The controversy continues to swirl: Is On-Prem Backup Dead? In our last blog post, we introduced Randy Bowie, R1Soft’s VP of Backup Products & Engineering, whose response to this question is a resounding no. “We agree!” say our Spiceworks colleagues, in a conversation that has sparked nearly 100 comments so far.
Clearly this is a hot topic. So how are companies resolving their backup challenges?
For Some, On-Premise Backup Remains a Necessity.
Randy Bowie notes that some companies are still retaining local appliances due to internal or regulatory security concerns. Beyond that, “companies will always need local backup of some kind to recover from mistakes – human error such as accidental deletions – but it must be fast.” The cloud can do this for files, he says, but lots of applications are not cloud-ready, so on-premise backup is still important for them.
If you’re running MS Dynamics, for instance, you don’t want to touch it, and it would be more difficult to migrate. If your company has custom software, especially if it’s proprietary, you wouldn’t want to replace it with SaaS. The bottom line is “if it’s working OK, leave it alone as long as possible.” He also points out that a big Oracle database cannot successfully run on VM, you need a dedicated server. Bare metal cloud can work here, he suggests.
Randy acknowledges migration toward the cloud will continue. “More and more people are becoming comfortable with the cloud, so they’re moving more things in that direction -- things we never would have thought of 10 years ago.” Costs are steadily decreasing, and it’s easier. Companies can put their toe in the water, getting services without the direct IT costs.
Hybrid Systems Offer the Best of Both Worlds.
Everyone agrees that cloud backup is a cost-effective alternative for less sensitive data and systems, but when it comes to highly sensitive or proprietary data, on-prem is the only way to maintain control.
Evan 7191 says: “It depends on the needs of the company. My current company has one site, and our data does not require high confidentiality, so copying on-site backups to the cloud is easier than renting space at a [colocation center] and pushing the data to other storage that we must manage.”
Randy notes that “hybrid solutions allow fast restores locally and keep things moving -- you’re still in business if your site goes down.” MuddyBayou agrees: “Cloud backup is seen more as a form of insurance than an actual tool to be used. For now, and the foreseeable future, it’s faster, easier and more efficient to restore from our local backups and keep the “cloud” for that major disaster lurking around the corner.
So Where are We Headed?
Randy Bowie suggests applications SMBs are using fit well in the cloud and offer a better user experience. These companies don’t need to know how to manage servers, he says, but they do still need a trusted advisor to help them choose and set up their systems.
Kenhelms questioned where regulation is headed: “As more and more public hacks start getting noticed, it will be hard to predict what public opinion will do. The public may start linking cloud with insecurity, right or not. The public affects regulations … which are for the most part made by people who don’t understand the technology they are regulating. We may end up seeing markets forced into on-premise storage just out of regulation.”
Randy sees something different. He believes that, ultimately, regulations will not prevent companies from going to the cloud, noting there are already specialized services being developed for regulated industries.
“There is no silver bullet,” he concludes. “As long as there are servers and as long as there are humans operating them, backup is here to stay.”
Don't forget to join the discussion. Do you agree that offering a hybrid of on-prem and cloud backup is your best bet? Leave a comment below!
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