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What are the costs associated with cloud data backup services, and what options are available to lar

What are some major cloud backup providers and their costs?

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There are several different cloud backup services to choose from, depending on your needs. We use Backblaze for backing up the systems of our remote employees. We chose it because it supports both PC and Mac users, and when we chose Backblaze, it was thought to be one of the best options available to us.

The cost of this particular cloud data backup service is about $5 per month, per user, with unlimited space. Data recovery is quick and easy. All you have to do is log into the Backblaze website and select the file you want to restore. For more serious data problems such as hard drive crashes, a DVD image (up to 4.7 GB) can be obtained for a $99 fee, or an external USB drive can be obtained (when the DVD option is too small), for $199.

Other features of Backblaze include backing up all your data, or excluding some things if you wish, automatic backups over the web whenever connected, a personalized file transfer schedule and support for external drive and multiple computers.

There are also several other online data backup products besides Backblaze. Both Norton and IBM Corp. provide cloud data backup services, and other providers include Asigra Inc., Carbonite Inc., Dropbox, EMC Corp. Mozy, SugarSync Inc. and Time Warp (for Mac), to name a few.

Regarding online backups for large enterprises, nearly all of the enterprise server and storage vendors either provide or support enterprise-class data backup and recovery products, such as BakBone Software Inc., EMC NetWorker, Symantec NetBackup, Symantec Backup Exec, etc. Many also incorporate data deduplication features, such as products offered by EMC Data Domain's Global Deduplication Array, which reduce the amount of storage required for the backup/archive.

Many enterprise customers require off-site replication and disaster recovery (DR) services, which are also provided by many of the companies already mentioned. Companies such as EMC, IBM, LSI Corp., Microsoft, NetApp, and Oracle (Sun), provide software and services to achieve off-site backups and disaster recovery, as well as content management. The topic of enterprise backup can get very detailed, and costs will be based on the amount of data to be backed up, replicated and requirements like access to disaster recovery facilities. Detailed costs for these services will have to come from the vendors, as each case will be somewhat different.

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This was first published in April 2010

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