How to find the best cloud backup approach

To back up cloud apps, balance cost and convenience

So what's our best cloud backup option?

That's a question many IT professionals and business leaders ask themselves before they deploy important applications to the cloud. They also raise the question at more awkward moments, such as when the infrastructure supporting those essential apps fails or after criminals find a way through security.

As with most things, some approaches will be easier than others. Conducting backup in the same cloud where your app runs, for instance, is about as simple as it gets. But, if that cloud provider's service goes down, you could lose access to both your application and your backup. An organization that wants to fully isolate the backup from the underlying application can choose an on-premises location. While this achieves the desired separation, it adds complexity and cost to the IT operation.

These sorts of tradeoffs are what IT decision-makers must work through to find what works best for their organization's goals, preferences, budgets and staff. Cloud service providers recognize their customers' concerns. Amazon Web Services offers an array of backup tools and works with organizations to place data in multiple regions. With its Azure cloud service, Microsoft provides users with backup and recovery tools to keep workloads running even when trouble strikes.

In this handbook, TechTarget contributor Brien Posey lays out the plusses and minuses of the various approaches to cloud backup. By figuring out what suits your business, you'll land on a strategy that provides a degree of comfort so that -- should your cloud service fail -- an important app isn't lost for any significant period of time. That's when you'll find the best cloud backup strategy for your situation.