Business owners understand the importance of a solid backup and disaster recovery solution. They have also learned that the traditional methods of making on-site backups to tapes or other forms of magnetic media and then physically taking that media off-site each day (private/on premise model) are obsolete. Faster and cheaper internet speeds combined with less expensive data storage solutions and the explosion of data center capacity have made the Cloud the big new player in backup and disaster recovery.

There are so many different solutions available to businesses – both public and private cloud options – that it can be difficult to understand which configuration is the best fit. While public cloud options like Google Apps, Salesforce and Carbonite may seem easy and appealing, they also present risks. The biggest risk is the lack of access to your data. These solutions rarely include a local backup component. Your backup is stored with the cloud provider. For companies that need access to their data, this can present a huge problem if there is an outage.

For many small and mid-size businesses, hybrid cloud backup solutions present one of the best options. These solutions combine the benefits of the private (on premise) and public cloud models. It includes a local backup device that acts as a NAS (Network-Attached Storage) unit backing up data locally. At the same time, it is pushing data off-site to a secure, third-party data center. The local backup device is more than a typical NAS unit in that it applies complex processes to reduce storage requirements on local devices and off-site servers. This keeps bandwidth requirements low optimizing the backup and data recovery processes.

The public cloud side stores backup images from local backup devices in data centers. These images can be accessed in the event local or on premise backup records are not available. The public cloud also allows smaller businesses access to data center capacity and capabilities at lower costs, due to the economies of scale offered by these solution providers.

There are many benefits to a hybrid cloud backup and data recovery solutions. We’ve highlighted five key benefits below.

Business Continuity – a hybrid cloud solution gives a business owner confidence that in the event of a disaster, human error, virus infection, etc., the business will not lose access to mission critical applications and data – no downtime. Because 90% of businesses that suffer significant data loss are out of business within 2 years this is pretty critical peace of mind. If a disaster, such as a tornado, wipes out the local backup device, the business can quickly access and spin-up a virtual machine from the cloud backups.

Data Security & Accessibility – data security is a key benefit of the hybrid cloud solution. With a local backup and a backup replicated off-site, you have two levels of protection in the event of a failure or disaster because at any moment in time your data is located on the server (or workstation), the local backup device and the mirrored backup in the cloud.

Scalability – local backup devices have finite storage. When they fill up you have to buy a larger device. By integrating the cloud option, the business can leverage the unlimited storage capacity in an offsite data center. You have the flexibility to balance your storage and archival needs with strategies to best manage your capacity requirements and you only pay for the capacity you use.

Cost Savings – private cloud solutions require capital investments, equipment ownership and implementation costs. You also bear the burden of ongoing maintenance and labor to maintain the solution. The hybrid solution keeps initial equipment costs low and your operating costs can be easily budgeted and managed based on backup requirements.

Regulatory Compliance – some industries, including healthcare and financial institutions and public companies are governed by strict standards around business continuity and disaster recovery. In the case of healthcare, this includes requirements for the archival of certain medical records. Hybrid cloud solutions offer archival capabilities that increase the off-site retention for these organizations.

If you have not explored a hybrid cloud solution for your backup and data recovery requirements or if you are reaching the end of life on your current backup configuration, now is a great time to explore the available alternatives. HSMC Orizon Technology is an expert in the area of off-site backup and data recovery solutions. We have assisted many clients in assessing their requirements; offering our advice on the best strategy, solutions and configuration to best satisfy their needs.

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