Cloud backup

Why Azure cloud backup is the best for servers?

Azure backup service for cloud server backup

Server backup to the cloud needs to be fast, flexible, highly secure, and cost-effective. Azure cloud backup service becomes a more competitive choice for IT teams to enable server backups quickly, manage easily, and stands less chance for data loss, or downtime.

PC backup solutions perform a decent job backing up files like word, excel, PDF, images and other file types.  But would it support backup for servers? Maybe yes, but generic backup tools are not a perfect solution.

 A recent IDC’s research report along with Microsoft on the business value of Azure backup and recovery says that business has seen 76% faster backups, 99% reduction in lost productivity, and 46% reduction in unplanned downtime.

What is a server backup?

A server backup is a copy of the server image in its current state containing all the installs of executable application files, and operating system.

On-Premise Server Backup

In an on-premise setup, using additional disks for server backup is a typical practice following with an offsite backup strategy. The downside is the time and effort that goes into the first phase of the disk backup.  

The Azure backup service uses a lite app known as an agent to push the data from the on-premise server storage to the Azure Recovery services vault.

There is no need for additional hardware, and dedicated resource to perform the backups. Once configuring the backup, it requires less effort to oversee backup efficiency.

Types of backup include on-premise SQL data, entire VMs, individual files, and folders. Besides, backup of Azure VMs is possible.

Flexible Retention

The data retention policy depends on regulatory compliance requirements, and an organization can choose to retain data for numerous reasons. The period can vary between three years to more than ten years. 

However, for server backups, the purpose is to make sure the latest version of all applications and patches are available.

The backups could run daily, weekly to biweekly and monthly with 1 to 4 cycles. Azure backup services allow configuring short term and long term which can be up to 99 years.

Storage options

Azure backup service offers two options. LRS and GRS.

Local redundant storage makes three copies within the same region, and it is a low-cost storage option to protect data from local hardware failure.  

During a server crash, backup services help to quickly restore a server backup and bring it to live within a few minutes eliminating the server build process and decreasing downtime.

Global redundant storage (GRS) runs with the same concept of LRS except that the data will be available in a different region. Any critical downtime due to the regional data center outage, or network failure, GRS can be helpful to restore data quickly.

 AEC Cloud application hosting provides both GRS and LRS for our clients.

Highly secure

The main element in the Azure cloud backup process is confidentiality as the internet is the medium for data transfer.

Data goes through an encryption process when you upload or download. It converts as a code during upload and decodes while downloading.

 This encryption involves a key to code or decode. And encryption takes place over the network using protocols including Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Also, access controls help to avoid writing existing backups.

Through the Azure console, a centralized monitoring system is available and can run reports. With multi-factor authentication, we can increase security measures, set up alerts for suspicious activity which can help save from threats of ransomware attacks or malware.

Conclusion

Perform backups for servers with the right solution. Configuring third-party storage may seem to be a cheap alternative, but cannot be the best enterprise-class solutions for servers. 

One of the reasons Azure backup service is the best for a server is, it is a Microsoft product, and, the majority of the servers are windows based and the solution is fast, flexible, highly secure and cost-effective.

Besides, Azure backup service is the first step towards disaster recovery. Learn the advantages of cloud backup and understand what you are missing.

For configuring Azure backup needs hands-on experience. Work with a Microsoft partner to receive assistance.

AEC Cloud is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider and been assisting firms on Azure Backup, Disaster Recovery, and Application hosting on cloud.

If you are struggling with on-premise backup solutions and considering Azure backup service to solve your IT challenges, contact us, we can guide you.

Cloud backup: Are you taking advantage of the value?

Reducing on-site data storage, archiving to cloud and recovery are few aspects of a cloud backup.  For an IT team, backup is a critical task and cloud helps simplify on-site backup process and cuts resource time. 

Why use a cloud backup?

Traditional backup methods using tapes, or disks has few setbacks.  Lesser security, longevity, and additional costs for increase in storage, and for managing.

Whereas, a cloud backup solution does not require additional hardware, it is flexible, and storage is reliable. You can implement in two ways, a hybrid cloud backup and a direct cloud backup.

Problem scenarios with small businesses

Backup planning and poor implementation are two major issues with small businesses. In a research by Gartner, they say about 35% of businesses have a backup plan, and 70% are not confident.

Other than the above two issues, onsite server management, PC based backup solution running on all staff computers, an office manager taking daily backup only on hard drives are a few other problem areas. Also, lacking a document management system adds to it, as there is no proper way to organize and control duplicates which makes data storage and access inefficient.

 Our client Alliance mechanical, a specialty contractor was desperate to solve their ongoing data storage issues and managing their servers.  There were two options, either to continue managing servers and fix the storage part or offload their server management to cloud so they don't have to deal with on-premise servers.  Application hosting on cloud was making sense for them, so their choice was to move away from on-premise server management.

 Microsoft Azure is a great fit for any size of organizations and allows to set up either direct or a hybrid cloud backup. We at AEC Cloud have been supporting our customers on Azure for both application hosting and backup services.

What does Azure Cloud backup offers?

Scalable

The ability to meet the requirement in size or volume allowing business to continue function is the value of cloud.  Conversely, as data grows the need for increase in storage, and relative costs are unstoppable.

 Security

The main element in the cloud backup process is confidentiality as internet is the medium for data transfer.

Data goes through an encryption process when you upload or download. It converts as a code during upload and decodes while downloading. This encryption involves a key to code or decode. And encryption takes place over the network using protocols including Secured Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) . In addition, access controls helps to avoid over writing existing backups.

Recovery

IDC research states that the average cost of downtime is about $20,000 or more for 80% of businesses. And about 20% claims their cost per hour of data loss is at $100,000.

A cloud based-backup is also a solution to business continuity and disaster recovery due its ability to restore or recover.

Cloud backup solution in Microsoft Azure provides Global redundant storage (GRS), and Local redundant storage (LRS). GRS creates three copies of data in three regions, and LRS generates three copies in a single location.  Enabling these features, the recovery experience is better than any other tools.

Costs

The emerging trend in the Cloud is causing all types of solutions to be transparent.  Pay as you go model allows you to only pay for the volume of data in offsite storage. An IT team can easily forecast costs and usage which may not be possible before. But the cost is incremental as the data grows. However, when comparing between buying hardware which is a capital expenditure, cloud storage cost becomes an operational expenditure.

Cloud backup, an entry point

Cloud-based solutions are transforming IT infrastructure management and using a Cloud backup can be an entry point for businesses to realize the value it offers.

The two options to test them are, setting up backup directly to cloud or setting up a hybrid cloud backup solution.

Azure stand out among the available cloud backup solutions, and it is a best choice for businesses. You don’t need to install backup software on individual user computers or keep running a backup round the clock on your server. The backup agent on the server can handle the process depending on the backup routine.

However, with a backup plan including retention policies and recovery procedures, you may realize the value.

What next?

 If you are not already taking advantage of a cloud backup solution, maybe it is time to make a choice. The trend is Cloud-based solution, and you don’t want to stay behind.

AEC Cloud is a Microsoft Cloud Solution provider assisting organizations on backup planning and implementation. Wherever you are in the cloud journey, contact us now and we are confident our expertise would make a difference.