The Downside Of A Cloud Storage Backup
Cloud storage backups are all the rage nowadays. People talks and discuss about them.
Tech expert reviews on them. There’s JustCloud, Carbonite, Mozy, Amazon S3, iCloud and the list of providers goes on and on. This isn’t really surprising at all.
With remote backups, you get numerous advantages over local backups that are physically connected to your PC or network like increased redundancy, minimal user intervention, and more.
But have you ever considered the downsides of a cloud backup solution?
If you haven’t considered it yet, read this article and learn more about the disadvantages you should be aware of.
How fast your cloud backup service is depends largely on your network bandwidth. And with residential broadband services having monthly limits, this means uploading your data to the cloud or restoring it can be very slow.
This is especially true when you’re uploading your data to the cloud.
The user-to-network link is a lot slower than the network-to-user link, which is what you need when doing restorations or recovering files. This explains why some service providers offer to ship disks to speed up the process.
While this is a viable fix, it’s hardly the fastest and usually costs a bit of extra money.
Dependency On The Service Provider
This one is BIG! For starters, there are cloud backup and storage providers that don’t even guarantee that your files will be kept private even from their employees.
Fortunately, most service providers offer data encryption, making sure that your data remains incomprehensible even if someone manages to get hold of it.
Now, you may have some standards you stick to when you’re backing up your data locally. With a service provider taking care of the backups and storage for you, you are passing that responsibility to them.
Perhaps you maintain your backups yourself, encrypt them, and make sure they are secure. When you upload your data to the cloud, these become someone else’s responsibilities and it’s hard to tell if they operate with the same security and availability standards as you do.
Also, there’s always the possibility that your cloud backup and storage provider goes out of business or gets acquired by a different organization. Whichever the case, the accessibility of your data could be affected…and the cost of the service too probably. Since you’re dependent on the cloud provider, there are a couple of things you need to ask if ever they go out of business or get acquired by another business:
- How will you get your data back?
- Will the cost remain the same since you’re a long time customer?
- Do they use a proprietary format for the backups?
The last question is important as some providers do use a proprietary format for backing up clients’ files. If your service provider goes down this route, it will be harder for you to get your data back and move it someplace else. Also, you might be tied up to a backup provider for say 2, 3, or even 7 years (especially in business settings). This could prevent you from changing providers when things aren’t going as smoothly as promised.
When it comes, the raw cost of hard disks usually beat remote backups and cloud storages. It’s not uncommon at all for the latter to cost 20 times more (per GB) than local backups. That said, this shortcoming is easier to get over with since you are not just paying for storage when you settle for cloud storage or backup.
As mentioned earlier, all of the security and availability responsibilities that you used to handle yourself are now the responsibilities of the service provider, which takes some burden off of your shoulders.