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Does multi-cloud backup have a future, or is it hype?

Backing up to multiple clouds can benefit your backup and recovery in different ways. However, from other important data protection perspectives, it may not be as beneficial.

Many organizations see the value of a multivendor platform. It enables taking different approaches to a problem and doesn't put all your eggs in a single vendor's basket.

A number of backup vendors are beginning to tout the support of multiple cloud vendors as a way to appeal to just about everyone. But is multi-cloud backup necessary or even beneficial?

Let me cover this issue by discussing it from a few perspectives.

Backup

The idea of backing up to both say, AWS and Azure, does follow the 3-2-1 backup rule; each vendor represents one of the two mediums required, as well as meeting the one copy off-site requirement. The ability to back up to multiple clouds also enables organizations that are operating in a multi-cloud mode to use a single backup vendor.

Recovery

There is a benefit for those organizations using a multi-cloud operational strategy to minimize egress fees on recovery by backing up and recovering within a given public cloud vendor. So, from this perspective, there is a tangible benefit to using multi-cloud backup.

Recoverability

This question should be asked: "Are you better able to recover because you use a multi-cloud backup strategy?" The answer for most organizations is no. Using a single-cloud strategy will give you just as much benefit, while going multi-cloud possibly overcomplicates both the backup and recovery strategies.

Availability

Even public cloud vendors have outages. Service-level agreements often provide little in the way of compensation, however. So, there can be some benefit to using more than one vendor here. However, given that the likelihood of a public cloud vendor ever going down exactly at the time you need to recover is so small, using multi-cloud backup to offset this potential issue is probably a bit of overkill.

With each of these perspectives in mind, what does the future hold for multi-cloud backup?

It feels like a niche play here -- some enterprise and midmarket organizations will require the ability to use multiple clouds as part of their backup and recovery strategy. But, for the vast majority of organizations, that's not a major concern.

While there's value in multi-cloud backup, I believe its future is going to strictly rely on organizational backup strategy rather than just the mere presence of multiple clouds alone. Time will tell, but for now, multi-cloud backup is an option and not a driver for backup and recovery.

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