Cloud-to-Cloud Backup (C2C Backup)

C2C backup (cloud-to-cloud backup) is the practice of copying data stored on one cloud service to another cloud service. The backup stored on the second cloud service serves the same purpose as an off-site backup.

Cloud-to-cloud backup is important for organizations that rely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications like Microsoft Office 365, Box and Zendesk. SaaS vendors back up their customers' data, but any system can fail, and restores can be difficult if the SaaS vendor's backup software is fairly basic.

As more software applications are being delivered as services, there are an increasing number of vendors who are specializing in C2C backups for specific applications. In this scenario the C2C provider manages both the backup software and its implementation for the C2C customer. Typically, C2C backups are run automatically without manual intervention. Customers can restore data from the target cloud if it is no longer available through the SaaS app.

Why do you need C2C backups?

As SaaS applications have increased in popularity, so has cloud-to-cloud backup. The technology provides enhanced data protection beyond the basics offered by SaaS applications. However, customers should not assume their data is protected by a SaaS provider against any type of data loss or error, as backups are often created only for the provider's purposes.

For example, a SaaS application may not have native protection against user error. It may be more expensive and time-consuming to try to recover data from a SaaS provider than through a cloud-to-cloud backup service.

Pros and cons of cloud-to-cloud backup

C2C backup provides users with a convenient way to store data in multiple locations. However, it also increases the possibility of sensitive information being compromised as compared to offline hard backups. Due to proximity, local backups can also provide faster recovery than pulling data out of the cloud.

Although cloud backup has generally proven to be more reliable than local efforts, any system can fail. Backing up to multiple locations is therefore advised for added data security. It makes practical sense to use a low-effort, reliable product for backup and to protect data from failure of that service by adding redundancy at a second location. If data created in SaaS applications, such as Salesforce or Microsoft Office 365, is lost or deleted due to human error, the company is held responsible. Because SaaS vendors often charge large fees to restore that data, many businesses are turning to cloud-to-cloud backup.

Backing up data in the cloud often falls to the information technology (IT) department. The ability to recover data in its last known good state is important for business continuity (BC). It can be easy to make a mistake in a SaaS application, so cloud-to-cloud backup is a critical availability element for companies that do business in the cloud.

C2C backup offers a number of advantages over a SaaS vendor's native data protection:

  • It is more comprehensive, as it protects the user against many possible cases of data loss.

  • A cloud-to-cloud backup provider's sole focus is on backup data, so backups and recoveries are quicker and easier to perform.

  • Data backed up to another cloud is accessible from almost anywhere in the world.

  • C2C backups are generally immune to ransomware attacks on an organization because they are not on the office network.

Cloud services are scalable, so backup data sets can grow easily in the storage space. However, organizations need to be careful about the volume of data, as costs will escalate and management will become more difficult. Most management of the backup data falls to the service provider, though this element could be seen as a negative for those customers that wish to have total control over their backups. DOWNLOAD

Data backup for an application like Salesforce can be complex, and an organization needs to make sure it knows exactly what a cloud-to-cloud backup provider is backing up. Additionally, if an organization uses more than one application, it may need a variety of products to back up all of its SaaS data.