All Clouds Are Not Created Equal: Part V

Many people think of Dropbox as a backup solution, but the IT industry categorizes this product as an “enterprise file sync and share.” This is where most people think the “Cloud” exists, because this is the consumer face of cloud computing. But that’s not the reality.

Selecting a cloud service provider for a true backup solution has nothing to do with sync and share. A backup solution has to enable a company to restore a business in full: applications, databases, personal settings, email, messaging. Dropbox is only for files, not a company’s infrastructure.

At Valiant Cloud, after in-depth testing and f*$%ing around for 10 years with countless applications and backup solutions, we arrived on three solutions: our own in-house solution (obviously) built around, CrashPlan Enterprise, Dell appAssure, and Amazon Web Services. We chose these applications because they have the right mix of security, performance, manageability, and most important, recoverability.

Who Should Use CrashPlan Enterprise?

Business categories – Some ad agencies that can’t afford appAssure, where desktop backups are the deepest need for a plan. Also best for someone on his or her laptop who travels—a road warrior, a sole proprietor. Basically, any individual user.

In a nutshell, CrashPlan is a file-based backup that is low cost and high speed. It has ease of use, and great manageability.

Who Should Use Dell appAssure? 

Business catagories – law firms, design companies, web hosting facilities, accounting firms, operational side of a service company (ex: an ad agency).

For companies that have a need for application coverage, database recovery, and rapid restore when hours count. Dell appAssure uses an image-based back-up, so it captures the entire service at a particular moment in time. This is called “data deduplication.” This feature says “Hey, I’ve seen these files before, so I’m only going to save it once” (If only iPhoto could figure that out). Example: a word doc that has ten versions, but only one sentence is changed, appAssure only saves the changes, rather than the entire file each time, to save room.

Who Should Use Amazon Web Services?

Business categories – whoever has dynamic work loads. Developers of new applications. Various company needs that range all the way from running Netflix or storing archival data or “cold data.”

Amazon is the 800 lbs gorilla. They led this market and they are still the market innovator. They have unique manageability functionality that allows us to permanently store our clients archive data.

Some companies may have simple needs – a few file backups, a place to share documents with clients and only one drive for the business’s files. For these needs, a simple Dropbox will do though it’s not ideal for companies larger than 5 employees as managing the files past becomes impractical. We prefer to use Ignite.

Plenty of companies will do away with mainstream web applications, as that choice may be too large for them. For example, an apparel company using an ERP system can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the system, but it will be necessary because it may not be feasible to outsource or send to a cloud application.

To properly address cloud computing needs, a business needs to identify its needs and determine the scale of the data they need to maintain. If you’re running a business, ask yourself how much of your budget you can allocate to backup needs and what services are available to best tailor the product for your business. Luckily, it’s a simple process when you have the right help, and once it’s done your vital documents will be safely stowed away – no matter what.

It just so happens that Valiant is really good at this.

Just joining us? Read it from the top – click here for Part I

Georg Dauterman is the President of Valiant Technology, a New York-based Managed Service Provider specializing in solutions for creative industries. Early in his career, Georg worked in the IT departments...

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