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December 02, 2013
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Availability and Accessibility: Cloud Terms You Need To Know

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to move your data into the cloud! But maybe you still have some questions or confusion about the terms associated with a cloud service. Two popular terms you may be constantly hearing are “availability” and “accessibility”. Below we break it down: 

Availability is simply, the degree to which your data is available for access. The number is referred to as a percentage and the industry buzzword is in reference to up-time or “nines.” For example, “5 nines” of availability is the number 99.999%, meaning that the system will be down 0.001% of the time (so in a week, that’s about 3 minutes of down time).

What does this mean to you? If a cloud-service is not available to you, you cannot use it. It’s that simple. In fact, Google rolled out an “App Status Dashboard” to highlight when a service disruption or service outage is occurring. Historically, Google Apps has indeed gone down. Using a 3rd party backup like Backupify can ensure that even if Google Apps does go down you have access to your data.

Accessibility Means…?

Your cloud service has numerous access points that you need to be aware of. Many cloud services have 3rd party applications that connect to your instance and can make your life easier. is one example of such a cloud service. The Salesforce AppExchange has thousands of applications that can help you make detailed marketing graphs, shed light on your financial data, integrate with your Box account and more!

Each application that you install into your Salesforce account requires authorization to access the information in your instance. Once authorization has been given, your cloud data is now accessible by a software program. Just remember, those 3rd party systems can potentially corrupt your data, creating a large headache for you to clean up so be smart about what 3rd party applications you install into any cloud service by reading reviews and researching the stability of the software before you hit the “authorize” button.

Also, if you have access to a sandbox or a development environment, install the 3rd party application in there first before it goes live in your production environment. Ensure that your evaluation of any 3rd party piece of software includes time to inspect the data it touches to ensure no corruption has occurred.

Another reminder in line with these 3rd party applications – set permission and boundaries for access with your users. Be cautious as to who has system administrator privileges with unlimited access to change ownership, modify data and change system settings.

Now you’ve got some additional terminology added to your cloud vocabulary. While understanding availability and accessibility is important, it’s also critical to understand how all the data within your cloud applications is being protected. Add one more term, cloud-to-cloud backup to your vocab list and protect your cloud data.

To learn more about data protection, grab our free eBook “Making the Case for Cloud-to-Cloud Backup”.

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