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In a previous blog post, we talked about why architecture matters and how a cloud-first enterprise backup solution can bring customers the real benefits of cloud in a data protection solution. In this blog, we will explore how this cloud-first model brings the benefits of the cloud to offsite backups and long term retention.

The need for a cloud-first offsite backup solution

Cloud-First Offsite Backup Solution

Most organizations find that up to 90% of the restores they do when dealing with data corruption or retrieving lost data are from short term stores that are typically less than 30 days old. Such operational recovery often necessitates disk backups for restore performance. Additionally, business compliance, legal or regulatory reasons require organizations to retain backups over long periods of time. These backups typically need to be stored offsite.

Tapes have been the traditional target for such offsite backups. The tapes themselves are not expensive, but that low-cost starting point obscures the much higher operational and management costs of using them for long term retention. Tape backups often require manual intervention for management, orchestration and removal offsite. Although most companies use managed vendors for tape storage, the level of manual intervention remains a drain on IT personnel who are kept from performing activities that drive value to the business. The reliability of tapes that could potentially stay in an archive for multiple decades has also been called into question. Restoration from a tape typically involves several steps in a process that could potentially run into days, especially when a tape that is vaulted offsite needs to be retrieved. This process is ill-suited to satisfying business owners who demand agility or the modern apps that were built on the premise of data being always available. Finally, relying on existing offsite backup solutions adds to the sprawl of infrastructure on-premises.

Cloud as the enterprise offsite

The backup offering in Operations Management Suite and System Center is designed to offer a superior alternative to the existing long term retention and offsite backup solutions by taking a cloud-first approach to the problem. There are several unique advantages to leveraging a cloud-first offsite backup solution:

Reduces burden on IT

Perhaps the biggest advantage of adopting a cloud-first offsite backup is that IT professionals are freed up to do tasks that add value to the business as opposed to maintaining, managing and troubleshooting an existing on-premises offsite backup process. One customer, Stephane Budo, a Solutions Architect at Vigilant.IT, found that they went from spending 35 days out of 18 months on backup issues to spending no more than 10 minutes in two and a half months.

Cost-effective long term retention

The OMS Backup solution is designed to be extremely cost effective for long term retention. License fees are computed on front end storage, which means that it is not linked to the necessary growth in backend storage for backups. The backend storage is at cost with pay-as-you-go Azure Blob Storage. There are no egress charges associated with restores.

Reliability and ease of restores

With the OMS Backup solution customers can leverage geo-redundant storage on Azure, dramatically increasing reliability compared to existing solutions. Moreover, the restore experience is simplified as it makes full use of the intelligence of the cloud. For instance, customers are able to retrieve single items from the backup as opposed to having to bring an entire library back.

Security and compliance

OMS Backup offers security by encrypting the backup on the wire and at rest. Additionally, OMS Backup complies with global standards like ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2, as well as country-specific standards like Australia IRAP, UK G-Cloud, and Singapore MTCS. These measures ensure that data is safe and that organizations have complete control of access to their data.

Come back soon for technical tips on how to leverage cloud backup.

Find out more about Azure Backup Server and how you can replace tape with a cloud-based backup solution.