AlexOakenman - Fotolia

Small business cloud backup includes range of services

Cloud backup is a good option for small businesses, especially for a remote work environment. Choices range from file syncing to a more comprehensive feature set.

One of the advantages of working in the era of the cloud is that both small business and enterprise organizations can enjoy the same products. In many ways, the cloud has become the great equalizer.

When it comes to protecting your organization's data, applications and systems, consider small business cloud backup services.

Most midsize businesses run backups. But smaller businesses might consider backups simply an additional cost rather than a necessary protective measure. No matter where your organization fits within the definition of an SMB, there are relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use cloud backup services available.

Defining the different options

Avoid confusion between file syncing, cloud backup and cloud storage. File syncing services synchronize a set of files and folders on your endpoint device and copy them to the cloud and any other linked devices. Cloud backup products, on the other hand, are cloud-based backup-as-a-service offerings that host both the software and the backups.

Every cloud-based backup offering -- and some on-premises backup products -- use cloud storage to host backup files, which enables you to easily recover from a disaster to another location or to the cloud. As you begin looking for the right product, remember that file syncing, cloud backup and cloud storage each provide a particular service and value.

Cloud backup for the very small business

For businesses of five employees or fewer, you probably have just a few workstations or laptops and no dedicated IT staff. Even so, you have some cloud backup options:

  • File syncing. You might have a limited amount of on-premises data to protect. Products like Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Dropbox Business and Box for business can help. However, for about $3 per month more with Microsoft, you can get the entire online suite of Office 365 tools, including OneDrive for Business.
  • Cloud backup. You probably only need to focus on backing up a few computers. IDrive Personal is an inexpensive and powerful option to back up your systems into the cloud. Backblaze also provides simple cloud-based backups with additional features such as locating a lost computer and ordering a USB drive of your data. Other options include Carbonite Safe, CrashPlan for Small Business and Jungle Disk.
When it comes to protecting your organization's data, applications and systems, consider small business cloud backup services.

Cloud backup for the small business

Small businesses might have virtual servers, network infrastructure, endpoints, management tools and other IT infrastructure. You also likely have at least one IT person, whether full time, part time or contracted. Regardless, your main requirement is likely protecting the entire environment.

  • File syncing. For a small business, file syncing might be more about collaboration and productivity across devices than about backups. You should consider the same options recommended to very small businesses.
  • Cloud backups. Products like Acronis True Image 2020 are designed to be easy enough for a power user, but still offer enough features to satisfy an actual IT person. MSP360 Managed Backup Service has a more serious feature set in the cloud. You can use it to monitor and report on backups, as well as select from a range of cloud storage options. Other cloud backup choices include Metallic, Altaro and Barracuda.
  • Cloud storage. When you think about where you want to store your backups, particularly when you perform image-based backups that you want to recover in the cloud, consider backup products like MSP360. You might also consider on-premises offerings such as Veeam Backup Essentials. These products support multiple cloud storage providers including AWS and Azure.

For larger small businesses, you also likely rely on Office 365 as part of your business operations. Think about whether your operations can survive data loss in Office 365. A number of cloud-to-cloud backup products can back up Office 365 data, including offerings from Cohesity, Veeam, Barracuda, Altaro and others.

Which small business cloud backup is right for you?

In determining your choices, start by considering cost. Whether you must calculate cost per device, per gigabyte, per month or per year, you must do the math and figure out your budget. Then look at functionality -- everyone might have the same "steak" (backups), but not everyone has the same "sizzle" (features).

Look into types of systems supported, where the data is stored or if you might incur any additional costs. Lastly, think about recovery functionality, because a backup is only as good as its usefulness during recovery. In the event of an emergency, are you only looking to recover back to your office or to the cloud?

In the end, having some form of backup is better than none. So, if you don't currently have a backup system, do something and do it soon. You can implement many of these low-cost, small business cloud backup services quickly.

As your organization grows, so will your backup requirements. In the meantime, just make sure your business is protected.

Dig Deeper on Data backup and recovery software

Disaster Recovery