As SaaS solutions become more popular, companies need to pay more attention to data protection. Important corporate data stored in the cloud should be protected as reliably as data stored on-site. This article will be useful for developers who are working on their own cloud backup solution.

Backup

Importance of a data backup service for SaaS

One of the most significant benefits of cloud storage is that a cloud service vendor is responsible for data management and is in control of your SaaS data security and backups. While this might be true in most cases, however, not all cloud service providers can assist in recovering company’s data if a single change made by one of employees causes data corruption or even loss.

With the growing popularity of SaaS solutions, companies that maintain data in the cloud are getting interested in cloud-to-cloud backup tools for the following reasons:

Cloud-to-cloud backup solutions are easy to implement. Cloud-based software doesn’t require large initial infrastructure investment and can be easily deployed with just an agent installation.

Cloud-to-cloud backup solutions have predictable costs. With no big upfront costs, companies can focus on maintaining current operational costs regardless their chosen backup solution.

Cloud-to-cloud backup solutions are simple to manage. Since a service provider is responsible for data management, the only thing a company has to worry about is backing its servers.

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Why cloud services need backup

Cloud-to-cloud backup ensures that data stored on distributed cloud-based platforms – such as Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365, and Google Apps – is safe. Cloud-to-cloud backup solutions allow you to easily recover data from any time. Google Apps, for instance, allows data restoration only within 25 days according to an all-or-nothing principle. Therefore, there’s a need on the market for new cloud-to-cloud solutions.

Overview of existing solutions

Cloud-to-cloud backup solutions let you implement scalable, manageable, and dependable cloud-based data backups. When developing a particular SaaS system or striving to improve your SaaS backup strategy, you should follow the same principles you would when managing on-site deployments. When developing your cloud-to-cloud backup and data protection solution, consider the following:

Performance. Before offering backup software, first test its performance. You might need to develop a backup speed testing tool if it has no one. This tool should be able to perform upload and download speed tests as well as latency tests.

How saved backups work for actual recovery. Test to make sure that backups will work in an emergency.

SSAE 16(Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements) compliance. This is a mandatory standard for US service organizations for reporting their system and security controls and is comparable to international standard ISAE 3402.

Pricing. The costs of a backup for cloud services involves comparing total expenses, not only the starter price. Vendors usually charge for the average amount of stored data per year, though there might be exceptions.

The ability of restore and backup processes to meet recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) for your company’s customers. Meet RTO and RPO requirements for third-party SaaS applications.

Building your own cloud backup solution

When you decide to create your own backup software for SaaS, you should first determine the set of features you need. The following features are in high demand and are part of the most competitive cloud-to-cloud backup solutions currently on the market:

Data encryption prior to transfer – Encrypting data before transferring prevents access by unauthorized users.

Deduplication – Data deduplication is a compression technique to avoid data repeating. It allows companies to optimize their storage resources and decrease bandwidth requirements.

Hybrid cloud backup – Cached backups stored on a company’s premises reduce the time needed to restore data.

Extracting and saving cloud-based data to physical devices – Storing cloud-based data on a physical disk on-site reduces time for both initial backup and data restoration.

Ongoing backups (incremental forever) – Perform one initial database backup and then save ongoing backups with active users in the database instead of backing up the whole database every time. This reduces the amount of data coming and going across a company’s network.

Sub-file-level backups – This feature reduces the volume of data that needs to be copied by only backing up changed parts within individual files and works best with large files.

Bandwidth options – Zipping data and scheduling backups to avoid impacts on users within a corporate network.

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Requirements for cloud backup solutions

In addition to necessary features, your cloud-to-cloud backup solution should meet certain requirements to ensure the efficiency of data backups and restores. Let’s cover these requirements in detail.

Regulatory Сompliance

Your cloud-to-cloud data backup and recovery solution should ensure compliance with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Even though your company may not currently work with health service providers, you may in the future. Therefore, you should consider implementing data security measures to ensure compliance.

Data Backup Frequency

Define how often users should back up their data. Should users be able to set a custom schedule or should they use a regular schedule? Or both? Your solution should also let users manually make backups at any time.

Effective Search

It’s hard to remember the name of each file stored in a database. Therefore, your cloud-to-cloud data backup solution should have a convenient search feature that will help your users quickly find files.

Conclusion

Generating backups is necessary to protect data created in SaaS services from corruption or loss. Since there are various SaaS backup services on the market, you should consider the pricing and features of existing services in order to develop a competitive solution.