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February 03, 2014
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

The Ultimate Cloud Backup Glossary

According to a recent Forbes article, businesses in the US will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services in 2014. This is fantastic news for anyone who has either started a cloud based company or works for one. Here at Backupify we feel that momentum every day and it drives us to continue innovating as a cloud to cloud backup provider.

While the industry is growing quickly, so too are the number of confusing terms that are bandied about in the marketplace. Terms like cloud computing, data backup and storage systems, to name a few. These misunderstandings are why companies like Carbonite, which offer cloud backup, are mistakingly compared or equated with Backupify, which offers cloud to cloud backup.

While we appreciate the fine work the folks at Carbonite do, we also think it’s time someone explained the differences between some of these commonly misunderstood cloud backup phrases. So we pulled together a cloud glossary of the most common terms we hear. We’ve included a few definitions in today’s post and you can download the entire glossary at the bottom of this page.

Cloud Backup

A service that replicates the data on a local hard drive or local file system and stores that duplicate data in the cloud. It is a specialized type of offsite data backup, in that the backup is conducted over a conventional Internet connection, and the duplicate data is generally accessible from any web browser.

Like any backup, cloud backup systems are designed for the explicit purpose of protecting against data loss and minimizing the time it takes to restore lost data.

TL;DR – Stuff on your hard drive you backup on the web

Cloud Backup examples include: BackBlaze, Carbonite, CrashPlan, Mozy, Norton Online Backup

Disaster Recovery

A plan and process for returning computing systems to full operational status after an unanticipated or unplanned system failure. Typically this involves a combination of both policies and systems. Cloud vendors often tout that they have removed the burden of disaster recovery from customers thanks to robust hardware redundancy, though such measures do little to address unauthorized access or user error.

TL;DR – A plan for getting all your business software and data back online after they explode

Retention Policy

The documented policy which determines for how long, and in what formats, production and backup data is maintained and accessible. Regulatory and government oversight bodies often dictate minimum retention policies for certain data and certain industries. Mature backup systems will disclose their retention policy for your backup data, and enterprise-focused backup solutions will allow for customer-defined retention policies.

TL;DR – Will you store my data forever or does it expire?

Download the complete Cloud Backup Glossary below. After reading it, let us know in the comments if we missed any common mis-understood cloud terms.

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