person holding phone with cloud backup icon on screen
From factors like cost and ease in use to flexibility and accessibility, businesses need to consider their individual needs when choosing a data backup method. — Getty Images/hanieriani

In today’s business world, backing up your data is essential. Now more than ever, business owners’ (and their customers’) data are at risk from everything from cybercrimes to natural disasters. While backup options have been limited in the past, SMBs can now choose to back up their data to the cloud.

Before deciding which backup method is best for your data, consider the different options available to find the best solution for your business. We defined and outlined the benefits of both data centers and cloud backup.

What is a data center?

In short, data centers are wherever your data is stored. In the case of most traditional backup options, that means an on-premises data center. Data centers provide a whole host of services to both small businesses and the IT world. The two main components of data centers are storage and network infrastructure. Storage infrastructure is where data is kept, while network infrastructure is how an end user (or other types of data) is connected to the information. Other computing resources, like applications, are the driving force behind the data center.

[Read: Data Backup: What You Need to Know]

How does a data center work?

Simply put, a data center is a collection of data servers. Each server can be considered storage infrastructure. Servers are connected to one another through network infrastructure. When a user needs to access data by, say, browsing the web, stored information is exchanged between two (or more) servers via network infrastructure. By backing up your data at a data center, you’re choosing to store your information in a physical location that can be connected to through network infrastructure.

Benefits of a data center

There are some major benefits of using a physical data center instead of the cloud. First and foremost, data centers can offer high performance to clients. This kind of reliability can help you better plan your costs. Data centers are also highly scalable, so you can build up your usage without having to worry about physical resource shortages or other logistical limitations. One of the biggest benefits of a data center, however, is disaster recovery. Some data center offerings provide instant fail safes, so if one center goes down, your users won’t lose access to their data.

If you’re having trouble deciding between the two options, many organizations pursue a hybrid solution.

What is cloud backup?

Instead of storing your data at a physical location, cloud backup offers users the ability to back up their data directly to the cloud. This information can be accessed through several different methods and is typically automatically backed up, which can be useful in the event of data loss.

How does cloud backup work?

Cloud backup involves copying data and then storing it on a server in a remote location. Instead of having a physical backup location in your office, you’ll be able to access your data as part of the cloud so long as you are connected to the internet.

Benefits of cloud backup

Cloud backup is considered extremely convenient and can even be more cost-effective than on-premises backup. Cloud backup systems are usually very user-friendly. They have simple interfaces and accessing your data can be quick and easy. Enterprise-level services also come with great encryption options, which means you have access to services that prioritize the security of your data. Of course, one of the biggest benefits to cloud backup is recovery reliability — your data doesn’t just exist in one physical location inside your business. Rather, your data can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

[Read: Is Cloud Storage Secure?]

Which is right for your business?

As with any business decision, it is important to consider your needs. Before weighing the cost of each service, make a list of necessary features. Keep in mind that many services may be flexible, so you can always try something out before fully committing. If you’re having trouble deciding between the two options, many organizations pursue a hybrid solution. Do your best to weigh your options and make the decision that is right for your business.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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