Difference Between Cloud Backups and Cloud Storage

Difference Between Cloud Backup and Cloud Storage

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What’s the Difference Between Cloud Backups and Cloud Storage?

Similar but different: Cloud Backup versus Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup are terms that are often confused and confusing for business people trying to navigate the unfamiliar territory of data security. Many people believe they are interchangeable names for the same thing. But while Cloud Backup and Cloud Storage are both important elements of business IT that coexist to keep businesses running, their functions are entirely different.

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud Storage is the visible, front-of-mind application that every person in the business accesses daily in order to do their job. It stores original data files on the Cloud where users can work on and share them in real time.

Examples of Cloud Storage are: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business

What is Cloud Backup?

This is the invisible application that users rarely, if ever, think about – until there is an emergency. It stores all data from the business, updating every file at regular intervals so that if the original files in Cloud Storage are lost or corrupted, they can be restored using the Cloud Backup versions.

Examples of popular Cloud Backup Software are: Veeam Cloud Connect, LiveVault, Asigra, SkyKick

Challenges and solutions

The Challenge 

As businesses of all sizes became heavily data-centric and reliant, the need arose for multiple users to access and work on the same files, from different machines and often from different locations. Even small, single operators found the need to access files and data remotely.

The Solution

Cloud Storage was developed to allow single and multiple users to access and work on the same files, remotely, simultaneously and in real time. Cloud storage services synchronise data to their servers and the business’s nominated online devices. Nominated folders automatically sync when new content is added. However, this solution created a further challenge.

The further Challenge

Not all business data is shared among users via the Cloud, and Cloud Storage only stores files and folders. This leaves locally stored data vulnerable to loss if the machines on which they are stored become damaged, the files corrupted or a disaster occurs on site. Even files shared via the Cloud are vulnerable to loss or damage if the provider’s server fails or becomes compromised or damaged. Cloud Storage services do not provide any data safety guarantee, backup or monitoring. Files are usually in an encrypted format on the server side and are not uploaded or synched.

The further Solution

Cloud Backup was developed to solve the business challenge of data loss following a disaster on site or on the Cloud; to store all operating system data and applications, not just files and folders. Data is automatically stored off-site and updated at regular intervals to provide the all-important recovery capabilities that every organisation requires.

Cloud Backup is like putting files aside for safekeeping. Not unlike the old practice of sending physical files in boxes to an offsite archive facility. They’re safe (unless the storage facility itself suffers a disaster) but retrieving the files if they’re needed will take time as they need to be requested from the storage facility, found and delivered back to the business that owns them.

Cloud Storage main features

  • Primary task is to store files online so they can be accessed and worked on from any location
  • Does not provide status reports that show if files are safely stored in the remote location
  • Operates like a USB flash drive on the Cloud
  • Files can only be uploaded by the user. Encryption normally takes place on the server side
  • Only stores primary data that has to be actively uploaded and edited by the user
  • Files must be manually uploaded and updated
  • Only stores files and folders
  • Available immediately

Cloud Backup main features

  • Primary task is to create secondary files to be used as backup for data or server recovery
  • Provides status reports that allow users to verify that data has been safely backed up
  • Allows business to recover data in the event of loss or corruption
  • Cloud Backup provider’s server automatically backed up and encrypted at rest and in transit
  • Primary data remains on site while the secondary data is safely stored remotely
  • Is able to back up servers and apps, not just files and folders
  • Corrupted files can be fixed by restoring earlier versions stored in backup
  • Recovery of large volume of data can take time

Because Cloud Backup works in the background, users are rarely aware of its existence until it is needed for file or server purposes. Data backup is like an insurance policy; it can appear to be a wasted investment that adds no business value – until disaster strikes. In reality, using a Cloud Provider that offers backup as a service provides a wide variety of benefits. There are 10 top benefits of using a managed hosting provider that look after your data protection.

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