What is Backup as a Service?
Backup as a Service
Backup as a Service

What is Backup as a Service? (BaaS) Definition + FAQs

September 5, 2023

What is Backup as a Service? (BaaS)

Backup as a Service (BaaS) is a managed cloud storage solution that keeps your company's data secure and accessible. HYCU is a backup as a service provider that manages the end to end data backup process — including data storage, automated backup scheduling, and data recovery using its cloud infrastructure and resources.

With Backup as a Service, organizations are able to simplify their approach to hybrid cloud data protection. This guide will explain how IT leaders can protect their hybrid cloud infrastructure with a secure, scalable, cloud-native backup and recovery solution.

How does Backup as a Service work?

Backup as a Service is a cloud solution that provides data backup and recovery services — BaaS providers can manage and automate the backup, storage, and recovery of an organization's data.

Here's how the backup process typically works:

  • Data Selection: Organizations are able to customize their online backups according to the data they want to back up. Examples would be things like files, folders, databases, applications, and even entire server systems.
  • Initialization Backup: The initial backup, also known as a full backup — is where the initial data transfer to the BaaS provider's cloud infrastructure takes place.
  • Incremental Backups: After the initial backup, BaaS providers perform subsequent backups as needed. These are known as incremental backups, which is the data that has changed or been added since the last backup copies have been stored in the cloud.
  • Automated Scheduling: Backup schedules can be configured to run automatically at specific intervals, such as daily, weekly, or hourly — it really all depends on the organization’s data optimization strategy.  
  • Data Encryption: Data is typically encrypted during transmission and storage to ensure its security. BaaS providers use encryption protocols to protect data both in transit (during backup) and at rest (while stored in the cloud).
  • Monitoring and Visibility: BaaS solutions include management consoles or dashboards that allow administrators to monitor the status of their backups, review logs, and configure backup settings.
  • Data Recovery: In the event of data loss, corruption, or accidental deletion — administrators can initiate the data recovery process.
  • Set Your Retention Policies: BaaS providers typically offer options for defining data retention policies. Organizations can specify how long backups should be kept in the cloud before they are automatically deleted or archived.
  • Redundancy and High Availability: BaaS providers can implement redundancy and high availability measures to ensure data reliability. An example would be storing data in multiple geographic locations to guard against data center failures.

💡 Related: 10 Best Backup as a Service (BaaS) Providers & Solutions

What are the benefits of Backup as a Service?

Backup services are crucial for protection against accidental data deletion or ransomware attacks which could expose your organization to data loss and other types of reputation damage.

The right Backup as a Service provider makes all the difference in the world. Here are some of the benefits that result from partnering with HYCU on your backup and recovery needs:

  • Data security: BaaS provides comprehensive data security for all uploaded files and software. BaaS includes data encryption that protects uploaded and existing files. BaaS also creates copies of your files, ensuring access to your data even if the original gets lost. Many providers also offer managed security services for an extra security layer. These solutions prevent unauthorized users from accessing your data and alert you of suspicious activity on your account.
  • Storage abundance: Businesses quickly accumulate large volumes of data, from financial records to employee information and everything in between. BaaS providers like HYCU offer unlimited storage. You can use as much space as you need and only pay for that amount. BaaS grows alongside your data library, meaning you never have to deal with hidden fees or storage limits. With more secure data storage, you can optimize your business processes without worrying about data loss.
  • Unified backup and recovery: The most valuable aspect of BaaS is its recovery services. Once you upload your data, the service constantly backs up files with copies and data encryption. Even in the case of lost data, BaaS' recovery services can retrieve and restore it to the cloud.
  • Cost savings: BaaS solutions are the most cost-effective means of keeping your data safe. Building your own solution would require capital expenditure and hiring specialized employees. Between the hardware, server maintenance and IT labor needed to run a regular data backup service, costs add up quickly. BaaS is generally less expensive, with stable subscription costs. It's also automated, meaning you don't have to pay handling fees. Not to mention, backup solutions are a worthwhile investment, since data breaches cost companies millions. Your investment in backup services outweighs the cost of data loss.
  • Customizable and scalable: Backup as a Service can scale up or down effortlessly to match your company’s data storage requirements. All it takes to change your plan is a phone call. Your BaaS solution can grow along with your business.
  • Personalized support: When problems arise, you’ll have assistance available on request. Your provider’s customer service agents are only an email away. They will help you deal with any issues that arise in your data storage.
  • All-in-one solution: Backup as a Service can take care of all your data storage and recovery needs. It eliminates data silos and the need to manage your cloud storage in-house. The simplicity of BaaS saves you from the headache of managing numerous data backups with multiple providers and ensuring they all serve your needs.
  • Easier to manage: BaaS is often easier to manage than a typical on site solution. You don't have to physically transfer data, but instead can easily upload data to the service provider. Unlike traditional data protection options that require in-house hardware or a designated IT department, BaaS allows you to connect to managed cloud services. Your managed service provider regularly backs up your valuable data to a secure online repository.

What are the main types of backups?

  • Full backup: This comprehensive service backs up all data and content on your devices. You receive it when you first begin with backup as a service solution.
  • Incremental backup: These backups only copy the updated data since the last complete backup.
  • Differential backup: A differential backup backs up the data that has changed from the previous backup.

What are the key use cases and service offerings of BaaS?

HYCU has developed innovations such as R-Cloud, the world’s first data protection development platform. R-Cloud is designed for SaaS companies to offer backup and recovery services to their users.

No matter your use case, HYCU can help implement it for your business:

  • Ransomware protection: Ransomware attacks are becoming ubiquitous. In February 2023, there were 240 attacks, an increase of 45% from the record high the previous month. In the event of a ransomware attack, your data is safe and the backup can quickly restore your data. You won’t have to worry about making a ransomware payment because your company will not be required to meet the demands of a rogue hacker.
  • Backup and recovery: Your data will be safely stored in the cloud, limiting the need for in-house data bandwidth. Whether a hard drive dies or an employee accidentally deletes critical files, you’ll be able to get your data back in no time.
  • Disaster recovery: No matter what happens on the ground, your data will be securely stored in the cloud. In the event of a disaster, your system will seamlessly fail over to your cloud infrastructure. When catastrophe strikes, you can focus on your people and leave the data to your provider's disaster recovery services.
  • Data migration and mobility: When you switch to a new system, your data will effortlessly follow. Restore your backups anywhere, anytime. When one of your computers is replaced, your data will only be a click away.
  • Security and compliance: Store your data with peace of mind knowing that you’re in compliance with regulations. Security and privacy are key aspects of your BaaS plan. Your data will be safely stored in a cloud data center, and only those specifically approved will have access to your data.
  • SaaS protection: SaaS providers can protect their customers' data and reduce downtime by partnering with a BaaS provider. Their on-demand services can then maintain business continuity even if their own servers are down.

💡 Related: Top 14 SaaS Backup Solutions & Tools for SaaS Data Protection

What capabilities to look for in a BaaS provider?

  • Automated backups: One of the best aspects of BaaS is its automated capabilities. Instead of having to manually transfer data or backup files, BaaS performs these tasks automatically. Data from local drives and servers move automatically into the cloud-based storage component.
  • Data migration: Backup as a service can also assist with data transfers. Companies often need to move data into storage, data warehouses or other cloud applications. The data migration process needs a well-executed plan, or it could lead to data corruption or loss. BaaS helps you securely move data to separate locations. After the transfer, BaaS begins an immediate backup. BaaS enables companies to migrate their data with peace of mind.
  • Disaster recovery: With the insurgence of ransomware and other cyberattacks, it's essential to have a disaster recovery plan. BaaS can help you retrieve data more quickly. For instance, if an attacker targeted your company and you lost crucial files as a result, BaaS could assist you with your restoration process. The quickened recovery process allows your company to get back on track more quickly.
  • Hybrid cloud mobility: Cloud mobility enables transfers between public and private cloud services. It lets you access files from different applications more easily and allows you to seamlessly move data between servers. BaaS provides immutable cloud storage, meaning you can confidently transfer data to the cloud while it remains highly secure.
  • Business continuity: With BaaS, businesses can protect all of their data and bring business back to life following unpredictable disruptions. It is also worth noting that companies can access their apps and data on the cloud in the event of trouble that renders on-premises resources inaccessible.
  • Data protection: Without proper protection, your data remains susceptible to potential loss and corruption. A correctly implemented BaaS strategy preserves your data integrity and provides usable copies of lost or corrupted data. It also supports air-gapped copies for protection against malware.
  • Backup of Critical SaaS dataJira, Okta, Google Workspace and Salesforce offer their own built-in backup offerings, but they come with plenty of shortcomings. The shared responsibility model is a reminder that companies are responsible for safeguarding their own data. With an automated BaaS solution, organizations can secure their SaaS app data with long-term retention.

💡 Related: SaaS Backup Explained: How To Choose a SaaS Backup Provider

Backup as a Service Pricing Model and Costs

The pricing for backup services depends on a number of factors.

  • Which cloud services are you using for backup?
  • How much data do you need to store?
  • Which backup frequency do you want?
  • What extra features and customized plans do you require?

Consider the Damage of Data Loss

When businesses start considering BaaS, one of their first questions is about cost. While BaaS expenses vary depending on your service provider, it's often effective to think about the cost of not backing up your data instead. You can view backup as a service as a worthwhile investment against malicious attacks, and how the investment of protecting your data far outweighs potential data breaches and other types of critical data loss.

If your company has no backup software, you could lose all your data to cyberattacks or other accidents. Retrieving lost data without a backup solution could cause extended periods of downtime and lost revenue. In the event of a disaster, routine business procedures might be unable to continue.

Without BaaS, you could face expenses due to situations like these.

  • Ransomware fees: In the worst-case scenario of a ransomware attack, attackers could force you to pay exorbitant ransom fees. Cyber attackers often demand millions of dollars for lost data. If your business cannot pay the demands, you could lose all your company data. Or, if you pay the attacker, you sacrifice valuable revenue. BaaS helps prevent emerging cyber threats by securely locking data. In the event of a breach, backup as a service allows you to retrieve files quickly, with minimal downtime.
  • Human errors: All businesses employ a wide range of employees with varying technological capabilities. Natural human error happens all the time, whether from a lack of training, misunderstood instructions or hardware malfunctions. These mistakes can be costly. If an employee accidentally loses data and you have no backup in place, you might never manage to retrieve it. With BaaS, you could have backed up the data and still accessed it, even after a similar mistake.
  • Hardware failures: Hardware failures are also common instances for companies. If you house critical data on these units and they crash, you might not recover the stored information. Purchasing new hardware can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Using backup as a service gives you a secondary plan in case of failure and saves you potential expenses.
  • Data corruption: Data corruption refers to any changes that occur to data during storage or processing. Corrupted files might become unusable or inaccessible to business officials. Whether data corruption results from human error, software failure or other reasons, it can be challenging to retrieve the lost data. With backup as a service, you would still have access to the original file format and not have to pay retrieval fees.

How Does HYCU Help with Data Protection?

HYCU is a data protection and backup solution designed to help organizations safeguard their data and ensure data availability. It provides several features and benefits to assist with data protection:

  1. Efficient Backup and Recovery: HYCU offers efficient backup and recovery capabilities, allowing organizations to create backups of their data and applications quickly and easily. This ensures that critical data can be restored promptly in case of data loss or system failures.
  2. Application-Aware Backups: HYCU is designed to be application-aware, which means it understands the specific requirements and dependencies of various applications. This enables it to create consistent and reliable backups of applications like virtual machines, databases, and cloud-based services.
  3. Automated Backup Policies: HYCU allows organizations to define automated backup policies based on their specific needs. This means you can schedule regular backups without manual intervention, ensuring data protection is a continuous process.
  4. Cloud Integration: HYCU supports cloud integration, making it suitable for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. It can back up and restore data from on-premises infrastructure as well as public cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  5. Incremental Backups: HYCU employs incremental backup techniques, which means it only backs up data that has changed since the last backup. This reduces the amount of data transferred and storage space required, improving efficiency.
  6. Data Deduplication and Compression: The solution often includes data deduplication and compression technologies, which further reduce storage requirements. This not only saves storage costs but also enhances backup and recovery performance.
  7. Disaster Recovery Planning: HYCU can assist with disaster recovery planning by providing tools and features to replicate data to secondary locations or cloud environments. This ensures that data remains accessible even in the event of a site-wide disaster.
  8. Monitoring and Reporting: HYCU typically offers monitoring and reporting capabilities, allowing administrators to keep an eye on the health and performance of their backup and recovery processes. This helps in identifying issues and optimizing data protection strategies.
  9. Ransomware Protection: Some versions of HYCU may include features to help protect against ransomware attacks. This can include the ability to quickly recover data to a point in time before the attack occurred.
  10. Scalability: HYCU is designed to scale with the needs of the organization. As data grows, the solution can adapt to accommodate larger volumes of data and more complex backup and recovery requirements.

The Value of HYCU is Unmatched

Discover how HYCU’s Backup as a Service helps solve common cloud backup and recovery headaches while delivering immediate value to your organization, including:

  • Unified backup and recovery: Backup, migrate, and failover your cloud and on-premises workloads from a single user interface anyone can use. ‍
  • Resiliency on autopilot: Take advantage of automated application discovery to ensure everything in your agile IT environment is protected in the moment. ‍
  • Ransomware ready: Protect your entire IT environment with air-gapped and immutable backups to cost-efficient cloud storage and take recovery time down from days to minutes. ‍
  • Built for the cloud: Say goodbye to frustrating sizing exercises with a solution that dynamically scales alongside your evolving environments. ‍

HYCU Protégé: Make The Right Choice

  • HYCU is the only BaaS provider whose platform works seamlessly across your business’ multi-cloud or hybrid environment, delivering flexible, protected and surprisingly simple data backups.
  • During the onboarding process with HYCU, you’ll choose a backup policy and retention policy for your organization. Backup policies are the instructions for how (and how often) your data will be backed up to the cloud.
  • You'll also decide where your data is hosted. Confidential data will be privately hosted, and the rest will be publicly hosted for easy accessibility by your team.

Backup as a Service: FAQs

Do organizations really need Backup as a Service?

The problem is that legacy backup and recovery solutions haven’t kept pace with modern hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Relying on native cloud platform capabilities, like snapshots, can quickly become costly and unmanageable. Using a Backup as a Service solution will resolve these issues by automating the data backup process while reducing risk of accidental data deletion and other types of costly mistakes.

💡 Related: Top 8 Small Business Backup Solutions (Cloud & On-Premises)

How often should a data backup be performed?

Data backup can be performed at any interval you specify in your backup strategy. The backup will happen automatically every time the specified amount of time has passed since the last backup. Your interval between backups should be short in order to limit potential data loss. The longer you go without backing up your data, the more data you stand to lose if something goes wrong with your on-premises hardware.

Determining the amount of time for your company depends on your Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RPO is the maximum amount of time your company can tolerate data loss. If your RPO is set to 24 hours, then you will lose no more than 24 hours of data in the case of a disaster.

💡 Related: Data Risk Mitigation: How To Keep Your Organization’s Data Safe

What is the difference between a full backup and a differential backup?

A full backup and a differential backup have one major difference:

  • A full backup backs up all of the files on your system, regardless of what backups you already have in place. It’s more thorough but time-consuming than a differential backup.
  • A differential backup only backs up the files and folders that have changed since your last full backup. This shortens the amount of time spent backing up data, as well as the amount of time it takes to restore your data.

What is hybrid cloud backup?

Hybrid cloud backup is an optimized form of managed cloud storage. It offers a combination of public and private cloud infrastructure. It enables non-sensitive data to be backed up to a public server for easy accessibility while, at the same time, confidential files are stored using a private cloud server to maximize security.

You’ll be able to choose which data is stored publicly and which requires the extra security of a private cloud server. Having both options enables your backups to function efficiently and allows for quick retrieval of your commonly used documents.

💡 Related: Hybrid Cloud Security Best Practices

What's the difference between public cloud vs. private cloud vs. hybrid backup?

Cloud backup solutions offer three main options for backing up your data:

  1. Public cloud backup: Public cloud backup covers commercially available backup options that are publicly accessible from anywhere in the world. These include solutions such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. With these backups, accessibility is increased, but it offers less data security.
  2. Private cloud backup: Private cloud backup is a BaaS solution that limits access to those on your network. It is only accessible by your company, and the servers are only used for your backups. This improves security at the cost of accessibility.
  3. Hybrid backup: Hybrid cloud backup is the combination of the first two options. With a hybrid solution, information that is not sensitive can be hosted on a public server so your employees have easy access to needed documents. At the same time, your confidential documents and data are hosted privately to maximize data security.

How do BaaS providers back up on-premises applications and data to the cloud?

Backing up your on-premises applications and data takes some time initially, but this can be managed seamlessly by your provider. Your BaaS provider will connect your on-premises applications and data to the appropriate cloud storage servers. The data is then uploaded to the cloud and stored on secure servers.

Once you’ve signed up, you decide your "backup policy," which is the frequency and type of backup that will be performed for your data. You can choose a predefined policy of 6, 12, or 24 hours or create your own customized backup policy that suits your company. Once your policy is in place, your data will be backed up within the specified timeframe. During the backup process, your data will be seamlessly and automatically uploaded to the cloud.

💡 Related: BigQuery Backup: How To Protect Your Data in Google Cloud

How does a backup solution prevent enterprise data loss?

A robust Backup as a Service solution will prevent almost all enterprise data loss. Your data will be securely stored in the cloud. No matter what happens to the on-premises hardware and software you’re using, your cloud backup will offer a restore point to recover any data you lose.

When disaster strikes, your data can be recovered immediately. With minimal effort, you can restore your backup to your servers. You won’t lose any data because it is stored safely in the cloud and not dependent on your local hard drive storage.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that can lock or harm your files. Then, criminals will hold your data hostage until you agree to pay a “ransom” for its release.

Ransomware attackers use many tactics to access your data, from phishing emails with fraudulent links to stealing login information.

Fortunately, solutions like backup as a service can help prevent lost data from cyberattacks commonly deployed by hackers. No one knows if or when an attacker could strike, so it's crucial to have a backup plan for your data.

BaaS secures your data with encryption and immutable backups. In an attack, BaaS shortens recovery time. You can access your files and begin the restoration process more quickly. Many BaaS service providers can also assist you during a cyberattack, guiding you through the necessary next steps.

So, while ransomware threats are still pressing, solutions like BaaS can protect you from the full extent of the damage.

💡 Related: How To Protect Against Ransomware Threats

How does a BaaS solution help protect against ransomware attacks?

With ransomware attacks, a criminal organization tries to extort your company using malware. They can lock up all your data and refuse to give you the encryption key until payment is made. That’s the “ransom” they are seeking. Even if you give in to their demands and pay the ransom, you may not get your data back.

They don’t hold all the cards if you invest in a robust BaaS solution. With BaaS, your data can be restored quickly, and critical infrastructure will be returned to your network. You won’t even need to consider paying the ransom. Your company will be back up and running without ever paying a dime to the attackers.

How does a backup service provider help with disaster recovery?

In the event of a disaster, your data will be reliably recovered from the cloud. Your on-premise systems will quickly failover to your cloud backup storage.

"Failover" protects your business from an interruption in the event of data loss due to a disaster. Failover means that when your on-site systems fail, our off-site backup system will seamlessly take over to fill in the gaps.

What is the 3-2-1-1 data backup strategy?

The 3-2-1-1 backup plan ensures the safety and redundancy of important data by creating multiple copies of your data and storing them in different locations to protect against data loss due to various types of failures, such as hardware failures, data corruption, or disasters. Here's what each number in the 3-2-1-1 backup plan represents:

  • 3 Copies of Your Data: You should maintain at least three separate copies of your data. This means you have your original data plus two additional copies. The multiple copies provide redundancy in case one copy becomes inaccessible or gets corrupted.
  • 2 Different Storage Media: Store your copies on at least two different types of storage media or devices. For example, you can have one copy on your computer's hard drive and another on an external hard drive or network-attached storage (NAS).
  • 1 Off-Site Backup: Keep at least one of the copies in an off-site location, away from your primary location. This is crucial because it protects your data from disasters that could affect your primary location, such as fires, floods, or theft. Common off-site backup solutions include cloud storage services or physically storing a backup drive at a different physical location.
  • 1 Version in a Different Format: The additional "1" in the 3-2-1-1 plan emphasizes the importance of having one of the backup copies in a different format or file type. This can help protect against issues like file corruption or software-related problems that might affect all copies of your data if they are in the same format.

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