Cloud Computing

The cloud offers any number of solutions to problems for organizations, but arguably the most important is backup.

With increasingly faster connections, backing up offsite to the cloud in more than one location has a number of advantages, particularly for organizations with strict data retention policies.

But in a column for Network Computing Jim O’Reilly notes there can also be problems: for example, some services are tape-based, which means longer archive life but slower recovery times. Disk-based storage is more expensive, but offers fast access to data.

Think about ensuring that data is held in two different geographical or time zones, he advises, for extra protection.

How many backups are necessary? “One of the largest elements in data loss is “finger trouble,” he writes. “Erasing, moving or renaming files in error often happens, and replication systems faithfully copy the changes to all the replicas. Backups, at least in theory, prevent data loss by having read-only, non-erasable files. This also protects against a second major problem, which is malware.”

Cloud backup will undoubtedly become less expensive as the price of spinning disks continues to drop — although I’ll bet that p  roviders will soon offer flash-based cloud storage at a premium.

That’s a good thing. As O’Reilly points out, with the Internet of Everything upon us organizations will need more to store, not less.

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Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]