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Evaluating Cloud Backup & DR Solutions – A Checklist for Cloud Architects

cloud backup checklist

IDC research paper says that 90% of organizations are planning to utilize the cloud for backup and DR. 

In my customer conversations, cloud backup and DR use case comes up 100% of the time. They want to protect their on-premises workloads to a public cloud such as AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM, for the reasons below:

  1. Reduce Storage Costs: Reduce backup storage at primary and DR data centers by backing up to S3 compatible cloud object storage in AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM. It costs less and grows on-demand.
  2. Reduce DR Costs: Eliminate DR infrastructure that’s running 24×7 but being used only once / twice a year. Instead, perform on-demand DR in the cloud, which reduces costs by up to 80%.
  3. Reduce Ops Burden: Provisioning cloud storage for backup and compute for DR is all API driven that a good backup software handles automatically.
  4. Accelerate Testing: Dev/QA/Security teams want copies of production data for testing. In the cloud, they can reuse backups to provision on-demand copies and compute for testing.
  5. Accelerate Analytics: Organizations, with ETL needs, want to leverage on-demand cloud analytics such as Google BigQuery, AWS Redshift by extracting data from their backups.

Considering these benefits, it’s crucial for backup & cloud architects to evaluate a cloud backup and DR solution based on some critical criteria or checklist. Following are just a few critical capabilities to consider:

  1. Does the solution allow you to use your own cloud account to store backups for peace of mind and compliance reasons?
  2. Does it deliver flexible RPO such as 15 minutes for critical databases, and 4 to 24 hours for the rest of the workloads?
  3. Does it have the ‘option’ to eliminate on-premises backup storage costs by backing up directly from on-premises to the cloud object storage?
  4. What is the RTO to recover from cloud object storage? Does it have the ability to convert VMware, Hyper-v, physical servers to cloud-native VMs in AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM?
  5. Is the software available as a SaaS subscription pricing model so organizations can pay-as-you-go?

This free e-book lists many more critical capabilities to consider. It takes away the stress while evaluating various solutions for cloud backup and DR.