In 1982, when I was selling IBM PC computers, I talked with clients about the importance of backing up the files stored on their floppy disk by copying them to another floppy disk and maybe even another disk and then storing them in another physical location. After all, who wants to lose their Wordstar and Visicalc files by keeping all their eggs in one basket?
This method or practice is called a best practice. It protects your most important asset - the data.
Today, you likely have at least some or all of your most important assets stored in the cloud. It's not stored on floppy disks any more but the best practice remains. It's still risky to keep all your eggs in one basket!
A Cloud Disaster Recovery Focus Only
Most cloud solutions are only focused on full disaster recovery which is of course critical. They will hopefully restore all of your data if there is a major problem. However, in day-to-day support, our experience shows it's rare that you'll require a full restoration.
Instead, you'll want to restore specific elements like one person's data or only certain records or files for a particular time period like some specific emails or calendar appointments. Often this is where the cloud will fail to deliver either because it will be impossible or very time intensive and costly.
Backing Up the Cloud!
Several solutions and services now exist to backup your cloud-based systems such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, and others.
When selecting a solution, consider features like::
- Ability to backup all data on a regular basis - multiple times per day
- Allow you search for and select specific elements
- Allow you to click and restore only specific elements back to the original data source
- The ability to monitor and report on successful backups
- Ease of setup
- Low cost
- Simple to use
We've come a long way since the days of floppy disks. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. The technology is different but the underlying risk remains the same. Use and enjoy the benefits of cloud solutions while also acknowledging and managing the inherent risk by following best practices. Don't keep all your eggs in one basket!