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How to get the most out of cloud database backups

Data backup should be a top priority for a system administrator and database backup is no different. Backing up cloud databases offers useful benefits for businesses, but comes with some downsides.

The cloud is a popular backup destination for files. It is a reliable, safe and accessible place to store data. By backing databases in the cloud, they can not only be secure, but also available at any time in the event of a crisis.

Backing up databases to the cloud is one of the best ways for admins to ensure good backup and recovery on a budget. Most cloud providers use a consumption-based model, so businesses pay for what they use rather than stocking up on hardware they may not need. Along with the benefits of the cloud, however, database backups can also face common cloud pitfalls.

Benefits of cloud database backups

Using the cloud to back up databases can help protect against ransomware if the provider offers immutability. With immutable backups, data is backed up and taken offline where it cannot be modified. Even if attackers used their backup credentials to break into the database server and delete the contents, they would not be able to delete the immutable cloud-based backups. Essentially, even with valid credentials, it would be non-erasable and would only be read for a period of time.

Using the cloud to back up databases can help protect against ransomware if the provider offers immutability.

Another benefit to consider with cloud database backups is that, depending on the database, it’s entirely possible to set up a new IaaS or SaaS database server and upload the database backup to it. On its own, that might not sound like a good idea, but if the backup administrator plans to fail over the database and supporting infrastructure to the cloud, an IaaS or SaaS provider will have a clear recovery policy. These resources are also readily available in the cloud compared to an on-site database backup that could be lost in a fire or flood.

Cons to watch out for

With all these good elements, there are also downsides to cloud database backups. One of the most annoying is that as the database grows, so does the backup size and the time it takes to upload to the cloud. The network connection must be solid, and backup administrators must verify it before an upload. It is also important to ensure that in the event of a disaster, the company can access and maintain a copy of the cloud database backup in a timely manner to meet recovery needs.

Remember that according to the 3-2-1 backup rule, there should always be at least three copies of data. A cloud backup is a start, but shouldn’t be the only form of backup available. There should be at least two other backup methods on site, e.g. B. Disk or tape.

Confidentiality of uploads can be an issue. All too often, when creating backups, simplicity is traded for security, and administrators can make a mistake and not turn on the database’s encryption features. Encryption makes them safe during transmission and causes major security incident in case of data loss. It is important to ensure that data is protected by encryption during transmission. Most vendors offer support for encryption, but backup administrators must do their own due diligence.

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