Remember the days of Full/Differential/Incremental?
With everyone moving data storage to the cloud, there is little left on any given user's computer. That said, are folks still doing backups? Is that industry basically dead and gone save for those who still have on-prem servers? Do any of you back up user workstations?
I do not think I have ever been in a team doing workstation backups. General policy has always been that anything that should be stored, should be stored on "servers" - In the beginning of time this was network drives which transitioned into synchronized folders such as Onedrive for business in our on-prem Sharepoint environment and then again to cloud synchronized folders such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, etc.
There is most likely still a need out there for those who are not able to use cloud services, whether this is because of policy or security.
For servers or cloud services I think the topic is still relevant and actually often forgotten or misunderstood. I think there is a ton of companies that have important, perhaps even critical systems that are not following the 3-2-1 rule. And this rule is just as valid for any data in the cloud that one would not want to lose.
And that does not even discuss the restore process 🙂
As a customer of a cloud service, do I want to put trust in the provider to perform backup and restore in a proper manner, or do I want to make sure I have stored the backup somewhere I own and can get to if the provider for whatever reason is no longer able to access their backup. There are cases of ransomware, bankruptcy, confiscation where customers have lost all data. As a customer you can blame the provider, but it does not change the fact that your data is no longer there.
@TRK I think there was a really public instance of this happening in the last few years, too, where a cloud provider lost a lot of data and couldn't recover it. I remember reading about it, but not the exact details. It was...painful to say the least.
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There are still many companies (think graphics and video) where storing in the cloud is just too much - too much data, too much bandwidth, too much. So those servers or NASes or SANs do have to be backed up. When I was doing consulting I would still encourage my clients to have a Time Machine drive attached locally (I was 98% Mac) because it made restoring SOOOO much easier. I was just curious how other folks are dealing with the service.
I have encouraged all of my clients to keep everything in either OneDrive, or Google Drive. I do have a couple of exceptions where the have a NAS for local backup that exceeds most online storage limits. Outside of that a Cloud to Cloud back up M365 or Google Workspace goes a long way to protect data.
For the NAS, Carbonite backup is a good solution for local backup.
In a previous role we used Veeam for on-site vm backup (Good and bad parts). This was also planned to be backed up to a cloud provider but we had not reached that point yet.
We used 365 to backup employee computer stored work
To have redundancy, we ran a backup task for 365 to our Qnap nas (works fairly well and is "included" with the NAS)
I used to work in a company that was considered to be "regulated" they used cloud storage, but they had restrictions on what types of data you could store in the cloud for compliance reasons.
I think backup has changed, backing up workstations is probably reducing, but there are still a lot of on-premise servers out there that require backups, although these are pretty much all image based now.
On top of that, there is a rapidly expanding industry around backing up Office 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce etc etc as the owners of the service are pretty clear - they aren't doing it for you 🙂
We have used a couple of solutions for our Google Workspace backups. Currently, we are using SpinOne to perform those backups cloud-to-cloud. It also provides additional security capabilities around Google Workspace, data protection/governance, third-party apps, chrome extensions, etc. And that has been very helpful.
We use it to back up our Google email, drives, and shared drives. All active accounts are backed up, and we leverage archive licenses to retain ex-employee data temporarily within the platform at a reduced cost so that we can quickly go in and search for and restore their email, docs, and files from their accounts if needed long after their Google account has been deleted. Before permanently removing any data from SpinOne, we download a full backup of the user's account for long-term, cold storage.
In addition to this, we also have a local Synology NAS and leverage Active Backup on that, so we have a second backup of our entire environment. When it comes to backups, I go by the methodology that two is one and one is none. We have never lost data from Google, but this gives us peace of mind knowing we have multiple levels of protection in place in case we did
We also have Office 365 accounts, and while our policy is that Google Drive is where all files should be stored, we have occasionally discovered employees storing files there. So we also have Synology Active Backup perform backups on the M365 environment, just in case.
We do not do any sort of active workstation backups, and I have never worked anywhere in which that was a common practice. We disable USB mass storage devices on our systems by default unless there is a specific business need for an employee/role to have that capability. We make it clear to employees that to avoid potential data loss in the event of hardware failure, loss, or theft, they should save any critical data to the cloud to ensure that it is accessible and covered by our backup scheme.