It helps to start by asking where your data resides today.
Are you fully cloud-based?
Most companies are on a cloud journey and are gradually moving their services, data and applications to the cloud. Generally, only startups and progressive organisations that have championed a cloud-native approach operate entirely on the cloud.
In this situation, as our backup expert Gavin Albury says, "if you run all of your services in the cloud, local backups make almost no sense because you don't have anything locally. Backing up locally means that you're taking it out of the cloud."
Hybrid IT environments: should data stay local?
Almost all modern businesses (92% to be precise) run some of their operations using the cloud. The majority of those will be running a hybrid IT environment using a mix of on-premise and cloud infrastructure.
In this scenario, some data may reside in cloud services, such as file-sharing platforms or cloud-based office suites, while some data is stored locally on endpoints or on-premise servers.
However, storing your backup data in the location where it gets viewed and edited does not give you the protection you need. As Gavin succinctly puts it, "the simple reason to put something in the cloud is so that it's not only in your office!"
A power surge or natural disaster would leave you unable to access your backup data, even if your staff can work from home. Instead, your backup data needs to reside in more than one location.
Do you need worldwide data access?
Public cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are global operators by design. The scale of their infrastructure is unrivalled, which is brilliant if you need worldwide, multinational access to your data. However, we must stress that most businesses do not operate at a scale that requires this.
Hidden public cloud costs: data ingress and egress
You typically pay for Public Cloud backup services on a pay-per-use structure, so the actual storage costs are low. However, an overlooked yet important consideration for Public Cloud backup is the cost of moving data into and out of these services.
On paper, the low cost per gigabyte of storage offered by providers like AWS and Azure is appealing. Unfortunately, this misses a crucial detail.
"At some point, you need to recover or move data, which is when it starts to cost you. Data ingress and egress can catch you out."
Before committing to the public cloud as a backup option, make sure your business understands all costs, some of which may not be immediately obvious. Otherwise, you might find that you rapidly burn through your budget.