Debunking the Top Six Myths of Cloud Backup

Paul Mah

Given the increasing amount of focus on cloud-based storage, I wrote on the topic of What They Don't Tell You About Storing Data in the Clouds earlier this month to outline some of the problems with storing data in the clouds that typically don't get mentioned by cloud storage providers.


At around the same time, Matthew Dornquast, the CEO of Code 42 Software, wrote in with a list of common myths about cloud backup. Code 42 Software is the developer behind CrashPlan, which offers secure online and offsite backup for consumers and businesses. A majority of Dornquast's arguments are contingent on using his company's versatile range of backup services, and I would urge readers to weigh the assertions based on relevance to their own business processes.


However, I do think that it makes an excellent checklist for SMBs who may be looking for an online cloud vendor. I've listed the six "myths" with my own remarks below.


Synchronization is backup


Dornquast: We love sync, but that's not backup. Synchronization automatically replicates your changes (and mistakes!) to all locations. Imagine you were retouching a photo, cropped it, and saved it. Months later, you wished you could undo that crop, you're out of luck. Your original is gone as it was synchronized.


Mah: This is indeed a common point of confusion. Unlike synchronization, data backups allow for a separation that offers protection against casual sabotage or inadvertent data corruption.


All online backup providers are about the same


Dornquast: All backup solutions are not created equal. The ability to back up external drives and what the solution does with your deleted files are just two of the many differences which, if not made aware of, can cost you extremely important files.


Mah: SMBs should perform due diligence in their evaluation of an online backup provider, tabulating their storage services against what is offered by vendors.


Initial online backup takes forever


Dornquast: While this can be true for many online backup solutions, some options offer customers the ability to "seed" their backup cloud by having a drive shipped overnight to their data centers. This can shave months off your initial backup time.


Mah: We have previously reported about Mozy offering a service where hard disk drives can be shipped to SMBs for faster backups; similar services are increasingly being offered.


It takes weeks to get your files back


Dornquast: This too is true for most solutions. However, there are solutions which offer the option to overnight your data to you for a small fee if you've lost everything. Better still, follow point #6 below and you'll have a copy nearby for free.


Mah: I am not in a position to comment on the reliability of such services. Rather than taking a vendor's word on this, though, why not check by including this as part of your SMB's periodic data recovery tests.


Online backup is expensive


Dornquast: $5/month/computer can really add up, especially with most households having several computers. Four computers (three computers and media server) costs nearly $250 a year. However, some solutions provide unlimited storage for all your computers for as low as $6/month and enable families to create their own private backup clouds for free.


Mah: Cost is a relative matter, and should be viewed in the contact of a backup vendor's track record.


Online backup is enough


Dornquast: Online backup is better than nothing, but putting all your files and photos in one basket is risky. Two destinations are infinitely better than one, so have backup onsite and offsite. Look for a plan that offers multi-destination backups, allowing you to have all of your data in as many locations as you needed.


Mah: SMBs serious about their backup needs should read an earlier blog I wrote about Building Multiple Layers of Backup for Greater Reliability, Faster Restores where I outlined how SMBs may put together a robust backup infrastructure to balance near line availability and greater data protection by means of geographical separation.


Do feel free to share your backup experiences in the comments section below.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 27, 2012 5:04 PM Aron Lasky Aron Lasky  says:

Is anyone else starting to see duplicate file bloat?

What I mean is, the problem with these cloud sync services that are based on you putting your files in there own sync folder...

Well, if you are like me and have a SkyDrive, DropBox, now Google Drive... each requiring you put the files you want synced into there individual sync folders...

Now I have THREE duplication's on an already full C drive (yes, I am able to put SkyDrive and DropBox on D drive. But that's not really my point).

Three duplication's! Really? Why can't these sync services do like SugarSync (and I only mention SugarSync because they don't care where your files are, which is a GREAT model. I don't particularly like SugarSync as a company) and let you select the folders you want to sync from anywhere on your local system. Obviously it is possible. Is there an issue with version control or some other head-butting that could happen between services? If so, it is because there have not been any standards established yet. There is no one protocol for working nicely together. We need a 'third-party' to establish some protocols!

May 2, 2012 6:52 PM Michael F. Michael F.  says: in response to Aron Lasky

Agreed and we see a lot of the same.

What is your experience with Axcient or Barracuda solutions?

May 6, 2012 7:41 PM Paul Mah Paul Mah  says: in response to Aron Lasky

@Aron Agreed. That's why I've been using SugarSync for years now. Even Google Drive mandates yet another location for the files to be located in

May 22, 2012 5:58 PM Marc Marc  says: in response to Aron Lasky

But my question is why do you have 3 different folders for 3 differentcloud providers? If you are storing the same files, why not pointing all providers to the same folder?

Oct 15, 2012 11:55 AM reas reas  says:
This is indeed a common point of confusion.Search Engine Optimisation Unlike synchronization, data backups allow for a separation that offers protection against casual sabotage or inadvertent data corruption. Reply
Nov 28, 2012 11:22 AM Rajesh Rajesh  says:
It might be worth considering Manzilain-IT Cloud Storage. They provide unlimted storage space for a few dollars a month; have free iPhone, iPad and Android Apps to access all your files, music, photos and videos and come with Previous Version feature (similar to Shadow Copy Services) Also as far as synchronization is concerned, with other providers your edited files will be synced to the cloud, but the previous versions can act as a guard against unwanted synching. Check it out at http://www.manzilain-it.com For free storage check out http://track.justcloud.com/?hash=7b483bec Reply
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Cloud hosting describes a method of configuring servers in a flexible way to allow for the most affordable, scalable, and reliable web infrastructure. you can choose small to large cloude for your hosting which depends on your need. For normal personal website personal cloud is enough to go. iWebmind.com is also offering affordable website development under cloud environment to step ahead your website. Reply

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