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Cloud backup provider types

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Vladimir Milanovic
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Data protection has become a fundamental part of businesses today and an essential component of intellectual property management. If you are searching for a cloud backup service, there are basically two specific types you should consider. These types come from the perspective of backup service provider’s business approach.

Bundled backup service

Under the first group are those backup services where backup software is inseparable from the service itself. These are standardised solutions intended to reduce administrative complexity by providing out of the box, tried and tested service. Your IT department, who understandably enjoys being in control and expects certain level of standardisation, will probably be fond of this cookie cutter approach.
Businesses base their purchasing decisions on price and features offered by cloud backup providers.

The bundled backup packages are designed based on the estimates of the most common features required by businesses as part of backup service. The storage volume, number of devices to be backed up and additional management, maintenance and support are what makes a backup bundle, which is what the purchasing decisions are based on for the firms in the need of backup service. The most common bundles include cloud backup for personal use, SMBs, enterprises and partners, and the differences between them lie in the cloud storage, bandwidth and other features.

Some companies that offer this type of backup are Mozy, Carbonite and SOS Online Backup. Have in mind that their partners are simply reselling bundled service. But, what if you are not in need of all the features that the bundle contains and are paying for them either way? What if your business doesn’t fit the mold?

Customised backup service

The second backup service group is where a backup application is developed by one software vendor and used by many backup solution providers with their own hardware and storage to create a unique service offering. This solution is favorable by businesses in need of greater flexibility, customisation and customer support. In comparison to the bundled service, here, users predefine how much storage they require and all the additional features and pay only for what they are using, further allowing for scalability.

 A great example is Backup Exec which has a range of software solutions and customises implementation based on customers’ requirements. This means that only the required features by a customer are installed, rather than all of the software features available.

Today, many of those providers build their backup offering around the same or similar backup software. Their ability to remain competitive comes either through price differentiation or additional value they create for their customers. In most cases, you are benefiting. This puts you in the position to choose on your own terms, cherry picking backup provider based on the benefits they offer, and not deciding based only on software features.

Moreover, some service providers have several backup softwares available, which they implement based on customers’ requirements and the features that suit them. Livebackup is a service provider that offers exactly that. This is different from the bundled approach because it involves creation of data protection strategy, custom implementation of the service and on-going maintenance and support.The more sophisticated and individual solutions there are, more likely the price will be higher, which is in the long run compensated by paying only for what you use.

This is where the provider is truly offering a managed service. These backup providers don’t just resell you the software nor try to lock you in with one particular software vendor, but rather intend to utilise multiple software vendors to deliver ultimate customised solution.

More importantly, if you’re not satisfied with the service you’re receiving but you like the functionality of that particular backup software, you can always switch to different service provider, without having to reinvest in employee training, backup configuration and installation procedures. This approach delivers significantly less risk to businesses

Demand driven backup service evolution

Let’s face it, there is no perfect backup software that can meet all of your functional requirements. If there was one, you’d be probably using it already! The best choice at this point would be – selecting a backup provider that can meet varied business requirements by utilising multiple software vendors.

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About Vladimir Milanovic

Vladimir Milanovic
Vladimir has been working with GCOMM since 2010 on the design and implementation of the recent branding and marketing strategies. He was also responsible for the rebranding of LiveBackup in 2012. Between 2006 and 2010 he was involved in the creation and launch of Imperial Tobacco’s European BTL platform for its Davidoff brand as well as for the rebranding of French icon, Gitanes. Vladimir graduated from the Belgrade University of Arts in 2005.
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