Technology

Why Cloud-to-Cloud (C2C) Backup Is Taking Off

In 2021, the public cloud market passed the $ 150 billion mark. Regardless of their size or activity, companies are migrating more and more IT resources from hyper-scalers and regional cloud operators. However, if the data centers of these cloud professionals are certainly more efficient and secure than the local data centers of many companies, they are not invulnerable. Since then, the lightning strike that struck a Google data center in 2015, the OVH data center fire, and the very recent global failure of AWS have shown that these infrastructures are not immune to technical problems. In fact, more and more companies are raising the question of backing up their data in the cloud with another provider, this is the birth of the cloud-to-cloud (C2C) backup type.

Many BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service) solutions allow data backup to the cloud, either on-premises or with another cloud provider. This is the case with the Acronis Cyber ​​Protect Cloud solution, a solution generally offered by MSPs (Managed Service Providers). “Businesses are increasingly using cloud backup solutions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to back up data to the cloud,” said Gregory Laroche, Senior Solutions Engineer at Acronis.

“A SaaS solution with a console in the cloud does not necessarily mean storing data in the cloud. We have a data center in France and as a Swiss / Singaporean company we are not bound by the American Cloud Act. In addition to this location of its data centers, Acornis relies on the synergy between backup and cybersecurity building blocks to protect data. , an approach that attracts more and more companies.

The emergence of the need to back up Office 365 data

Among the cloud providers offering BaaS backup services based on the Acronis solution is the French Ikoula. This saves the IT resources of the users of your cloud services, but also the local servers of your customers. Anthony Collard, director of outsourcing and outsourcing of Ikoula, emphasizes that “the offer of support has experienced a strong growth in the last months”. “We have almost doubled our storage platform in one year. The solution has grown a lot, in particular by integrating anti-cryptolocker protection, new functionalities that meet the expectations of today’s companies ”, he adds. The cloud provider stores its backups in its data center in Eppes, in Hauts-de-France, but replicates the data in its second data center in Reims for added security.

In addition to supporting Linux / Windows servers and workstations, Ikoula has seen an increasing need among its customers, the need to support their Office 365 infrastructure. “Office 365 is not immune from an incident,” said Anthony Collard. “We believe that data in the cloud is intrinsically secure, but it is not: Azure can experience an incident, the messaging system is attacked. Acronis allows you to make backup copies of Office 365 mailboxes, with the aim of having a second copy of this data so as not to depend on a single cloud provider. “

While all major cloud providers offer integrated backup services, businesses are increasingly looking to reduce the risk of overall downtime and back up their data with a second cloud provider.

In fact, many C2C solutions have appeared on the market in recent months to back up Office 365 data. In addition to Acronis Cyber ​​Backup, Altaro Office 365 Backup for MSP, Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 are stocks in a rapidly growing market.

More generally, backup solutions have integrated the cloud well in terms of data sources, but also storage space, to write your backups. Stéphane Berthaud, Veeam’s senior director of technical sales for France and Africa, stresses that “all backup scenarios are imaginable today: local environments can be backed up to cloud storage spaces, IaaS instances of a hyper scaler can be backed up. they can save in the same cloud or with another provider to spread the risk. Now we can cover all scenarios, whatever the origin and destination, which is now a reality in the market, whereas just four years ago it was very exceptional. A solution like Veeam Availability Suite is cross-platform and covers all of these environments, but you can opt for specialized solutions for AWS, Azure, or GCP. These next-generation solutions allow you to manage backups, replications and migrations in all these environments.

Cloud-to-cloud backup is increasing

While the scenario of backing up local infrastructure to the cloud will become more common, companies are beginning to back up their AWS or Azure infrastructure to other cloud providers. Stéphane Berthaud explains that “cloud-to-cloud backup is not a mainstream use case among our customers, but they have realized that even hosting in a hyperscaler is not completely risk-free.”

In terms of risk management, relying on a single actor constitutes spof (“single point of failure”) and an entire cloud can go down and be unavailable for several hours and it is quite logical that infrastructure managers have a desire to have a backup with a copy on the company’s infrastructure or another cloud provider.

This cloud-to-cloud approach is becoming more prevalent in a very specific context – backing up Office 365 data. Of course, you can back up your Office 365 environment to Azure, but many customers want have a copy of Microsoft Infrastructure to protect against unavailability of Microsoft cloud services. This copy can be done on local infrastructures, which some solutions allow, or can be done at a competing cloud provider. This backup in a third party is considered by some companies as a reversibility tool against the choice of Microsoft Azure. In the event of extended downtime or breach of contract, the company can still set up an on-premises Exchange and SharePoint environment and restore its data to access mailboxes and stored files.

Pay Attention to Controlling Backup Infrastructure Operating Costs

While today’s backup solutions offer a variety of storage solutions to back up data in the cloud, strict cost control should be the rule. Storage spaces are billed by volume and duration, and some cloud providers bill by the volumes of data exchanged between their data centers and abroad. For Stéphane Berthaud, taking into account all the complexities of cloud provider billing and playing with the different storage classes and number of copies, it is possible to achieve a high level of resilience at an extremely competitive cost compared to a local infrastructure.

There are more and more solutions that, such as Synology Active Backup for Microsoft 365, allow you to back up all or part of Microsoft 365 data to a local or third-party cloud infrastructure.

“To take the example of AWS, when playing on S3, S3 Infrequent Access, S3 Glacier offers, if we have a solution capable of managing all these storage classes in an automated way, and if we are able to correctly size these resources, you may have a Extremely competitive backup architecture. »Creating a backup infrastructure in the cloud will require a bit of work on the services to be implemented depending on the frequency of backups, retention periods to choose the appropriate storage classes, but in terms of tools, from the cloud to backup: the cloud is now a completely viable option to protect your data.

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