Decoding Data Backups: On-Premises vs. Cloud Backups
Data management is a vital practice that drives decision-making and growth for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Whether it’s storing customer information and sales records or keeping operational data and strategic planning documents safe, companies are becoming increasingly reliant on data for their day-to-day operations.
But with the rise in data usage comes the need for effective data management and protection strategies. One of the most critical aspects of this is data backup. The importance of a reliable backup system cannot be overstated, as data loss can have disastrous consequences, including operational disruptions, financial losses, and damage to a company’s reputation.
Data Backup Solutions For Small Businesses
When it comes to data backup solutions, businesses typically choose between two main options: on-premises backups and cloud backups. On-premises backups involve storing data on local devices, while cloud backups store data on remote servers managed by a third-party provider.
Each method has its unique set of advantages and drawbacks, and which is better between the two often depends on a business’s specific needs and resources. Our blog post will compare both methods, aiming to help small businesses make an informed decision that aligns with their operational requirements and strategic objectives.
Let’s dive in!
What Are On-Premises Backups?
On-premises backups involve storing your data on local devices within your location. This traditional form of backup uses servers, external hard drives, or other storage devices to store your data. Since these devices are located within your office, you have direct oversight over their management and security.
This method offers you an immediate and tangible sense of control, which can be reassuring for businesses handling sensitive data. However, as with any physical system, it also brings its unique set of challenges.
Advantages of On-Premises Backups
On-premises backups offer businesses total control over their data, backup schedules, and procedures.
Since the data is stored locally, recovery times can sometimes be faster compared to cloud backups, particularly when dealing with large volumes of data.
Disadvantages of On-Premises Backups
Initial Costs and Maintenance:
On-premises solutions can demand high upfront costs for hardware and software purchases. Plus, they require regular maintenance, which can strain resources for small businesses.
Unreliability and Possible Incomplete Backups:
Even if you have a manual backup ready, are you sure the software was able to save all of your files and that it will be able to restore all your data? Statistics show that 60% of data backups are incomplete and around 50% of restore attempts will fail. This is why it’s crucial to test your backups or rely on a trusted third party to maintain complete and accurate copies.
Vulnerability to Physical Damage and Human Error:
Local backups are susceptible to physical damage from fires, floods, or theft. If the backup system gets destroyed, all data could be lost. Hardware failures, including hard drive crashes or power surges, can also result in data loss.
Accidental deletion happens more often than you think as well. Whether it’s due to human error or a bug in local software, data may be deleted permanently, leaving no possibility for recovery.
Increasing Need for Physical Space and Storage Space:
On-premises backups often have storage limitations. As your business grows, you may need to invest in additional hardware to accommodate increased data. More hardware also means needing to dedicate more space in your office or business.
On-premises servers and backup systems can consume a significant amount of energy, leading to higher utility bills, regardless of whether you actually use all of the server space. Additionally, they may require cooling systems to prevent overheating, adding to their overall operational costs. Under-utilized data servers lead to wasted electricity.
What Are Cloud Backups?
With cloud backups, your data is stored on remote servers, typically managed by a third-party provider. These providers are specialists in data management and security, and they take care of the technical aspects of storing and protecting your data. Managed IT providers like Verve IT offer services where complete backups of your business data are monitored and managed every day to ensure it is always protected.
This modern approach to data backup offers flexibility, scalability, and ease of use, making it an attractive option for many businesses. Yet, like all things tech, cloud backups also come with their own set of considerations.
Advantages of Cloud Backups
Cloud backups usually operate on a subscription model, making them more financially accessible as they require minimal upfront investment.
Most services also allow you to pay for the exact amount of cloud storage that your business needs. A pay-as-you-go pricing model gives you better financial flexibility and ensures you have needed additional storage as you scale.
Ease of Use:
Providers handle system updates and maintenance, enabling small business owners to focus on what they do best — growing their business.
As a business grows, so can its cloud storage. Increasing your storage plan is often as easy as clicking a few buttons. This flexibility eliminates the need for costly hardware upgrades.
Disaster and Hardware Failure Protection:
Cloud backups are stored off-site, providing an extra layer of protection against local disasters.
Most hard drives have a lifespan of three to five years. Constantly having to upgrade storage devices can be costly and you run the risk of failing to transfer all critical files. Cloud providers typically operate in a highly stable and secured data center with hardware that is regularly maintained or upgraded. Your data is also replicated several times, making it more difficult to lose.
With cloud backups, you can access your data from anywhere with an internet connection, offering convenience and mobility.
Disadvantages of Cloud Backups
Although the initial costs are low, businesses have to budget for ongoing subscription fees.
The efficiency of data backups and recovery in the cloud hinges on internet speed and stability.
Making The Right Backup Choice for Your Small Business
The decision between on-premises and cloud backups depends on your specific needs. However, for many small businesses, the affordability, scalability, and ease of use make cloud backups an attractive option.
At Verve IT, we understand the importance of secure, reliable backups for small businesses. Whether you’re considering a switch to cloud backups or simply need guidance on managing your data securely, our team is ready to help. Contact us today for more information.