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How do I know if multi-cloud backup is the right approach?

You have a lot of cloud options these days. Using a multi-cloud data backup strategy may be good for your data protection, as long as it's good for your business first.

We have been taught that putting all of one's eggs into a single basket is risky. The same philosophy is true with cloud-based products.

Despite many vendor claims of high uptime, multiple outages and disruptions among cloud vendors have occurred, and so relying on a single vendor's platform is not advisable. That's where multi-cloud backup comes in.

Fortunately, there are numerous cloud service providers on the market, offering you a broad range of choices. There are, however, numerous elements to consider before employing multi-cloud backup.

Among the challenges of a multivendor architecture are the following 12 considerations:

  • compatibility across vendors, such as failing over a system from one cloud vendor to another;
  • security provisions offered by each vendor;
  • retention of legacy systems;
  • customer service;
  • financial offerings and service packages;
  • maintenance options;
  • vendor willingness to sign service-level agreements;
  • ability to test service offerings, especially those relating to data recovery and system recovery;
  • compliance with accepted standards for security, networking and storage;
  • issues associated with moving systems and data from one vendor to another;
  • training on cloud services; and
  • experiences and recommendations from other multi-cloud backup customers.

Of this list, the last is one of the most important. Given the number of cloud offerings available, speaking with a vendor's customers is one of the most critical actions you'll take.

Security and testing are also key deciding factors. You'll want peace of mind that your systems and data are not likely to be hacked from the outside -- or the inside. And it's very important that you regularly test and verify that the data you're backing up can be accessed quickly in an emergency. The same is true with your systems, such as virtual machines and specialized applications.

Having more than one cloud vendor also gives you the opportunity to have them compete and see which provider offers you the best deals.

Given our initial reminder from childhood and the realities of today's highly diversified world of technology, a multi-cloud backup strategy makes good sense. You may still decide to keep certain assets close at hand due to their sensitive or classified nature, but a multi-cloud strategy -- if that makes sense for your organization from a business perspective -- can provide peace of mind and long-term support for your organization.

This was last published in February 2019

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How many clouds do you use in your backup strategy, and how easy or challenging are they to manage?
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