Public, private, or both: What’s the best platform for data backup and recovery?

Public, private, or both: What’s the best platform for data backup and recovery?

No matter your industry or company size, you can’t afford to lose data. Natural disasters, system failures, and cyberattacks can occur at any moment, and if you are caught off guard, they can be costly.

According to a 2017 Cost of Data Breach study, lost or stolen files tend to cost businesses an average of $141 per record. When you add the financial damages of operational downtime (around $5,600 per minute), it’s not difficult to figure out why businesses tend to close down after being hit by a disaster.

To survive, your firm needs a data backup and recovery solution. Today, there are plenty of cloud platforms for storage and disaster recovery, including public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. Before choosing one, however, you need to understand the differences between each platform and which is best suited for your business.

Public cloud

Public cloud storage enables companies to store large amounts of data on remote servers that can be accessed via the internet. Managed services providers offer these solutions as a pay-as-you-go subscription model, giving you access to on-demand storage.

An advantage of using public clouds is that the provider is responsible for managing and maintaining the infrastructure, power, cooling, and server space. As the customer, you don’t have to worry about these hardware costs, and you can focus solely on your data storage requirements. To recover your files, you simply need a stable internet connection to access your backups from any device.

However, because the public cloud provider is responsible for taking care of your data, there’s a certain level of risk you must be willing to accept. If the provider is hit with a cyberattack or system failure, there’s a chance your backups could be lost.

Also, public cloud providers store multiple users’ data in one server, meaning your company would be sharing cloud servers with another MSP client whose unsafe data practices can put yours in danger.

Given its security shortcomings, the public cloud environment is best suited for archiving large quantities of emails and non-sensitive data.

Private cloud

The biggest difference between private and public clouds is control. In a private cloud environment, you get a data center that’s built solely for your company that can be hosted either in-house or at an offsite facility. A dedicated cloud server means that data recovery times will be a lot faster than public clouds.

Additionally, you get a say in how your data is protected. You can defend your cloud servers with advanced firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, advanced encryption standards, and access policies that are customized per your security and compliance needs.

From a technical standpoint, private clouds are ideal for companies that manage sensitive medical, financial, or business information that require high availability.

Hybrid environment

Choosing between public and private cloud storage doesn’t have to be an either-or decision. Businesses that have unique data backup and recovery requirements can get the best of both cloud platforms with a hybrid IT environment. Public clouds give you affordable on-demand storage space, while private clouds give you the ability to secure your backups.

For example, you can store routine documents in the public cloud, secure personally identifiable information in a remote private cloud, and host mission-critical data on-premises for fast recovery times. This hybrid setup achieves two things: better flexibility and data redundancy. Should local backups get corrupted by natural disasters or human error, there will be a second set of backups that can be easily retrieved from the public or private cloud.

Assess your backup needs

Bear in mind that cloud storage platforms can vary for each company. If, for instance, your company is in a highly regulated industry like healthcare, we recommend opting for the private cloud option. And for documents with different levels of sensitivity or priority, hybrid is the way to go.

At the end of the day, the best approach to finding the right platform is to understand your data protection requirements, immediate disaster risks, and your recovery time objectives.

If you’re having trouble deciding on a data backup and recovery solution, talk to the the managed IT experts at We have years of experience with disaster recovery and we’re willing to help you in any way we can so that you are fully prepared for the worst.