe?
Online backup services are known to be very safe and secure keeping your data more secure than it would be if it had been installed on an external hard drive. If you had to rely only on an external hard drive and your computer broke down all your files would be destroyed. Data stored in the cloud is stored in an encrypted form that defers outsiders from being able to access your precious information. Some cloud backup services manage this encryption and security better than others, so it is important to do your homework before you choose your provider.
What is a cloud-based backup device?
This can also be referred to as a cloud computer backup and is the way in which data is backed up to a remote based cloud server. Even at basic levels this enables companies to store data to a cloud setting rather than to a disk or network drive. Online backup providers are companies that provide these types of services to both businesses and individuals and enables you to restore files if data is lost.
How do Cloud backup services work?
Also knows as online backup, cloud backup is when a copy of your data is sent over a secure network to a cloud-based server. Thereafter this data can be available from various access point as well as shared amongst multiple users. The user would simply install the Backup and Sync client on their computer and then select which folders they would like to back up. You can also back up and sync files from SD cards and USB drives.
Cloud backup storage features
- Backups are Automatic and usually run at times when it is convenient for your company with a pre-set time and date.
- Incremental Back ups
- Archiving of files
- Open File backup
- Remote Access
- Security of your files
- Sharing of files
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Benefits of cloud backup services for home and Enterprises
- Cloud backup services are affordable
- Anytime and anywhere access allows your employees to access their data whenever they would like to.
- It is off-site
- It is simple
- It is automatic
Top 10 cloud service providers Worldwide
- Microsoft Azure
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Google Cloud
- Alibaba Cloud
- IBM Cloud
- Rackspace Cloud
The 5 Best Free Cloud Storage Services
# Syncthing – free, simple and able to work on all major devices
# IDrive – best option for NAS users and has excellent privacy and security offerings
# Nextcloud. – simple and customisable
How do I know which backup service is right for me?
Businesses understand that regular data backups are essential and that if even a small part of important data is lost it could be a real disaster. Backing up data to USB flash drives and external hard drives takes time and effort and leaves your data vulnerable to fire, theft and hardware failure. Smaller businesses can opt to back up their data with a file sync solution that connects to a cloud storage service, but for larger businesses more is usually needed. There is a lot to consider before choosing a provider that best suits your needs. It is important to choose a provider by asking yourself the following questions:
How much storage space does my company need? How should the service support versioning be managed? What sort of encryption does the service provider provide? How is access to my data managed? How do I make sure that my users adhere to policies and procedures? Are my files easy to recover should they be lost?
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Cloud backup services providers used in South Africa
This uses a desktop application to automatically sync files from your PC to the cloud and makes sure that you never risk missing a backup. It is available for all smart devices and allows you to access your information any time that you want to no matter where in the world you are. Your data and information are kept secure with a 265 Bit Encryption and your laptop is tracked hourly allowing you to find it if it gets lost or stolen. Together with all of this you are also provided with around the clock technical support should you require any help with JustCloud.com related issues.
Compatibility: PC, Mac, Linux
Cost: Free (limited offer)
Dropbox allows for file sharing with multiple people and boasts a large file storage. Information can be safely shared with people who do not have access to Dropbox and your information is available from anywhere and at anytime as it can be accessed from your smart device. All information kept in Dropbox is synced automatically to all your devices with the Dropbox application. Files can be edited from your Dropbox account and everyone linked to your folder will also receive updates. Dropbox plans can be upgraded to unlimited storage for $15 (approximately R241.08) monthly plus tax.
Compatibility: PC and Mac
Cost: $9.99 (approximately R160.60)
Google drives offers the first 15GB for free! All your information is accessible from any location if you have access to your Drive account. The sending and sharing of large files are quick and easy and recipients can access information easily if they have a Google account. Files can also be edited and automatically saved online as well as scanned and saved on the Drive to other devices as PDF documents. It is secured with SSL encryption.
Compatibility: PC, Mac, Linux
Cost: $19.99 (approximately R325.00)
With this drive you have access to your information from any smart device and cloud sharing is made easy among multiple users and computers with added email support. Large files can safely be backed up with an encrypted file safety feature. It is simple to use, and you can drop files from your computer to the drive or vice versa and the sync will start automatically. One Drive can be used for businesses and comes with tools that will allow your IT department to protect any important company data.
Compatibility: PC and Mac
Cost: $4.26 (approximately R68.48)
This is perfect to use to automatically backup your Mac and iPhone. Information can be accessed using any of your Apple devices. You can also automatically sync specific information of your choice and change your settings to automatically sync certain information. You can opt to manually sync instead. Any edits made on your device can be automatically updated to the rest of your devices allowing you to work on the same file using different devices.
Compatibility: Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch (iOS 9)
Cost: $8.33 (approximately R133.85)
This backup provides a centralized console that is used to manage and automate backups across all AWS services and supports Amazon EBS, Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EFS, Amazon EC2, and AWS Storage Gateway. This can enable you to back up to key data stores such as your storage volumes, databases, and filesystems. The storage device behind all these products is the Amazon cloud drive that enables you to upload files to the cloud while at the same time organizing them by using a user-friendly interface. You are also able to download these files from anywhere when you log into Amazon.com and save, organize, share and access all your files from a desktop, tablet or mobile device. Amazon has a variety of plans and offers each customer 5 GB of free storage.
Compatibility: Desktop, Mobile, Tablet
Storage: 5GB free then charged per month
Cost: charged per GB / month. $0.03 / GB / month, charged hourly. API cost for operation of files: $0.005 / 10000 read requests, write requests are 10 times more expensive. Data transfer outside of AWS region: $0.02 / GB to different AWS region, $0.06 / GB to the internet.
What types of businesses might benefit most from backing up data to the cloud?
- Marketing groups
- Shared office space Leasing companies
- Data Security businesses
- Global corporations
- Accounting Firms
- Education industries
Tips to make your cloud experience risk-free.
- Backup data locally
- Avoid storing very sensitive information
- Cloud services should encrypt data
- Install Anti-virus software
- Create strong passwords
- Make sure to test your security measures often
Many African countries lack the resources and skills to design, implement and manage highly advanced technology when it comes to cloud-computing solutions. Experienced cloud-computing solutions technicians are in high demand. Your service provider has more than likely made sure that their technicians are competent and able to adhere protocols and assist you with your needs.
Cloud computing can significantly increase economic growth by saving costs through the management of sensitive data and security. In South Africa there is a growing awareness to the benefits of cloud computing technology, and it is very likely that the global financial crisis will force businesses to consolidate expenditure and move to public cloud servers.
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