WHAT IS REMOTE BACKUP?

Tapes or external hard drives are some of the conventional ways to backup personal and enterprise-level data. With the development of digital infrastructure and introduction of compactness in networks, the need for effective offline or online backup services is felt at large.Basically, it depends on the application that whether offline backup service is required or online backup service will suffice. Either of these choices is ideal to let important data survive through any disastrous event. Remote backup is the prerequisite for efficient disaster recovery planning as well as an effective backup solution.Remote back-up is a method where data gets backed up regularly over the network on the remote servers. Such remote servers are typically provided by service providers. As of now, online remote back-up service is basically a cloud-based backup. Whereas, previously remote back-up simply meant back up of data on some remote server.

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    In this sense, it can be said from the modern perspective that remote backup is basically an online data backup. Customers can avail such backup and restore services by paying a premium to the remote backup providers. This price is the function of size, bandwidth, capacity, and frequency of backups along with the number of users.Despite employing on-site backup servers, companies can avail online backup services. By this, they will be able to prepare a backup of their corporate data on off-site servers. This remote backups or offsite backups will be similar to the conventional backup systems. Except for the difference where data will be backed up over the network rather than tape or disk.

    Working of Remote Backup

    Online backup services are usually provided by way of SaaS (Software as a service) and PaaS (Platform as a service). SaaS-based backups or backup software automatically capture data from the source. After this, they securely transfer this data to another site, usually a remote server and allows the user to restore data upon need.

    Data backup follows a backup schedule and this scheduled backup saves the client from the hassle of manual backup. Initially, remote backups can take days or weeks. Timespan is dependent upon the method being used and the amount of data that is being backed up.

    To save clients from such initial hassle, cloud backup service providers offer cloud seeding option. Instead of doing initial backups over the network, service providers give the client a disk. The client is supposed to save data backups on that disk which will then be provided back to the service provider. The service provider will then place this backup on the remote data centers. Afterward, the client’s system(s) are connected to that remote server and subsequent backups will then be made over the network.

    Continuous and frequent remote backup makes the probability of data loss near to zero. By having high-speed internet connectivity and effective web browser interface, such backups make data look as it has been stored externally rather than remotely.

    Features of Remote Backup

    Following are some of the features of the remote backup:

    Data Encryption

    Remote back-up provides data encryption as the data is supposed to send and stored over the network in its encrypted state. It is recommended to use at least 256 bits encryption and the user must be given the liberty to choose its own encryption key. But this encryption key must not be sent to the server.

    Continuous Data Backup

    Remote back-up allows the data to be backed up either continuously or on a predefined schedule. In either of the situation, the client does not have to worry about backup stages. Once the schedule is set, the computer will automatically prepare backup on the remote server.

    Data Compression

    In remote back-up data is usually compressed with the help of the lossless compression algorithm. This reduces the backup time as well as minimize the bandwidth.

    File by File Restoration

    Remote back-up allows the user to restore files without the aid of the service provider. User can select any folder or file which he/she needs to restore. Some of the service providers even allow the user to filter files by name, file type, backup set or tags.

    Synchronization

    Many remote backup solutions offer data synchronization. This allows the user to keep a consistent library of their files or data over many computers. This feature helps in increasing productivity along with a more streamlined data access mechanism.

    Advantages of Remote Backup
    Following are some of the prominent advantages of remote back-up over the traditional backup solutions:

    • Remote backup requires negligible user intervention. User does not have to enter into the hassle of disks or tape changing and other manual operations.
    • It has an unlimited data retention policy as long as the user is committed to using remote backups.
    • It offers continuous backup services and the user does not have to worry about backup frequency and operationality.
    • Effective logging of file’s versions or modification, if any.
    • More secure as most of the remote backups employ 128 to 448-bit encryption.
    • More secure and managed mode of digital information.

    Disadvantages of Remote Backup
    Some of the remote back-up disadvantages are as follows:

    • Based on network bandwidth, data restoration can be slow. It is so because data is stored off-site, so the user has only two options to restore data. Either user can restore data over the network or if the network is down, backup disk from the service provider can be used. This disk will be shipped from the service provider, which will obviously take some time.
    • If the encryption key is lost, then it is quite impossible to recover or restore the data.
    • Despite encryption, some service provider does not take full responsibility for data protection.
    • They are more costly than conventional disk-based backup. It is said that in comparison to the cost of hard disk, remote backups cost 1 to 20 times more per GB.