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What are best practices for cloud repatriation with backups?

In order to migrate backup data from the cloud back to an on-premises environment, you should follow these steps to ensure your data will be safe and smoothly moved.

Organizations are occasionally leaving cloud-based backup services to resume an on-premises workflow.

Reasons for cloud repatriation might include:

  • financial (reduction in budget funds);
  • operational (management decision to centralize all IT functions);
  • security (breach occurring at the cloud provider); or
  • strategic (merger or acquisition by another company that does not use cloud-based services).

Assuming your organization is in the position of moving its backup activities from a cloud-based service to local storage, consider the following tips to ensure a smooth cloud repatriation transition:

1. Examine the current backup approach and schedule to determine how it will change in an on-site backup environment.

2. Review current recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives to ensure the on-site backup arrangement can support those metrics.

3. Ensure the storage resources receiving the systems and data have sufficient capacity to accommodate your backed-up assets following the cloud repatriation.

4. Locate the backup equipment in a secure space, with restricted access to the equipment, and sufficient HVAC facilities and fire detection and extinguishment equipment.

5. Ensure sufficient primary and backup power is available, in the form of uninterruptible power system devices and external emergency power, such as a diesel or propane gas generator.

6. Ensure there is sufficient space on existing racks in the data center for the storage devices. If not, install additional racks.

7. If the backup arrangement uses a SAN, NAS or RAID arrangement, be sure those devices are properly configured and tested prior to being placed into production.

8. Work with your cloud vendor to organize a schedule for migrating systems and data, determining which assets should transition first and those that can migrate later. Ensure that the security of systems and data is maintained.

9. Work with your network services carrier to see what reconfigurations or reductions in service will be needed as a result of the cloud repatriation. Include those changes as part of the overall migration cutover plan.

10. Work with your vendors and carriers to prepare a cutover plan that includes:

  • installing and configuring the new backup resources;
  • executing the phased migration;
  • testing the backup technology to ensure backups are performed and confirmed;
  • launching the new backup schedule;
  • documenting the backup procedures;
  • reviewing the new backup arrangement with management and employees as needed;
  • updating backup policies as needed;
  • updating business continuity, disaster recovery and other relevant plans as needed; and
  • scheduling an initial test of backup services within one month of the completed cloud repatriation.

Following these steps, as well as careful planning and coordination with your vendors and carriers, should ensure a smooth transition of your backup environment.

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What are other reasons for migrating backups from the cloud back to local storage?
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