There are many service providers with cloud backup technology choices for customers. Unfortunately, most of these solutions do not get the customer adoption that is needed to challenge an old adversary which plagues most customers, total application recovery, time to restore, and time to functionality.
The concept of backup has evolved over the years, but essentially, it is traditionally thought to be the process of getting data from server X to location Y. Location Y can be any type of destination whether local or remote. In here lies the problem why backups have never been a technology that has ever been consistent, It is much more than that. Unfortunately most cloud based backup technologies still approach backup using this one fundamental flaw.
To understand why Azure's backup options are so different yet so effective from consumers to enterprise, you have to understand the consistency in the way Microsoft data protection technologies work.
4 fundamental basics laws of data protection are:
Understanding your data or application, the most important starting point in a successful cloud based data protection strategy is actually not technology focused. It is having an intimate understanding of what is being protected. Modern applications are complex with many moving parts, a protection strategy needs to understand all of these essentially moving pieces so that the data protection process will cater for all of these.
Whether you are using DPM for on premise or Azure, Microsoft options allow for protection of files, folders, virtual machines, grouping of virtual machines, entire applications, different operating systems, different hypervisors, including the ability to snapshot an entire Azure blob storage. Rich versatile commonality for customers across both the hybrid and cloud boundaries.
Understanding the dependencies, or a lack of understanding these dependencies, is often what creates unexpected results when it comes time to restore data. A typical application may have network, compute, storage requirements and other miscellaneous relationships, the ability to restore both the environment required by the application and its associated configuration is imperative. Microsoft backup technologies make restoring complex applications as simple as single action steps without needing to be concerned with the dependencies.
Understanding the recovery end state, the expected result for any data protection strategy is not the restoration of data but the seamless restored functionality of the application to end users. It is therefore critical to understand how the chosen backup solution will deliver this end state. Microsoft backup technologies are one of the only solutions that can provide restore-to-state capabilities in almost any environemnt.
No application reconfiguration or operating system reconfiguration is required across the hybrid boundary with using Azure or DPM.
Understanding the intelligence of your backup technologies, Finally, the best cloud based backup technologies will almost always cater for both a cloud scenario or a hybrid scenario. This simply means that the technology can efficiently protect sources in both a cloud tenant with all of the dependencies above or resources contained within an on premise environment and its associated dependencies.
Azure Backup with DPM, Azure Storsimple and Azure Site Recovery is always WAN aware. Using throttling capabilities built into its recovery provider software, it can be throttled to operate within slow network environments. It also has the high compression and data deduplication capability to only send the most efficient changes from the source to the destination and never send redundant data. These algorithms must support data encryption at the source, at send and at rest again. All of these features are consistent across, DPM, Azure Backup and the Azure Storsimple technologies.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a backup technology, is the ability to perform cloud snapshots on changed data. Highly efficient processes to capture source application with dependencies, transmit changed data, store all data and then finally restore the application with all dependencies, this is what a cloud based backup system should deliver.
No vendor has such a rich and consistent data compacting, data compression and data movement from a customers site to its cloud storage vaults than Microsoft with Azure.