We often receive clarifying questions on cloud computing solutions. With all the different products, use cases and terminology used when talking about cloud computing, it’s easy to get confused. One of the most common questions we get is “what is the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup?” Though these solutions offer similar features, they are designed for fundamentally different purposes, and understanding the differences is crucial for your business.
At the basic level, the purpose of cloud backup services, like Otava Protect, is to allow you to easily restore. All of your important business files are backed up offsite, in a secure and reliable environment, ensuring their safety in the event of a disaster or corruption of other file copies. In the event of downtime or loss of files, these backups can be restored and business can continue as usual. For example, if your company were attacked by a ransomware virus, and all of your files were encrypted so that you cannot access them, your files could easily be restored from backups.
Cloud storage, unlike cloud backup, is not a solution for all critical files. Cloud storage is intended to host a subset of files, making them available for access from multiple devices or people. A good example of this is Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing platforms. You would not rely on these platforms to Keep your mission critical files safe, but they are handy for managing collaborative projects.
With the above key differences between cloud backup and cloud storage, these solutions cannot and should not be substituted for one another. Though cloud storage is a great tool, it cannot protect against data loss. Changes made to one file affect all versions, as opposed to backup where files can be restored.
Understanding your business needs can help you to determine the best solution for you. However, as a best practice for your business, make sure that you follow basic backup guidelines and the 3-2-1 rule (3 copies of your data, on 2 different media, with 1 copy hosted offsite) to protect yourself from catastrophic data loss.