Cloud Data Backup Services

Eversafe Cloud Backup imageCloud Data Backup Services refers to a class of solutions that allow you to backup your files and data in the cloud.  Cloud meaning remote data centers that are typically setup with significant physical security, redundant power supply, and various other environmental configurations designed to ensure maximum computing uptime.

Cloud Data Backup Services for Business

For purposes of our discussion we will focus on business grade Cloud Data Backup Services.  These are backup services designed to properly backup a company’s servers including functions that are always in use such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL server.  Business solutions need to have a higher and more responsive level of customer service than a consumer solution.

There are a number of critical things you should ensure the provider you are considering offers so that when you compare pricing, you are looking at ‘apples to apples.’  If a company looks like a ‘cheap provider’ there are usually good reasons why and the fact that they are incredibly more efficient than everybody else is usually not one of them.

Questions to ask a potential Cloud Data Backup Services Provider:

What Does Your Service Cost ? It should be a simple question but in reality it can be as complicated as
comparing leasing deals on new cars.  Various providers include something as standard and others as a la carte.

Eversafe! includes the following in our pricing.  Does your Cloud Data Backup Service Provider?

  • Unlimited round trip drives.  If you are backing up a large amount of data (1TB or more), even a fast internet connection could take weeks to upload all of your data to their data center.  You need the ability to easily copy your local data to a drive provided by your vendor and then have it shipped to them for direct upload to the data center.  If you need your data back, you can’t be waiting days or weeks for the download so you need an option for overnight shipment of your data on a drive for restoration in the event of a complete hard drive loss.  Many vendors either don’t offer this, or do for a substantial fee and can take multiple days to process the request.  Can you be down that long?
  • Unlimited 24x7x365 Emergency support and 24×5 Phone support. Many vendors have no live human support beyond chat boxes and emails.  If they do, they are often low qualified foreign support agents where the vendor can pay the lowest possible wages.  All EverSafe! Support reps are in the United States and are experienced professionals.  Low speed, low quality support is ok if you are having a problem with a social media site like Facebook, but it’s not acceptable when it comes to the lifeblood of your business
  • Unlimited Servers.  EverSafe! allows you to backup as many servers as you want at no extra charge.  We only charge based on the total data you need to back up.
  • Free replacement of the local appliance in the event of a disaster.  EverSafe! includes disaster insurance so that if your server room is wiped out, we’ll send you a new appliance, fully populated with your last cloud backup via the fastest shipping method possible.
  • Data backed up in redundant data centers.  An earthquake or other disaster may hit.  As unlikely as it seems, it’s possible both your facility and you’re the cloud data center are destroyed at the same time.  EverSafe! backs up in a data center in Pennsylvania and Utah to ensure a large scale disaster doesn’t wipe you out.  This means we are consuming twice the cost and resources of most of our competitors since a terabyte of data is actually two terabytes in the data centers.  But the lifeblood of your business is worth it to us.  Backup is one place you don’t cut corners on
  • Flexible upgrade policy.  EverSafe! lets you upgrade to a larger device at any time for just the difference in cost plus a $150 processing fee
  • Three year warranty on our hardware.  Most vendors who include a local appliance only cover hardware for one year
  • Granular Recovery for Exchange and Sharepoint. Very few competitive solutions will let you restore a single users email box or even just one folder.  EverSafe! does
  1. Does your service save previous file versions and copies of your servers from a previous point in time?

Some Cloud Data Backup Services are just a repository for you to drop files in.  Almost a commodity.  Others are a combination of local software and cloud software that communicates to allow for functionality such as remote file access, file sharing, synchronization and the like.

One important feature is the ability to go back to prior versions of a file or image.  If you are backing up a server and a virus is contracted yesterday, you want the ability to restore from before the infection occurred. Another example is accidentally saving over an important file before renaming it.  Being able to retrieve a prior version can restore the overwritten file easily

Using Cloud Data Backup Services from Clients First Technology Solutions provides you with nearly unlimited prior versions of your backup.  As a matter of fact, we let you double your allotted storage for prior versions.

  1. How does your first backup get uploaded?

Companies don’t realize how long it can take to backup and restore data to the cloud.  If you have a business grade T1 line which is 1.5mpbs, it can take approximately 2 months to upload 1TB of data initially and that assumes little other internet traffic going out.  On a related note, it can take that same amount of time to restore which is why EverSafe!’s local appliance is so important for fast recovery

You should only consider Cloud Data Backup Services that offer a ‘seed’ drive or ‘round trip’ drive.  This is a hard drive(s) sent to you by the provider that is designed to quickly backup your local data and be shipped back securely to the Cloud Data Backup Provider.  They should offer the same service to send you your data back in the event of emergency and should be able to have that data at your desk within 24 hours of a call any time or day of the week.

Some vendors who provide a hard drive backup or restore shipment option charge a large premium for this.  Either fixed or per trip.  Make sure you factor that into your evaluation.  EverSafe! includes an unlimited number of round trip operations, postage paid in both directions.

  1. What kind of support is offered?

Many Cloud Data Backup Services that offer ‘business’ backup services, grew out of consumer services.  Carbonite is an example of this.  However, Cloud Backup companies don’t realize that a business cannot accept a long automated attendant tree, or worse, an email only or chat only support option with 24 hours between sends and replies.

Those that do offer live support, often do so with low wage, low trained foreign outsourced labor during normal business hours only.   Clients First can’t and won’t compete on price with such vendors as being able to get back up and running as quickly as possible is the only way we will retain clients and get referrals.  Clients First offers emergency 24x7x365 support manned by US based highly trained IT professionals who understand more than just the backup, but how IT systems interrelate as well.  When you have a disaster and need to failover to multiple servers in the cloud that need to talk to each other and your employees, you need experienced professionals make that happen quickly and properly.

When shopping for Cloud Data Backup Solutions for business, you really need to ask key capability and service level questions.  Comparing a low cost, low quality and minimally featured solution, to a comprehensive Business Continuity solution and thinking one costs less than another is very short sighted.  Read our blog here on the True Cost of downtime.