By Ben Puzzuoli, Technical Sales Director at KineticD
Mar. 12, 2012

KineticD Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Discovering the Right Comprehensive Cloud Solution for Your SMB

With the multifaceted nature of cloud services now available for businesses of all sizes, there are many vendors eagerly offering “all-in-one” cloud computing and online data backup solutions to their potential clients. And, while many of these suites would indeed be perfectly suited for some enterprises, other businesses, of course, have different IT needs and thus would not reap the same benefits at all. So, the question is, how does a developing business go about understanding which cloud service package is right for them? In the end, just like solving many other problems in business, the most well-informed decision usually turns out to be the most effective one as well, and thus gaining the clearest possible understanding of how the different types of cloud services work allows enterprises and cloud storage vendors to most efficiently reach a mutually beneficial, and often long-term, business relationship in the cloud.

The first thing to consider when deciding which type of cloud services are best for your business is just how you should interface with the cloud in the first place. Some online storage providers require the use of special software that must be installed on all of the machines that are to be backed up or granted access to the data being stored in the cloud. This software, while requiring access to some portion of each digital device’s resources in order to operate, allows businesses many advanced advantages when it comes to interfacing with their data. However, other “agent-less” backup services only require that the online storage service provider’s software be installed on one central computer, freeing up processing power and other resources from the rest of the machines on the system, but then also often restricting the sorts of advantages that can come with the implementation of agent-based cloud storage solutions.

Once you’ve determined the best way in which your company should access the cloud, you then must consider which type of cloud storage services are right for you. For example, some businesses demand the use of “private clouds”, in which all of the hardware that is utilized for the storage of their online data is theirs to use exclusively, and, while often offering the most optimal performance and highest level of security, this option is usually also the most expensive. “Public clouds”, on the other hand, are cloud computing solutions in which storage hardware, while all still being maintained by the vendor, is shared between many different clients, all on an as-needed basis. While this type of cloud storage can accommodate the needs of more users, and thus be offered at a lower, more scalable cost, it can also sometimes result in slightly less consistent levels of performance when it comes to accessing cloud data and performing online backups. In addition to this, there are “hybrid cloud” cloud solutions, which, as the name implies, combine both types of cloud storage to fit the various differing aspects of a business’s IT requirements.

Another aspect of cloud computing that differs highly between vendors is the various technical methods in which they can manipulate their clients’ data for increased security and decreased storage amounts and transmission times. Data compression and deduplication methods allow for a business’s information to be more quickly transmitted over the Internet, and also take up less storage space on the online backup cache as well, saving businesses both time and money. Depending on a given enterprise’s needs, these processes can be performed on either the user end before transmission, or once they reach the online data backup service provider’s servers. Also, while all cloud vendors encrypt customer data in some way while it is in transmission between them and their clients, there are many different levels of encryption available, the highest being what is called bank or military grade, with some cloud vendors even going so far as to keep all of the files that they store encrypted as well; some so well, in fact, that even they can’t access your data (which, while maximizing security, also relies on the responsibility of the client to maintain a client-side encryption key that, if lost or forgotten, can render their data totally inaccessible to anyone, including themselves).

Finally, another way that cloud services often differ is in the methods that they use to back up your data online. For some businesses, a simple scheduled backup that happens daily or even weekly will suffice. While this method, once again, can often save on system resources, some enterprises that synthesize large amounts of mission critical data every day find that they require the implementation of incremental backup software that automatically and instantly backs up any and all new data that is being generated so that they never have to worry about losing a file. In fact, some online backup companies now provide software that will automatically back up open files that are currently being edited but have not even been saved yet! This level of backup protection, while not being necessary for every business, is being utilized by more and more enterprises all the time, as system performances continue to improve and collaboration in the cloud using open documents and file versioning also continue to become more and more of a popular way to increase communication and thus productivity for businesses everywhere.

Of course, if you’re thinking that all of this seems like a little too much to learn and fully analyze in order to insure that your SMB gets the right comprehensive cloud services to fit its needs, we wholeheartedly agree! For this reason, we here at KineticD believe that it is our job to provide our clients with the most effective, tailor-made online data backup and cloud computing solutions available, and that includes analyzing the ins and outs of your particular business in order to determine just how your cloud computing services should be configured to most effectively help your developing business grow. So, why not give us a call today to talk to one of our agents about what kind of cloud services would best suit your SMB? Our customer service department is available 24/7, and we also, as always, offer our free 14-day trial so that, at no risk, you can see just what the KineticD advantage is all about.

About the author: Ben Puzzuoli is Technical Sales Director at KineticD, a Toronto based online data backup service provider.

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