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How to create a robust backup strategy with cloud services

Paul Mah | June 4, 2015
Love it or hate it, cloud storage is here to stay. Yet the fact is that cloud storage providers, like all IT companies, can experience outages or even go out of business. Moreover, the ever-present threat of data-corrupting malware and ransomware means that synchronizing to the cloud no longer offers adequate protection against data loss.

Love it or hate it, cloud storage is here to stay. Yet the fact is that cloud storage providers, like all IT companies, can experience outages or even go out of business. Moreover, the ever-present threat of data-corrupting malware and ransomware means that synchronizing to the cloud no longer offers adequate protection against data loss.

With this in mind, let's look at how you can work with more than one cloud storage service to put together a cloud-based disaster recovery strategy to protect your files.

Narrow down your cloud storage option

Despite there being many cloud services out there that offer free storage space, it makes sense to narrow down your primary cloud provider to just one service before trying to create a backup strategy. This serves to reduce complexity, and also makes it easier to ensure that your files are accounted for and backed up correctly.

On this front, it's worth noting that while the cost and capabilities offered by the various services are rapidly converging, some important differences remain. One of the most important would probably be the platforms that are supported by a particular cloud storage service, including the capabilities of the apps created for each platform — which may not necessarily be equal.

Some cloud platforms have been more successful than others in terms of persuading external developers to integrate with their storage platforms: All BlackBerry 10 smartphones comes with the ability to access Dropbox, Box and OneDrive from the built-in File Manager app; separately, support for Dropbox was also recently added to Office Mobile.

Finally, some cloud platforms offer business versions of their more consumer-centric offerings. These typically work the same way, but add the ability to better manage user accounts and quotas, and in some cases offer additional capabilities that are useful in a business environment, such as the presence of audit logs.

Private cloud options

As an alternative to storage cloud services that are based on the public cloud, private cloud offerings allow data to be synchronized across devices that are owned by the company. Private cloud storage services offer similar capabilities when it comes to desktops and laptops, though access options on mobile devices are usually much more limited.

Below are a couple of private cloud options that are worth mentioning.

  • BitTorrent Sync. As its name suggests, BitTorrent Sync makes use of the time-honed BitTorrent protocol to keep files in sync across multiple devices without relying on a centralized storage hub. Individuals or teams can work on shared files that replicate up to 16 times faster than cloud-based services, according to a company representative.
  • Transporter. Created to make it easy for small businesses and individuals to create their own private cloud storage, additional appliances can be added to an existing deployment from anywhere for additional redundancy. More recently, the company also launched higher-end storage devices geared toward the enterprise.

 

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