Is On-site or Cloud Backup Best for Data Protection? Actually, it’s Both.

By VaultTek | April 21, 2023

Data loss can be devastating for businesses, causing financial losses, legal issues, and damage to brand reputation. That’s why having a reliable data protection solution is essential for any organization. However, relying solely on one type of backup solution can be risky. Both on-site and cloud-based backups have unique advantages and disadvantages when utilized individually. Combining the benefits of both offers the best protection for your data.

What are the differences between on-site and cloud backups?

Data protection is crucial for organizations of all sizes. Some replicate their data on-site using local resources. Others choose to utilize cloud technology for their data backups. Using a combination of both methods is a smart strategy to reduce the risk of a data loss event.

On-site backups are usually performed on a regular and pre-determined schedule that is automated using software managed by an IT professional and dedicated hardware or external media to securely store the data. Local storage device options are diverse giving the user flexibility and control over the method they prefer to use. Oversight and monitoring are critical, however, to ensure the backups occur regularly and successfully.

On-site backups rely on locally-operated equipment and IT staff to manage the scheduling and periodic testing for necessary maintenance. On-site backups are often stored on systems that are online and accessible via a local network connection. However, having an on-site backup also provides opportunity for maintaining a copy offline if desired for added security.

Cloud backups involve storing data off-site at remote locations that can be accessed over the internet. It is often integrated into a solution whereby software running at remote sites is hosted by a cloud vendor and allows users to utilize the resources in that environment online. Records are created, managed, stored, and backed up off-site. In this scenario, it is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure the backups are being performed.

Advantages and disadvantages of on-site and cloud backups

Both on-site and cloud backups have their advantages and disadvantages. On-site backups give you more control over the backup process, and the quickest access to your data but they can require more maintenance, internal resources, and IT support to maintain. It also requires a significant financial investment for the purchase of hardware, software, and IT personnel to manage the equipment and processes. You need to make sure your hardware is up-to-date, compliant, and that your data backup is secure from theft or human error.

Cloud backups, on the other hand, offer convenience and scalability. You can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection. One of the biggest disadvantages of cloud backups is the additional time it can take to get your records back for business continuity purposes. This is why it’s important to prioritize essential records based on time of need, when considering how and where you will backup your data.

When it comes to data protection, both on-site and cloud backups have their pros and cons. On-site backups provide quick access to data in case of an emergency, and they offer more control over the physical security of the hardware in use. However, on-site backups can present limitations to meeting storage needs over time due to the size and cost of hardware. Additionally, they may be vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods or fires.

Cloud backups offer remote access, which is a significant advantage for organizations that require off-site data storage. Cloud backups also provide scalability – they can be easily modified to meet changing storage needs. Cloud backups are managed by a service provider that you have contracted with to oversee the operations. While there are potential threats to data stored in the cloud, it does provide additional redundancy in diverse geographic locations.

How combining on-site and cloud backups offers the best protection

When it comes to data protection, it’s best to use a combination of on-site and cloud backups. On-site backups provide quick and easy file retrieval, but redundancy is critical should a local system storing that backup fail at any point. Cloud backups store your data offsite, providing an extra level of protection in the event of a disaster or data loss. By combining on-site and cloud backups, you get the best of both worlds.

Automated backup solutions that offer both on-site and cloud options are an excellent choice for ensuring that your data remains backed up in multiple locations. Utilizing this strategy will ensure faster recovery times, improved security, and peace of mind that comes with knowing your data is protected and can be recovered when you need it.

By using both on-site and cloud backup, businesses can ensure that their data is easily accessible and secure while also protecting against the risks of disasters or other events that could compromise their on-site backups. With this approach, businesses can enjoy the best of both worlds, ensuring that their data remains safe and secure when faced with unexpected threats.

This approach also follows the best practice 3-2-1 backup strategy. This backup rule is a commonly used data protection strategy that multiplies the number of backups you keep and expands the number of locations where your digital record backups are stored. The rule states that you should have:

3 – At least three copies of your data
2 – Two of the backups should be stored on different types of media
1 – And at least one backup should be stored offsite or in the cloud

When it comes to data storage there is an oft-quoted adage that “Any data not stored in at least three distinct locations ought to be considered temporary.” Though the origin of the sentiment isn’t known, the spirit of it is the same premise as the 3-2-1 backup rule’s objective to have redundant backups in multiple places if any one backup fails or is compromised.

Choose reliable on-site hardware and remote data centers

To implement this solution effectively, you need to choose the right hardware for your on-site backup and ensure that your on-site and cloud backups are regularly synced and secured.

For on-site backup systems it is essential to choose reliable hardware and software that can store data safely and securely. You should also ensure that you test the backup regularly to confirm all procedures are running effectively.

The cloud backup system should use the latest encryption technology to protect your data while it’s being transferred. You should also take into consideration the location and security of the remote data centers needed for cloud backup storage.

A combination of both methods offers multiple layers of protection to ensure maximum protection against potential data loss or breaches. Regular updates and testing of your backups ensure their accuracy and prompt recovery in case of a disaster. By following these best practices for securing sensitive data, you can achieve optimum backup management while ensuring the safety of your critical information.

Above all, you want confidence in your backup solution

Relying solely on one type of backup solution is risky and can lead to unexpected data loss. The best way to protect your data is by combining on-site and cloud backups, which offers the benefits of both solutions.

Implementing a hybrid backup solution requires careful planning to ensure it meets your business needs and budget. VaultTek’s triple-redundant data defense provides three layers of defense with an on-site backup appliance, Tekmate, and two separate cloud backups at remote U.S.-based data centers, meaning faster recovery and fewer opportunities for disrupted business.

VaultTek offers:

  • On-site Data Backup – Custom configured on-site appliance with no additional software installation, no server interference, and no further work on your part.
  • Off-site Cloud Backup – Even more layers of protection and added peace of mind with two additional off-site backups saved at separate U.S.-based data centers.
  • Automated Backups – Customized software automatically processes new files for on-site backup; encryption and transmissions of off-site backups to remote data centers.
  • Proactive Monitoring – Connecting your dedicated expert to your Tekmate and backup job services for proactive monitoring and recovery assistance when needed.
  • Empowered Management – Online dashboard and mobile app tools give you confidence your data is vault-tight secure with real-time access to backup status, account details, and files for simple restores if needed – anywhere, anytime.

You feel great responsibility to protect the welfare of your records, and we place a high value on being personally involved in your data protection planning. At VaultTek, our goal is to deliver the best technology solution with accessible personalized service that empowers you with confidence that your data is secure and ready when you need it.