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10 Things to Look for in a Cloud Data Backup Service

Published on 22 December 15
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For many companies and businesses, investing in cloud data backup services is one of the most important decisions they will make. Disaster can strike at any time and in all kinds of ways, from the dreadful flooding we have seen in the UK recently to acts of terrorism or deliberate vandalism.

Castle Computers have vast experience of working with businesses of all sizes and sector in backing up and protecting their data, aware of the personal and professional disaster it can be when data is lost and irretrievable.

The cloud offers many options and benefits and so when it comes to choosing the right provider, here are some tips on what you could look for.


I. Storage – how much do you need NOW?


There are many options when it comes to the amount of storage you need but to keep costs down, think about the storage space you need now and see what is on offer. Providers offer anything from 1 gigabyte of space, to unlimited.

Opt for sufficient storage within your budget but if you think your needs will increase incrementally then opt for a service that offers this kind of increase option. Much kinder for the budget!


II. Scalability


This last point is all about the flexibility the cloud service provider offers in terms of scalability. To help you predict your future growth needs, look at your business and the predictions how it will grow. Will it mean more staff? More PCs, and more data being generated? What kind of data will this be – will it multimedia, for example?

For some businesses, their data will still be text-based and so although their needs will expand, it may not be the same type of information or data format.


III. Uptime


You may have seen this expressed in the adverts of cloud storage providers and thus, providers are allocated tiers. Tier 1 is when their uptime is 99.671% and Tier 4 is when uptime us 99.995%.

Uptime is important as this represents the amount of time that you can access your information. The difference in the stated uptime figures above may seem almost too trivial to be of relevance, but it is the technology behind them that makes the real difference. Tier 4 companies, for example, will have advanced power capabilities along with temperature control rooms, and so on.


IV. Disaster recovery


We started by saying that disaster can strike at any time, and they do. This can not only happen to you but to the web hosting service too. Big names have been hit such as Amazon’s northern Virginia servers that went down in a thunderstorm, taking Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest with it for a while.

Or the hacking of servers of web providers that took our 26 major American banks for a short period in 2013. The information you need to know is that should this happen, there is an effective disaster-recovery plan in place.


V. Backup frequency


The truth is you are probably making changes and updating information, generating data and so on, on a daily basis. Having peace of mind that your information if being backed up is key when it comes to choosing the right cloud provider for you.

Back up practices vary so make sure you read what is being offered from each cloud provider.


VI. Security


The safety of your information in the cloud is paramount and so asking ‘how safe is it?’ is a good question to ask. Just as technology is becoming more sophisticated, so are cyber-criminals and the methods they use.

Look for a 256-encryption, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and local, as well as off-site data storage.


VII. Data protection


The fines for leaking the data of your customers, accidental or otherwise, can be crushing to a business and so if you do collect the data of customers, you need to be confident that the cloud provider is compliant with all the data protections laws and regulations. If the data you have is especially sensitive, then this protection level may need to be higher.


VIII. Pricing


Thankfully, the majority of cloud service providers tend to have fairly straightforward pricing structures, with clear description of what is on offer etc. Some bill on a monthly basis, others on an annual basis. Clearly, this is your own preference.


IX. Terms and conditions


Like all contracts you enter in to, make sure you read the fine print, and that you understand the terms and conditions on offer. This way, you avoid any unpleasant surprises further down the line.


X. Support


And finally, when things go wrong or you have a problem, you may want to consider how easy it is to access support. Some providers have an online chat option, or a system or email tickets and online support. Some providers offer excellent support, whilst from others it is virtually non-existent.





















For many companies and businesses, investing in cloud data backup services is one of the most important decisions they will make. Disaster can strike at any time and in all kinds of ways, from the dreadful flooding we have seen in the UK recently to acts of terrorism or deliberate vandalism. Castle Computers have vast experience of working with businesses of all sizes and sector in backing up and protecting their data, aware of the personal and professional disaster it can be when data is lost and irretrievable.

The cloud offers many options and benefits and so when it comes to choosing the right provider, here are some tips on what you could look for.

I. Storage – how much do you need NOW?


There are many options when it comes to the amount of storage you need but to keep costs down, think about the storage space you need now and see what is on offer. Providers offer anything from 1 gigabyte of space, to unlimited.

Opt for sufficient storage within your budget but if you think your needs will increase incrementally then opt for a service that offers this kind of increase option. Much kinder for the budget!

II. Scalability


This last point is all about the flexibility the cloud service provider offers in terms of scalability. To help you predict your future growth needs, look at your business and the predictions how it will grow. Will it mean more staff? More PCs, and more data being generated? What kind of data will this be – will it multimedia, for example?

For some businesses, their data will still be text-based and so although their needs will expand, it may not be the same type of information or data format.

III. Uptime


You may have seen this expressed in the adverts of cloud storage providers and thus, providers are allocated tiers. Tier 1 is when their uptime is 99.671% and Tier 4 is when uptime us 99.995%.

Uptime is important as this represents the amount of time that you can access your information. The difference in the stated uptime figures above may seem almost too trivial to be of relevance, but it is the technology behind them that makes the real difference. Tier 4 companies, for example, will have advanced power capabilities along with temperature control rooms, and so on.

IV. Disaster recovery


We started by saying that disaster can strike at any time, and they do. This can not only happen to you but to the web hosting service too. Big names have been hit such as Amazon’s northern Virginia servers that went down in a thunderstorm, taking Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest with it for a while.

Or the hacking of servers of web providers that took our 26 major American banks for a short period in 2013. The information you need to know is that should this happen, there is an effective disaster-recovery plan in place.

V. Backup frequency


The truth is you are probably making changes and updating information, generating data and so on, on a daily basis. Having peace of mind that your information if being backed up is key when it comes to choosing the right cloud provider for you.

practices vary so make sure you read what is being offered from each cloud provider.

VI. Security


The safety of your information in the cloud is paramount and so asking ‘how safe is it?’ is a good question to ask. Just as technology is becoming more sophisticated, so are and the methods they use.

Look for a 256-encryption, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and local, as well as off-site data storage.

VII. Data protection


The fines for leaking the data of your customers, accidental or otherwise, can be crushing to a business and so if you do collect the data of customers, you need to be confident that the cloud provider is compliant with all the data protections laws and regulations. If the data you have especially sensitive, then this protection level may need to be higher.

VIII. Pricing


Thankfully, the majority of cloud service providers tend to have fairly straightforward pricing structures, with description of what is on offer etc. Some bill on a monthly basis, others on an annual basis. Clearly, this is your own preference.

IX. Terms and conditions


Like all contracts you enter , make sure you read the fine print, and that you understand the terms and conditions on offer. This way, you avoid any unpleasant surprises further down the line.

X. Support


And finally, when things go wrong or you have a problem, you may want to consider how easy it is to access support. Some providers have an online chat option, or a system or email tickets and online support. Some providers offer excellent support, whilst from it is virtually non-existent.

This blog is listed under Cloud Computing Community

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