Are There Downsides To Cloud Backup?

As an enterprise, one of the toughest things that IT teams have to grapple with is the decision process of whether to go with cloud backup or not. While there are many pros to moving to cloud backup, there are cons too. Let us try and look at the possible downsides for an enterprise that’s on cloud backup

Cloud backup

You can never compare two enterprises for anything. The needs are different, the problems being solved are different and their IT mandates are different. Add work culture and geographic spread across the world and you will realize that no two environments are the same and the backup solution, cloud or otherwise, to suit your business will be dependent on your storage infrastructure, whether virtualization is used and the data protection policies you must meet, among other aspects. But these are not the only factors though. The topic of the benefits of cloud backup has been discussed a lot everywhere, let us now see if there are downsides to cloud backup and what they are

Local Legislation and industry standards have traditionally and very rightly had major implications on where an organisation can store their data – sensitive or otherwise. The data in question may very well be encrypted or inaccessible, but there are cases where if  data is stored on a platform that is not in the same country as the business, it can legally be classified as a breach of data protection law. The flip side to this is the fact that if trade agreements exist which guarantee equivalent data protection to that required in the country of origin or data ownership , use of the said platform may be permitted. For an enterprise that is looking at using public cloud services, such as Azure, AWS, it may very well be a part of the package they get to be able to choose the region that their data is stored in but enterprises need to think and look at if this is enough to keep them compliant. In summary, data protection laws may be a bottle neck in your region and your legal and IT teams need to work in tandem to see if they are and address concerns if any.

Designing a plan, implementing it and eventually protecting and backing up data through an online portal can be extremely convenient when it comes to quickly getting things up and running like you want or even when you want to review what’s being backed up or how long it is being retained without lengthy processes. The downside here come to the fore when something goes awry, the very same impersonal web interface may very quickly escalate and become a major paint point especially if you are stuck communicating behind an email id only or having to piece together the resolution you need from faqs or an automated chat assistant. So when you are choosing a cloud service over an on-premise solution, choose one that provides telephone support so that if disaster strikes, you can speak to an expert and turnarounds are more practical.

The process of switching from one backup provider to another can be a pain for the whole enterprise if a review deems it necessary. It may sometimes involve and on premises component to temporarily hold the data before the switch and the question of why not just go with the on premise solution from there on starts taking a big role in your next steps. Even without that coming into the equation, changing providers is a certain overhead and you might want to plan properly and diligently for this eventuality in advance.

There is also the quality and consistency of your internet connection as an enterprise that is important. This is not a major concern today given the speeds and reliability that most ISPs provide by default. But then there is a possibility of having to deal with two separate customer support teams – one the cloud guys and the other from the ISP, when thing go bad that is a bit of a complication.

These are a few downsides to cloud backup that I could think of. Do you know of any others? Let me know.

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