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Choosing the best backup strategy for your business comes down to IT managers deciding whether to keep their backups local or on-premise using NAS devices or to send them to the cloud through a cloud data backup service provider.

In cloud backup, data is kept in an offsite location where a copy of a physical or virtual file or database is stored known as the cloud. Cloud computing infrastructure is used to create, edit, manage and restore the copies of data remotely over the internet.

NAS is a local storage technology usually located within business premises that connects to a network rather than a PC or server. The approach allows multiple computers and mobile devices on the business’ network to wirelessly share and access files. Many organizations today are choosing NAS as a solution for data backup instead of cloud backup for reasons such as accessibility, speed, and control over data

NAS Backup is not enough

Many of our clients and prospects back up their data on-premise using NAS devices. However, these clients and prospects express the fear that in case of a disaster like hardware or software failure, malware attacks or natural disaster, they will lose their data and the consequences to the business will be dire.

If you consider NAS a reliable data backup strategy, should you then worry about losing your data in case of a disaster? Backup best practices demand that a business must have at least one offsite backup away from your primary location or live environment. In this regard, NAS backup on its own becomes a liability to the safety of your data due to its location on businesses’ live environments.

To understand what each backup solution brings to the table, you must consider and compare the following factors;

  1. Cost
  2. Data recovery/restoration speed
  3. Security
  4. Accessibility
  5. Reliability

Cost

The initial costs of acquiring a NAS device are on a higher scale as it involves buying hard drives and other accessories. Other additional costs such as upgrades, maintenance, acquiring more hard drives and labor increase the overall costs of managing NAS backup.

Cloud backup presents lower initial costs as it does not involve an initial purchase of any hardware. The pay-per-use model is cost-effective as you only pay for the resources you are using. Upgrades or bandwidth space can easily be added at no extra cost and due to its low dependency profile, an organization may not require expertise to manage the backup processes.

Performance and Speed

Over an internet connection, the speed of conducting backups or restoration using either NAS or the cloud both depend on bandwidth. NAS backup speeds can be faster if the backup or restoration is conducted over a Local Area Network (LAN) connection where the NAS device is colocated with the systems or machines being backed up. However, cloud backup can surpass LAN speeds by acquiring more bandwidth.

Accessibility and Security

Using NAS backup eliminates third parties hence reducing the risks of being compromised. However, because your entire staff is sharing and working on files thanks to the NAS device, access may not be limited. This means that anyone can access the device and tamper with it hence risking the safety of your data. Furthermore, the safety of data on NAS devices requires technical know-how such as the ability to encrypt data at the disk level which ensures no data can be retrieved should the hard drives be removed.

With cloud backup, data is encrypted while in transit and at rest. Access to your backups or storage is limited by your service provider who is a team of highly specialized and qualified personnel to ensure your data is secure from all threats.

Reliability

Data Redundancy

NAS solutions keep backups on-premise. To ensure that the solution is reliable, NAS devices would require an off-site backup to ensure survival in the case of a disaster or the inevitable hardware failure.

On the other hand, the overall data reliability tends to be much greater for cloud backup, since it can be configured to offer different types of redundancies such as geo-redundancy. Geo-redundancy refers to the process where your backups are replicated to an offsite location far away from the primary location just in case the primary site fails.

Versioning

Even without geo-redundancy, cloud service providers can keep multiple versions or copies of backed up data spread out across different disks using RAID technology or across different servers in the primary location where your data is backed up. To achieve this with NAS backup, the organization may have to have more than one NAS device on-premise where more than one independent copies of data can be stored.

Data retention

With NAS devices, the file count that requires backup can grow very large, very quickly creating large backup sizes and causing long backup windows. Idle data on NAS backups that are old and will probably not be used will have to released manually whereas cloud service providers can set up the backup agent to get rid of old versions of data automatically.

In the long run, business continuity is not guaranteed by NAS backup unless additional software or hardware is added. Today, NAS devices can offer reliable cloud storage, can act as emergency servers and can even provide disaster recovery but at a very high cost.

On the other hand, with cloud data backup you do not need additional software or hardware to guarantee the safety of your data in case of failure and disaster. It is already the full package for your long term backup needs. It is a more reliable and secure data backup solution that is easy to manage, reduces costs, offers data redundancies and guarantees service availability to your business in case of hardware failure or disaster.

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