Cloud storage and backup makes a lot of sense for most businesses. ROI, operational efficiency, speed of solutions and the ability to leverage the compliance and audit support of cloud vendors make it the best data storage option for SMBs. Solutions can range from covering a business’ entire storage and data protection needs to specific data demands such as collaboration storage, peak demand storage or off-site backup.

We have outlined a few of the primary considerations for SMBs considering cloud backup and storage.

Pricing is always a top consideration. For the best ROI, the cloud provider’s price per gigabyte or terabyte shouldn’t be remarkably higher than using on-site backup and storage. However, you must consider the additional benefits offered by cloud data storage and backup, which include increased security, faster response time, disaster recovery and business continuity.

Reliable security for your valuable proprietary data is essential. Look for robust encryption and a cloud solution that encrypts data as it is transferred to your offsite storage location and back. Data must also be encrypted at rest on the cloud provider’s devices. Avoid using human-generated data keys, look for data encryption standards such as AES-256 and ask to see the data host’s auditable certifications.

Reliability & Availability
The whole point of cloud backup is for your data to be available when you need it. Avoid storing data where there is a single point of failure, such as one internet connection, a single data center or one set of hardware. If one of those points fails, you may loose access to your data. Investigate the cloud provider’s architecture, or allow your IT partner to closely vet the data center’s set up to insure maximum reliability and security.  Be sure the SLA guarantees a specific amount of up time. Consider the financial penalties your provider will pay if it does not meet its SLA obligations to you.

Ease of Use
The cloud is all about efficiency and ease. A cloud solution should have very little disruption on your day-to-day operations and should mesh with your current business procedures so that you don’t have to waste time making operational adjustments.

File Sharing
Cloud storage provides SMBs with an easy and secure way to share files. Ask your cloud provider if they provide secure file sharing capabilities and how file sharing is delivered.

Data Recovery
A key component of offsite data storage is data recovery. Ask the cloud provider about their timeframe for recovering lost data. Cloud data storage providers may have a variety of SLAs and cost structures for lost data recovery.

ACE IT Solutions can help you select the cloud provider and offsite backup and storage solution that best meets your business’ needs and budget. We can leverage our relationships with the most reliable and respected names in cloud storage to deliver an effective, secure, reliable and cost-effective cloud solution. We have experience vetting cloud providers and can guide you though the process.  Contact ACE IT Solutions at 908-704-0400.

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