Technology has evolved over the years right from when Microsoft first released Windows 1.0 (unbelievably yes they had 1.0) in November 1985 to now when we are seeing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in many applications. Over the past 30 years you could argue what has been more scary, the pace at which technology has grown or the different types of technology out there today that cater for many things. Who would have thought you could speak to your mobile phone and ask what the weather was like back in the 80’s.
So when we look at this phase over the past 3 decades, to touch screen phones, flat screen TV’s and others, we the public embrace it. Even more so, once we cling on to it we seem to want more of it or the next version of it i.e. the new iOS update or SD/HD/4K TV, you get the idea. Therefore why are we not fully embracing the Cloud and having our information stored there?
The concept of having data in a place where we physically can’t see it, seems to put people off actually wanting to store it there in the first place yet we are all comfortable with online banking, ordering through Amazon and other web retailers by submitting our confidential details via the internet. This data is still going in the Cloud and yet we don’t think twice about ordering that Pizza and sending our personal bank numbers to a location we have no idea where it is.
One of the issues of having trust in the cloud is that we have so much data these days so how do we decide how much cloud storage capacity we actually need to store the information. Perhaps store only the critical files like office documents and not backup photos and videos, that could be a workaround. But the fundamental question is still the same, why do we trust parts of the cloud and yet arguably the most important aspect like backup, we don’t have that same trust.
A good place to start to try and dissect this conundrum is to understand what exactly is the cloud and why it is so commonly used now. The origin goes back to the fact that data is growing, we didn’t have that much information before as we do now so we need to store it somewhere. Servers and PC’s can only hold so much, but even if they could, what would happen if they were to breakdown – everything would be lost. Rather than losing data, the safe way is to make sure a copy is stored elsewhere, yes you can backup the data to a USB or external hard drive, but you have the same problem, what happens if that fails. So the only other option is to use some sort of cloud backup solution to ensure the data is fully protected somewhere.
Cloud does not literally mean in the Cloud with the planes and birds, theres no building up in the sky. No, cloud means a physical Data Centre somewhere away from the source of the data where the information will travel over the internet and reside in that Data Centre. For the data to get there, usually a software is installed on the PC or server and from there the user selects what they want to backup, when they want it to run and how long they want the data stored offsite.
There is also the added element of security, most vendors these days encrypt data using 256 AES encryption which is at flight and at rest so there should be no way anyone can access the data plus you should be able to create your own username and password when creating a cloud backup account.
This all sounds like it makes sense, yet Cloud adoption is still at its infancy. Projections show though this is a billion dollar market and the investments made my companies to provide the necessary infrastructure to house the data coming their way is phenomenal. It almost feels like if you don’t backup your data to the cloud, you will be left with the old style brick phone whilst everyone is moving to the latest iPhone or foldable phone.
You could say its pressure and the phrase “keeping up with the Jones” but at some point you can see the culture finally shifting making Cloud Backup one of the first things you have in place, whether its personal data or business data, in ensuring your data is fully protected should the unforeseen happen.
Author – Saaher Muzafer, Managing Director @ Backup Everything