Ensuring Efficient Cloud-Native Backup and Recovery

Efficient cloud-native data protection is essential for business continuity – especially given that, as of mid-2023, 94% of U.S. enterprises use cloud services.

In this post, I explain what cloud backup is, what makes a data protection solution “cloud native” and why they’re worth your time.

What is a Cloud Backup?

Cloud backups encompass two definitions:

  • A workflow to create a copy of cloud data that you can send to different storage and use for recovery.
  • A spare data copy that is stored in the cloud to enhance resilience and availability with swift recovery in emergencies.

Cloud-Native Data Protection Explained

Cloud-native backup and recovery solutions are the latest instruments for organizations to control and protect cloud data. Legacy backup methods based on manual workflows aren’t efficient for cloud services.

A cloud-native data protection solution is designed from the first to be used in the cloud, with an emphasis on optimizing online data transfer, retention and security. Such solutions can integrate with cloud-based workloads and enable effective data backup and recovery of, for example, Amazon EC2 instances.

Among the reasons cloud-native data protection is preferable in the cloud-friendly IT industry are:

  • Scalability: One reason that cloud infrastructures appeal to businesses is that they can scale up and out, increasing data volumes and performance requirements when necessary. This applies to backup needs as well. Cloud-native solutions work with the scalability levels of clouds, enabling an organization to keep sufficient backup and recovery capabilities regardless of the data storage growth tempos.
  • Flexibility: Cloud-native data protection tools can function in private, public and hybrid clouds, and are compatible with cloud environments of any size and complexity.
  • Security enhancements: Cloud environments are always online, staying in sight of rapidly evolving malware and hacking tactics. Cloud-native data protection solutions may include anti-ransomware protection, data encryption, multi-factor authentication and role-based access control, among other features to enhance the security and ensure recoverability of backup data.
  • Affordability: To host a full-scale backup and recovery system on site, your organization needs to invest in hardware and software, system assembly, setup and further maintenance. Cloud tools and environments enable backup as a service, with payment options such as pay-per-use. That matters particularly in cloud environments, which allow you to avoid overpaying for unused performance and storage capacity.
  • Streamlined management: Proper data management and control in the cloud can be challenging, especially when your infrastructure includes multi-cloud or hybrid cloud elements. Management features and tools to streamline data management can increase system convenience, workflow efficiency and regulatory compliance.
  • Recovery speed: Cloud-native disaster recovery functions, such as workload replication and automated failovers and failbacks, help you meet the shortest recovery time objectives (RTOs). Granular recovery capabilities enable quick restoration of separate workloads, files or folders. Other cloud-specific features can optimize network performance and storage space utilization to further accelerate your organization’s recovery after incidents.

Cloud Backup Strategies: Best Practices

Consider developing and implementing a cloud backup strategy to get a reliable data protection system for your cloud workloads and storage.

Data mapping

Creating a map of your repositories, workloads and data flows can help you know the location of specific records. You can evaluate the impact of data on production and then precisely prioritize records.

With an understanding of your data value, you can configure backup and recovery workflows according to your organization’s requirements. This can help you define recovery point objectives (RPO) and RTOs for different workloads and data repositories. With all the data mapping outcomes combined, you can ensure that your cloud backup strategy has a solid foundation before you start the building process.

Frequent backups

If you don’t update your cloud data backups frequently enough, they become outdated and unusable. Although an outdated backup is recoverable, the unavailability of the latest data may become a reason for production failures.

However, frequent backups can pose performance requirements for cloud workloads, storage and networks. This may increase investment in a data protection system, which you should account for when defining the overall budget. However, restoring lost data without backups takes more time and can cost more than the recovery from relevant backups.

Apply the 3-2-1 rule

The 3-2-1 rule is the industry-accepted standard for backups that you can apply to your cloud data:

  • Have at least three copies of data
  • Keep those copies on two different storage media
  • Send at least one data copy to the offsite storage

Following the rule, you can avoid a single point of failure and ensure data availability in case the main environment is victim to an incident.

Workflow automation

Backup and recovery automation is critical to ensure integrity, backup relevance and smooth recovery of large data volumes. You can boost the efficiency of your cloud backup strategy with automation features that can help you restore production in minutes after the incident.

Backup security enhancement

Your backup data is a priority target for malicious actors. Protecting both your cloud data and backups from cyberattacks and third-party access is equally important.

Modern cloud-native backup and recovery solutions have a set of advanced security features, including role-based access control and data encryption during transfer and throughout the retention period. Including anti-ransomware protection measures for backups in your strategy also raises your chance for successful recovery even after ransomware attacks.

Disasters Averted!

Cloud-native data protection, designed for the specifics of cloud infrastructures, can help for private, public and hybrid cloud environments. They can streamline cloud data backup management and enable fast recovery after disasters.

Alex Tray

Alex Tray boasts a decade of extensive experience within the IT sector, primarily specializing in Windows Server and Desktop Administration. Currently employed as a system administrator at a prominent technology firm based in Texas, Alex brings profound expertise in a multitude of critical areas including Azure, Active Directory, Office 365, DNS, DHCP, Group Policy, Endpoint Manager (Intune), and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (SCCM). His robust skill set and comprehensive knowledge base underscore his invaluable contributions to the company's IT infrastructure and operations.

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