How Much Disk Space is Enough for Cloud Backups?

By Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

The cloud offers the security, affordability, and convenience of backups for business networks without paying for the computing power, support and staff of a backup data center.

After a business commits to a cloud backup, the next question is: “How much storage space do I need?”

Establish Data Requirements

What storage space the business uses now will increase as business picks up. Database administrators account for current database storage requirements, but as data is input into the database, the growth of the database increases substantially. The storage space available for the incremental backups of the database must have enough space to provide storage for a growing business.

To calculate the amount of disk storage needed, add up the total storage used for company desktop computers, database data, mirrored drives, server drives and an file servers. Next calculate the amount of space needed for the next six months, factoring in scaling.

Check Backup Security and Integrity

Backups are a trove of riches for hackers to try to gain access to data in bulk. Always make sure backups are transferred to the cloud with encryption, and make sure the backups are password protected. If programmers script copies that save over the internet, make sure the backups are encrypted or security is increased when sending data in plain text over the network.

After the securing the backups, the business manager in charge of the backups must check for the backup integrity. So for database backups, use a dummy or development server to restore the backups. The procedure verifies that the backups work properly and backup disks are not corrupted, putting the business on good footing were anything to happen to require a data restoration.

After addressing storage concerns, the backups can be sent to the cloud servers manually or automatically. The beauty of these backups is that the business no longer needs to worry about the resources needed to host the backups and maintain them. Let the cloud float the data architecture while you take care of business.