Moving to the cloud? Take your legacy backups with you
Transitioning to the cloud represents a brand new world of flexibility, scalability, efficiency and above all else - possibility. But what of the historical data you have accumulated? The years of information you have on back-up tapes, taking up space in your office or a costly storage facility? What to do with this data is a question that perplexes many businesses.
Maintaining historical and new data backups in disparate locations is expensive, complicated and difficult to manage. While moving your legacy backups to the cloud may seem like a Herculean task, in most cases the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Plan the transition to make it cost effective and efficient
Yes, converting your current tapes so they can be stored online comes at a cost. It pays to review your situation before leaping into a solution. But bear in mind that the conversion will be a once-only cost, as opposed to the ongoing expense of data storage that is not in the cloud or that is – as outlined above – in multiple locations.
In fact the transition to the cloud represents a great opportunity for a little housekeeping! We’ve put together a few key points to help you decide how much of your legacy backup you should bring across and to weigh up the costs.
These questions will aid in clarifying your process and planning. You may not need to convert and transition as much data as you think and the project may also not cost as much as you fear.
1.How important are your current backup tapes?
When was the last time you reviewed the backups you have in storage? Check your current backup storage policy against the dates of the tapes in storage. Are you storing information for longer than you need? This is the logical first step of the culling process.
Of the information remaining, what proportion of the tape content is of value and how much is simply taking up space? In consultation with your legal team you may determine that only certain file types are worth keeping thus significantly reducing the volume of data.
If you are finding it difficult to determine what no longer has value, it may be best to transition your entire legacy dataset. The beauty of it sitting in the cloud is that your compliance and legal teams can review it with ease and conduct a cull from there.
2.What are the true compliance requirements?
When was the last time your organisation reviewed its compliance requirements and backup policy? The transition to the cloud may be a good catalyst to commence the conversation.
Many organisations need backups for a certain period in order to be compliant. But depending on your industry you may find that you don’t necessarily need backups, you just need to demonstrate that the information is available. This can have a huge impact on the amount of data you need to transition.
Speak to your legal team to ensure your backup policy reflects the latest compliance requirements, and understand what alternative steps you can have in place that will also meet the requirements.
3.How confident are you that you can recover your legacy data?
Backup software and processes are not always foolproof and tape can be easily damaged by heat, humidity, dust and magnetic fields. How confident are you that the data you have on tape is accessible today, or will be next year?
Do you really want to wonder every time you are requested to recover a dataset? Your users won’t remember all the instances where things worked perfectly, but they will remember the one instance where they did not. Better to have all data backed up and easily accessible in the cloud than risk missing or damaging valuable data.
4.What are your current costs?
What are the current costs of your data storage? If your data is stored professionally the cost will be significant as it involves secure storage, fireproofing, rotating and all the activities associated with physical storage. Consider also the less tangible costs of your time in managing your current backup process and the effort involved when you need to access the information in storage. Is it worth it? In most cases, the move to the cloud does make sound financial sense.
The many benefits of moving legacy data backup to the cloud
There are many benefits that will help you improve business processes and productivity:
- Data stored online is accessible anytime and anywhere
- Data in the cloud can co-exist with your current solution
- You can choose an integrated backup system that combines cloud with disk storage
- You have greater control and awareness of where backup data is, how long to keep it and where to find it
For most businesses, it simply doesn’t make sense to have backups in multiple places. It is risky, costly and time consuming. Streamlining what you have backed up and locating it all in one place is a smart business decision that will assist overall business performance and efficiency.
Want to know more? Contact us today for a no obligation discussion.