By Kami Haynes



Do you have a toxic backup relationship? These nine warning signs will help you decide if it’s time to breakup with your current backup and will ensure the right choice for a hybrid cloud backup solution.

Nine warning signs you’re in a toxic relationship

  1. Is your vendor’s solution appliance-centric?

The problem with many hybrid backup vendors is that everything on the appliance is replicated to the cloud. When you hit the storage limit on your appliance, you’re stuck buying another one. This doesn’t leverage the cloud the way it was intended. The cloud is infinite, cheaper, and needs to be untethered from the appliance.

  1. Are you locked into your vendor’s cloud?

You should have the choice to store your data in a public cloud, vendor-provided cloud, or a private cloud destination within your own data center (or IT partner). Don’t get locked into a vendor’s cloud. Modern hybrid cloud solutions should allow you to chose your cloud target – within the vendor’s cloud, a third-party cloud such as Amazon or Azure, or your private cloud.

  1. Is Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service built into your backup solution?

Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is the replication of system-level backups to a second computing device or the cloud, usually located in a second site. In the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe, applications can be booted and the system accessed. Fundamentally, DRaaS lets you “instantly” boot your critical applications from a local appliance or from the cloud.

  1. Does recovering data from the cloud take days?

A critical performance metric is how quickly data is transferred from the hybrid backup appliance to the cloud. Many customers assume it’s entirely a function of their company’s Internet connection – while this is largely true, the cloud backup vendor’s software and technologies, including WAN acceleration, can play a large role in improving the speed of cloud replication.

  1. Is your cloud storage tethered to appliance storage?

It’s impossible to capitalize on cloud cost savings when the hybrid appliance has a finite amount of storage, tethering the cloud to this limit. Once you hit the appliance maximum, you can’t backup any more data to the cloud. You’re left with two choices: delete data, or buy a bigger appliance. Neither really solves the problem, and the cost savings and scalability benefits of the cloud are sidelined because cloud capacity remains coupled to the capacity of the backup appliance. Once you untether your cloud from the appliance you have access to a bottomless cloud – drastically more affordable and scalable than appliance-based storage. Plus you can manage your cloud as a digital archive and apply data retention rules in order to comply with company or regulatory mandates.

  1. Does the appliance still function as a purpose-built appliance?

If the solution limits your cloud storage to the size of the appliance, then it’s not leveraging the full cost efficiencies and scalability benefits of the cloud. A next-gen hybrid solution takes advantage of built-in cloud spillover to automatically stream data from the appliance to the cloud, and grows per your data retention rules. Cloud spillover intelligently routes your data to the cloud without concern for storage limits. All data is replicated to the cloud and automatically removed locally (based on custom policies), and the appliance acts more like a cloud gateway or intelligent cache than a purpose-built backup appliance. This allows smarter use of the backup appliance and leverages a bottomless cloud for long-term archive and storage.

This approach also minimizes the sizing risk – since your appliance only needs to house your most critical data, you don’t need a massive appliance, nor should you worry about outgrowing your current appliance.

  1. Can you keep mission-critical data local?

Not all data is created equal, so a hybrid cloud backup solution should give administrators the ability to treat data distinctly by intelligently segmenting the most critical, short RTO data and backing it up on-device, and routing previous backup jobs, such as smaller file/folder backups and less critical data, directly to the cloud.

Since your most critical data is within your most recent backup, it’s safe to assume that most recoveries would come directly from the hybrid appliance. Since the hybrid appliance is local, data recoveries happen with LAN speed instead of across slow WAN connections to a cloud provider.

  1. Can your backup protect all of your company’s data?

With an increase of BYOD, the rise of virtualization, and an increasingly mobile workforce, IT administrators need to protect physical and virtualized servers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Protecting Exchange, Mac, Unix, Linux, and AIX environments should also be top of mind. If you support a mixed, heterogeneous environment, your hybrid backup solution should support all of your platforms and operating systems.

  1. Is the pricing of your backup complicated and confusing?

Comparing the costs of hybrid cloud backup solutions isn’t easy. Some vendors offer hundreds of different models that require accurate sizing of the appliance. You’ll need to factor in the additional costs of appliances, cloud storage, maintenance, and support in order to get an apples-to-apples comparison.

Getting accurate pricing begins with properly sizing the appliance. Buy too much appliance and it will sit underutilized – it may take months or years to fill if data growth doesn’t happen as fast as envisioned. Over-buying and paying large upfront costs should be avoided. Buy too small of an appliance and you’ll exhaust your available space when your data growth exceeds your estimate – now you’ll have to upgrade to a bigger appliance or start removing data.

Choose the better backup

Embracing a hybrid cloud backup solution will enable organizations to achieve better data mobility, protection, and costs savings with higher data resiliency in the cloud.

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