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How should you choose a cloud backup service provider?

What are the top five things to consider when choosing a cloud backup service provider for your organization?

Adopting cloud-based data protection is a big decision, and there are a number of important things to consider prior to taking the plunge with a cloud backup service provider.

1. Does the provider's service meet your needs?

It might seem like a no-brainer, but the first thing that you should consider is whether or not the provider in question really meets your needs. Any provider can offer the capacity that you are looking for, but what happens in the event of a major disaster? Does the provider have adequate bandwidth to facilitate the rapid restoration? Are they willing to ship a storage array to you so that you can expedite the recovery process? Consider what is really important prior to making a decision.

2. What are the total costs?

Another consideration is the total cost of using the service. Cloud providers typically offer a low cost per gigabyte of storage. However, cloud backup service providers are notorious for having a number of hidden fees related to everything from storage I/O to CPU usage.

3. Do you have adequate bandwidth?

While it is important to consider the amount of bandwidth that the cloud storage provider has available, you also have to consider how the backup process is going to impact your own Internet bandwidth. Simply put, do you have enough bandwidth available to absorb the backup process without impacting other key business processes? You must also consider whether your Internet service provider imposes any usage caps on data uploads (it's more common than you might think).

4. Is the provider reputable?

It is also critically important to consider whether or not the cloud backup provider is reputable. That trendy new startup might offer some amazing new capabilities, but they probably don't have a track record for you to look at. As you consider various providers, it is also a good idea to make sure that your chosen provider offers 24-hour support.

5. Will your data be secure?

One of the most important criteria that you must consider is whether your data will be secure. Don't be afraid to ask the cloud backup service provider the tough questions about how they plan to secure your data.

Next Steps

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This was last published in September 2014

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