What is the difference between cloud backup and local backup?

Let’s start with a definition.

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup is also known as online backup. Data is backed up by sending a copy over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server. The server is usually hosted by a third-party service provider. Larger organisations may own their own off-site server.

Local Backup

Local backup is when data is copied to local storage, such as a hard drive, disc, flash drive, tape, or external hard drive.

Pros and cons for cloud backup and local backup


Cloud backup versus local back up

There are advantages and disadvantages to backing up data to the cloud and on local storage.

Which method is most appropriate to you will depend on several factors, including the quality of the Internet connection, volume of data and cost, to name a few.

To help you make an informed decision, here are the pros and cons for cloud backup and local backup.

Cloud Backup

Advantages of cloud backup
  1. There is no maintenance associated with hardware or software backup storage. A monthly fee (with no upfront investment) is charged to store your data.
  2. Data can be accessed from any connected device, such as a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
  3. Additional backup space can be added as required.
  4. Cloud backup is a remote backup solution. This means your data is safe in the event of an on-site catastrophe such as fire or flood.
Disadvantages of cloud backup
  1. Depending on the amount of data you have, creating a full back up to a cloud storage platform can take a long time, because transfer is limited to your bandwidth and connection speed. This is especially true of an initial back up.
  2. Restoring the data can take significantly longer too.
  3. There is still some risk with the data stored in the cloud being affected by hackers.
  4.  Ongoing subscription costs.

Local Backup

Advantages of local backup
  1. With local backup, which is usually in the form of external hard drives, the data is just as protected as your network. Plus, once it’s stored and the drive is disconnected, it’s safe from any malicious attacks that affect your infrastructure.
  2. With on-site backups, speed is not limited by connectivity. Backing up all your data to an external hard drive usually takes a fraction of the time required by cloud storage.
  3. With a local backup solution, you know exactly where your data is, and you retain control over who can and cannot access your files.
  4. Restoring large amounts of data or full servers is much quicker and easier.
  5. One off payment for back up devices.
Disadvantages of local backup
  1. The investment in a local hardware backup system can be very expensive. In addition, the owner of that data will be responsible for all maintenance, upgrades and power consumption costs for those servers.
  2. You are limited to the storage space on hand. There is an investment to increase storage capacity.
  3. There is a potential for server and back up to be affected by catastrophe if the backed up data device is not removed from site.

Making informed decisions about how you back up your data

You have probably come to the decision that a mixture of back up is appropriate for your business. Now the decision is how.  There are many ways in which you can back your data up to the Cloud. Some methods carry risks, so choosing a cloud backup service must be taken carefully.

That is why we recommend Azure Backup. Using Azure Backup Agent means your data is securely backed up and protected in the Microsoft cloud.

Does your backup strategy need reviewing? If so, we are happy to answer any questions you have. You can call us on 01737 824 003 or email us.