I start each workday morning similarly to the way most people start their weekend mornings: a cup of coffee and the news. The only difference is my news. I’m not reading the NY Times or the Boston Globe, I’m reading my Google Alerts. I have 5 alerts set up to keep me abreast of what is happening in our industry, and each morning, I read through each alert, opening the articles that catch my interest or directly relate to cloud backup.
This morning, as I sipped coffee, I started to ponder why there are so many more alerts for “Cloud Storage” then there are for “Cloud Backup”. As I read through some of the articles, I also noticed that the terms were used interchangeably, even though they really don’t mean the same thing.
Defining the Difference
The best way to decipher between the two is to first look at the definitions of the terms. These definitions were taken from Wikipedia.
Cloud Storage: a model of networked online storage where data is stored in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties. Hosting companies operate large data centers, and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them.
Cloud backup: is a service that provides users with a system for the backup, storage, and recovery of computer files. Online backup providers are companies that provide this type of service to end users (or clients). Such backup services are considered a form of cloud computing.
Do these definitions sound different to you? I can tell the difference based on this, but I also already know the difference.
I think the best way to help understand the two is to do a side by side comparison chart of cloud storage and cloud backup.
In the End
The point is, while the terminology is frequently interchanged, storage and backup are two very different things. Storage is meant to do just that, store files in an easily accessible location. Backup, on the other hand, is meant to do much more. It’s been built to not only store data, but also to back it up in such a way the businesses can access that data quickly and easily, and can restore it to whatever location they need.
Businesses need the higher level of support and the ability to restore their data quickly and easily. Not to mention, they need to be able to backup more than just files. Take, for example, our recent whitepaper on virtual servers. More businesses are taking advantage of this in 2013 than ever before, yet cloud storage can’t backup the server, only the files on the server. Can you imagine having to download a servers worth of files one by one?
At the end of the day, businesses need cloud backup, not cloud storage.