What is Hybrid Cloud Backup?

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There’s a quiet revolution underway – or perhaps, it’s part of a continuing evolution – in the sleepy world of backup and recovery.

A handful of companies are starting to introduce cloud-connected or hybrid backup appliances.  So, what are these things?

According to George Crump with Storage Switzerland, “A hybrid cloud backup solution consists of an on-premise appliance that has enough capacity to hold several full backups, and the incremental backups that would be created between those fulls. The hybrid appliance becomes the point of first restore, since it is disk based and on-site. The key difference between disk backup and hybrid cloud backup is what happens after the backup is complete. The hybrid systems add an extra step and replicates backed up data directly to the provider’s cloud or to a public cloud provider like Amazon AWS or Azure.”

So, what are the advantages of hybrid cloud backups.  There’s a few worth noting:

  • Appliance Costs: Since the appliance only stores the most recent and critical data, it can be much smaller and cost much less than traditional backup appliances, which often force a 1:1 replication scheme.  In fact, most backup alliance vendors recommend that you double the storage of your backup appliance to accommodate future data growth.  Since there’s always an extra copy of the data sitting on the cloud, you can get by with a much leaner appliance.
  • Cloud Costs: If you look at the comparative costs of traditional appliance-based storage vs. cloud-based storage, it’s not even close. Cloud storage is way more affordable. Doesn’t it just make sense to store long-term data on cheap storage and your most mission-critical data on more expensive, high-speed storage?  This way you’re getting the best of both worlds.
  • Recovery Time: Since your most critical data is probably within your most recent backup, it stands to reason that most recoveries would come directly from the hybrid appliance. And because the hybrid appliance is local, your data recoveries are happening over LAN speeds instead of across a WAN connection to the cloud provider.

In the case of a real disaster, say your data center is flooded, you can still rely on data backed up to the cloud.  While these situations are obviously rare, it’s critical that the recovery effort works and does so quickly. With a hybrid cloud backup, a new appliance can be seeded at the cloud provider’s facility and then shipped to your primary data center.

If you want to learn more about our hybrid backup appliances and how they can be affordably deployed to better protect your client’s data, give us a call.  We’ll continue the education.

Dean Nicolls

VP of Demand Generation