SMEs are turning to the cloud for their data storage needs

More and more businesses, as well as personal users, are turning to the cloud for their data storage needs.

More and more businesses, as well as personal users, are turning to the cloud for their data storage needs.

Cloud storage is often cheap or even free, seemly infinitely expandable, and accessible from anywhere, on any number of computers and other devices. However, when things do go wrong, users can find themselves struggling to know what steps to take to recover their data. With many cloud platforms, it is the end-user who bears the contractual responsibility for data recovery.

Missing data is often time critical and businesses can risk losing sales or reputation if the time taken to correct the problem is longer than is considered acceptable. Without a pre-formulated data recovery plan, businesses can find themselves scrambling for a solution to lost data, wasting valuable time. 

Many people think purely of file storage and remote access when they consider cloud computing. In fact, the cloud can provide much more. Platform-as-a-Service, PaaS, provides a virtual environment for testing software across different platforms and operating systems. Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS, can be used for storage and also supplies virtual machines. Software-as-a-Service, SaaS, provides software over a network, allowing easy access and updates.

As the options for what can be delivered through the cloud increase, so do the risks. Imagine the work hours lost if vital software provided through Saas, Software as a Service, goes astray, or if testing has to be delayed because the right environment isn’t available. 

The very fact that the cloud is easy to access means it’s easy for data to be deleted, usually by accident, sometimes maliciously. Files can be overwritten, databases can be deleted or become corrupted. Further up the chain, the partition or volume that hosts your data can be deleted, or a whole hard drive reformatted.

If the worst does happen, don’t panic. Cloud data recovery may be complicated but it is usually possible to restore everything to the state it was in before the crash or accidental deletion took place. Look online, or ask business contacts, for a reputable data recovery specialist with the right experience, knowledge and tools in cloud and virtual environments, such as Ontrack Data Recovery services by Kroll Ontrack.

Even better, be prepared. Establishing a relationship with a data recovery supplier before you have a data loss can save you time and money when the need arises, not to mention frustration and worry. Register for Kroll Ontrack UK’s DRPlus programme in the knowledge that they will be able to help when you need it.

A typical remote data recovery process from Kroll Ontrack might go something like this. The data recovery expert will log into the cloud system using a secure administrator login set up for them. Once they have identified the volume to be restored, they can begin the process of data recovery using a client installed on a client-side machine connected to the cloud network. At the end of the process, you will be provided with a list of recoverable files & their state, with the option to reinstate the missing data, meaning everyone can go back to work.

Further reading on cloud computing:

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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