Is your data safer stored on local hard drives or in faraway data centers? This question has been a key concern for businesses of all sizes as they have evaluated the case for migrating to cloud computing services. Solutions such as Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service have made significant inroads over the past decade plus and produced a halo effect, meaning that their growing popularity has encourage users to explore similar options.
The cloud tipping point, and what it means for Backup-as-a-Service
Technologist Robert Cringely recently identified cloud, in all of its forms, as a tipping point in the history of computing. In other words, its growing centrality to IT operations could make it as significant change as past advances, such as:
- The introduction of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets in the 2000s.
- The launch of the World Wide Web in the 1990s.
- The rise of graphical user interfaces in the 1970s and 1980s.
IT research firm Gartner has estimated that $1 trillion in IT spending could shift from traditional systems to cloud by 2020. While it's clear that plenty of dollars will be funneled toward IaaS and SaaS, what about services designed specifically for backup, namely Backup as a Service (BaaS)?
BaaS is not nearly as big a market as IaaS or SaaS, if only because it suits a highly specific workflow whereas the other two are more general purpose. However, that does not mean it is any less useful than those two. BaaS helps streamline the notoriously complex process of creating and managing backups of critical data. Accordingly, it can yield significant benefits in cost reduction, IT simplification and future-proofing of data management operations.
BaaS as a transformational workflow
Traditional backup services are one of many complications intertwined with modern data management. More specifically, with the overall scale of data creation rapidly increasing, there is the considerable challenge of scaling their workflows for enormous new amounts of information.
"BaaS offers a cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional backup."
In 2016, IBM estimated almost all of the world's digital data had been created in the 2010s. Faster processors and networks, as well as the virtually unlimited on-demand IT resources offered by cloud computing services, are the key drivers of this growth. Backup services must accommodate the ongoing surge in data creation; however, unless they are themselves cloud-based like BaaS, they cannot usually keep pace.
Without BaaS, technical teams must regularly back up information and ensure its safe transportation and storage, often to offsite facilities. Such processes are time-consuming. Plus, they can compound other issues in data management, like handling large quantities of space-consuming unstructured data, which can overwhelm backup systems and strain wide area network connections during transfers.
BaaS offers an alternative workflow, one that is much more cost-effective and flexible. It's a transformational change, thanks to benefits such as:
- Superior use of IT resources: Instead of tying up your staff with manual and repetitive backup-related tasks, you can let the BaaS provider oversee these operations and in turn redirect your personnel to more productive projects.
- Reduced risk of error: Cloud providers will ensure your data is redundantly backed up and secured in top-notch data center facilities. You can say goodbye to the risks of managing your own tape-based backups.
- Improved recovery times: Working with a BaaS provider, you can select the Recovery Time Objectives and Recovery Point Objectives appropriate for your organization. Performance can be tightly aligned with your regulatory and business requirements.
- Lower total cost of ownership: Like many other cloud services, BaaS is billed as a subscription, meaning you get flexible operating expenditures instead of steep upfront capital expenses. Your costs are predictable, since you don't have to worry about needing to suddenly replace your IT assets – the cloud provider oversees all infrastructure.
How to get started with BaaS today
As cloud computing continues to grow, the BaaS market should also expand, with many providers offering appealing alternatives to traditional backup. According to the 2018 State of IT report from Spiceworks, hosted and cloud-based services are projected to account for 21 percent of IT budgets next year, only narrowly trailing software (26 percent). More respondents to the survey expected to increase their cloud spend than any other expenditure.
In addition to its advantages in cost and scalability, BaaS is a perfect fit for the modern IT budget. For example, it does not require extensive in-house staff to manage at a time when many technical positions apparently suffer from a shortage of qualified candidates. The BaaS provider supplies the expertise and infrastructure necessary for safeguarding your backups.
UbiStor is an experienced managed services provider with a proven track record in data management and recovery. Learn more by visiting our main BaaS page today, or contact us directly for additional information.