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Backups Are Moving Away from On-Premises Boxes

Shannon Flynn
Published: September 3, 2022

Organizations are widely beginning to shift away from on-premises boxes for data backups and turning their attention instead to emerging cloud options. There are numerous reasons for this, but security concerns are key among them. Backup-as-a-Service is on the rise in response to this shift, with new providers emerging to specialize in convenient cloud backup services. 

A Case of Security and Convenience

Every organization has their own unique situation, but there are some common threads evident in the growing shift away from on-prem backups. Many organizations start off with on-prem boxes for their backups because they are easier at first and may seem like the simplest solution. Data can be stored offline, but close enough at hand to facilitate data recovery if needed without too much hassle. 

However, on-premises servers and tape backups are still highly vulnerable to things like natural disasters or on-site accidents. Additionally, it takes hours at minimum to fully recover an organization’s data from backup boxes. In today’s increasingly dangerous cyber threat landscape, much greater agility is needed. Research indicates that cybercrime is rising year over year, with a 31% increase in attacks from 2020 to 2021. As of 2021, the average organization was facing 270 cyberattacks every year. 

If organizations are going to be prepared for this many attacks every year, they have to be able to recover quickly between attacks, whether successful or unsuccessful. Cloud backups can be retrieved in minutes with a full recovery in a matter of hours. This is the case even if an entire office space is wiped out by something like a natural disaster. Organizations can retrieve their backup wherever they need to, as long as they can access the Internet. 

The Rise of BaaS

Backup-as-a-Service has emerged in recent years in response to this need for agile backup solutions. On-prem boxes can get the job done, but not with the speed, flexibility, and security that organizations need today. As the name suggests, BaaS simplifies the process of transitioning away from on-prem backups by providing cloud solutions specifically for backups. 

There are many benefits to using BaaS as opposed to on-prem boxes for backups. For example, BaaS is highly cost-efficient and easier to scale thanks to the agility and ease of customization the cloud provides. Plus, there is less responsibility on organizations themselves, since BaaS vendors will generally handle all of the maintenance for their cloud services. As mentioned above, cloud backups also make it far easier to recover after disasters, whether they be natural or malicious. If something occurs that results in an organization losing data, the cloud allows for quick and easy recovery. 

At the same time, cloud backups aren’t insecure themselves. Good BaaS vendors will have extensive security protocols in place for their tenants, such as AI threat monitoring and 24/7 data center security. In addition to these measures, the nature of the cloud provides some cover itself. Since data is not stored in one unique, isolated location like an on-prem box, it is more difficult for hackers to actually steal, destroy, or hold ransom any data stored in the cloud. 

Another factor worth considering is the types of software that organizations are using today. Industry experts note that cloud-based software suites such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Salesforce are gaining popularity and helping to shift organizations more and more toward the cloud. Since the software that businesses are using most is already in the cloud, it is only logical to move backups to the cloud, as well. The rising cybersecurity threats organizations are facing make full-scale cloud migration a key strategic move. 

Types of Cloud Backups

As with other cloud services, there are a few different operational models for cloud backup services, including public cloud, managed cloud, and hybrid cloud. Public cloud BaaS includes large-scale vendors like Amazon Web Services, which launched a new cloud backup service in 2022 called AWS Outposts. This  loud backup program takes a unique approach by providing organizations with an AWS-managed on-prem device that includes a “gateway” to Amazon’s Cloud storage. 

Managed cloud is similar to public cloud but offers more support for organizations. This type of BaaS vendor typically provides security and recovery services in addition to maintaining the cloud storage resources. For organizations hoping to prioritize security with their cloud backups, a managed cloud model could be a good fit. 

Finally, hybrid cloud backups combine features of both cloud and on-prem data storage. There are a number of ways to do this, whether organizations build their own hybrid model or utilize a hybrid cloud provider. Usually, hybrid cloud backup consists of storing data in on-prem boxes and backing it up in the cloud. 

Safer, Smarter Backup in the Cloud?

The widespread migration to the cloud over recent years is now bringing backups into the fold, as well. Increasing rates of cyberattacks, especially ransomware, are forcing organizations to take a more proactive approach protecting their data, including preparing for rapid recovery from attempted data breaches. The cloud can provide this agility and flexibility. BaaS has emerged to help organizations shift their backups away from on-premises boxes, further facilitating cloud migration.