11 serious benefits of hybrid cloud technology
Hybrid cloud technology has become a must for data backup. But what exactly is it—and can it really protect your organization after a major disaster? In this post, we take a deep dive into the benefits of hybrid cloud technology from Datto and how it differs from other common backup methods.
The problem with keeping data on-site
For years, the most common way that businesses backed up their data was by storing it on an on-site server, perhaps in a closet or a dedicated server room. That was a good start. After all, data backup is more important than ever, especially when you’re talking about business data backup. But there was one big problem …
If the office burnt down, got flooded or experienced some other calamity, the data was gone. Poof! And nowadays, a major data loss like that can literally end a business.
The move to off-site data storage
Keeping all data on-site is like keeping all your eggs in one basket. One accident, and everything is gone.
The solution to this problem was moving some data storage off-site: to a secondary location, a datacenter or a public cloud. But that created other problems: slower availability of data, the expense of building a private cloud, and delayed data recoveries, just to name a few.
So the next solution was storing data on-site and replicating it in the cloud. That’s the basis of hybrid cloud technology.
Hybrid cloud technology in a nutshell
Simply explained, hybrid cloud is a two-prong approach to data backup:
- On-premise data backups for the fastest possible recovery
- Cloud-based backups for added assurance that data is recoverable in any scenario
In the case of Datto, hybrid cloud technology utilizes a dedicated data backup appliance (i.e. the Datto SIRIS), combined with mirrored backups in the Datto Cloud, which leverages multiple datacenters around the world.
Now, let’s take a closer look at why this approach is so beneficial for business data backup.
The benefits of hybrid cloud technology
1) Protection against on-site disasters
First and foremost, hybrid cloud technology keeps your data in multiple locations, thus protecting it from on-site disruptions.
Above, we mentioned how natural disasters can pose a risk to your on-site infrastructure. But there are plenty other threats, such as ransomware, which can make your on-premise machines virtually unusable. With hybrid cloud, you have the peace of mind that additional backups are always available in the cloud.
2) Fast recoveries from the on-site BDR
Unlike a purely cloud-based backup, hybrid cloud keeps your data at your location too. That ensures the fastest possible access to your data, the best performance and the fastest restores, especially for large datasets.
After a disaster, every second counts. Operational downtime is both costly and extremely detrimental to the business. Having backups “within reach,” so to speak, is ideal for the vast majority of everyday data-loss events.
3) Hybrid cloud virtualization
Here’s where Datto’s hybrid cloud stands apart from some competing BC/DR solutions. Datto’s backup appliances allow you to boot your backups in a virtual environment. This means you can continue using business-critical applications, even while the data recovery is in process.
But that’s only half the benefit. With Datto’s hybrid cloud, you can virtualize those backups and run your apps from the cloud too. It takes only seconds, and the performance is surprisingly good too—usually there’s hardly a noticeable difference. So if the on-site BDR has been destroyed, no worries—you can boot from the cloud in an instant.
4) Anywhere access to data
If your on-site infrastructure is flooded, then you probably won’t be recovering data with your feet in the water, right? You’ll need to manage the recovery from someplace else.
The beauty of hybrid cloud backups is that you can recover data from almost anywhere. So, whether you’re opening up a temporary secondary location, or your IT guys need to restore files from their living rooms, your data is always at your fingertips.
5) Redundant datacenters
Not all clouds are made equal—especially when it comes to data backup. Imagine a scenario in which your datacenter is knocked offline (or destroyed) by the same hurricane that hits your office? What then?
Ideally, your data should be backed up to not just one datacenter but two or even more. With the Datto Cloud, for example, your backups are mirrored to geographically diverse datacenters. So if an earthquake causes widespread destruction on the West coast, you know your data is still safe in another region altogether.
6) Cost efficiency vs. building your own cloud
Building a private cloud comes with high upfront costs that make it unreasonable for many organizations–especially small to medium businesses (SMBs)—and even IT providers.
Using a cloud that’s dedicated for business data backup enables businesses to get enterprise-grade protection at a fraction of the normal cost. Because Datto’s hybrid cloud technology is so unified, deployment is streamlined and more cost efficient than other solutions.
7) Unified technology
Things can get messy (and costly) when you try to integrate a general-purpose cloud with general-purpose appliance. This is why it’s important to unify technologies as much as possible when choosing a hybrid cloud approach.
With Datto’s hybrid cloud technology, businesses benefit from cloud infrastructure that’s literally built for remote backup, archive, DR and availability. And, it’s built to work seamlessly with Datto’s on-site appliances. No time-consuming or error-prone integrations involved.
8) Disaster recovery as a service (DRaas)
Today’s IT administrators wear many hats. But the role of business continuity and disaster recovery (when done properly) requires full-time attention—not to mention a large IT budget. This is why many businesses are opting to outsource their continuity needs to experienced BC consultancies. It saves them money over managing it in-house, and it frees up their IT resources for other tasks.
Hybrid cloud technology from Datto makes BC management even easier by enabling disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). With the ability to remotely manage both the on-premise BDR and the cloud backup, businesses can rely on trusted MSPs to oversee their BC/DR needs—without sacrificing an ounce of security or data availability.
9) Scalability without breaking the budget
One of the biggest concerns with general-purpose public clouds is the ever-increasing monthly fees. This is especially true when your datasets are growing by the day (whose aren’t?). Similarly, an on-site cost concern is the need to continually expand the infrastructure to accommodate increasing data storage.
A huge benefit of Datto’s hybrid cloud is that it offers scalability to fit the needs of any size business—without the need for costly infrastructure upgrades. Datto’s on-site backup devices are available in numerous sizes, from standalone all-Flash devices to rack-mounted 4U chasses with RAID 6 arrays for enterprises.
As for the cloud: Datto appliances mirror all backups (near and long-term) to two remote Datto Cloud locations. Plus, businesses have the option of Infinite Cloud Retention for essentially unlimited offsite capacity. As Datto notes, this is known as “classic 3-2-1 rule resiliency, but without the architecture costs and planning that traditionally put this out of reach of most businesses.”
10) Departure from tape archives
With the benefits of scalability and availability mentioned above, businesses no longer need to deal with messy magnetic tape archives.
Once the standard for long-term retention, tape backups have become increasingly risky. They require special handling, must be stored properly and can easily go missing. While the physical tape itself can be cost-efficient for huge datasets, the actual final cost of handling it can be much more expensive.
Datto’s hybrid cloud eliminates the reliance on tape for long-term retention by offering the options of Time-Based Retention or Infinite Cloud Retention (ICR) for off-site storage.
11) Regulatory compliance made easy
Businesses in select industries, such as healthcare, must comply with strict federal regulations on how they handle their sensitive data. Under HIPAA, for example, health organizations must retain certain data for specific lengths of time; they must take specific measures to prevent data loss, and they must regularly test their data backup and recovery systems.
Datto’s hybrid cloud technology makes it easier to comply with these regulations. The fundamental hybrid approach alone—replicating data across multiple secure locations—solves many compliance requirements. But on top of that, Datto’s BC/DR systems offer features like Advanced Backup Verification, which tests backups for integrity, resulting in enhanced levels of protection to meet regulations.
Comparing options? Here are some final words of advice …
If you’re comparing BC/DR solutions, you’ll notice that Datto is not the only player in the hybrid-cloud game. But just because the word “hybrid” is used doesn’t mean you’re getting the same level of data protection.
Be sure to compare each option extremely carefully. Find out how exactly your data is stored at (and recovered from) both locations: on-site and in the cloud. Finally, use this handy guide for some basic tips on finding the right backup for your needs.
See for yourself: free hybrid cloud demo