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server backup decision onsite vs offsite

Server Backup Decision Point: On-premise vs. Off-site vs. Cloud

by Zetta Staff

Backup is undergoing a massive transformation right now. Companies want to move away from tape backup and traditional server backup software because of the complexity of dealing with them on daily basis and the small costs that quickly add up.
Of course, massive transformation isn’t easy, and at the moment it’s very hard to navigate through the many backup solutions, approaches and vendors saying seemingly the same thing about features, benefits and advantages. While there are many elements to selecting the right backup solution, comparing on-premise backups vs. offsite backups vs. cloud is the first step.

What is on-premise backup?

Historically, all data has been backed up locally to a tape, disk or other media. It’s an important component of a backup strategy. However, backing up all data locally can be very expensive due to the huge amount of a disk space it can take up. Also, any local backup copy is vulnerable to getting destroyed during a disaster or hardware failure. To address these concerns, as well as for compliance with regulations in industries that require an offsite copy of data, many organizations choose to add off-site backup.

See how Zetta protects servers in the cloud.

Cloud Server Backup

Off-site backup.

Traditionally off-site backups are tapes, disks, USBs or other removable media that have been picked up and driven to a secure location, usually by a vendor. The full process includes using backup and recovery software to backup data locally and on tapes and an off-siting service to move the media to another location. An alternative off-site backup strategy is to build another datacenter or location for replicating data. This can be in a remote office or a leased co-location datacenter. Finally, there is the cloud-option.


The latest technologies, generally referred to as “cloud backup” can simplify both on-premise and off-site backups, while reducing the costs and increasing the reliability. These technologies allow you to have a combination of local and off-site backups in one solution. Typically, these solutions keep large files, like databases and system state file backups on-site. This enables a quick recovery of the latest version of these files and reduces downtime. All other files and data types are sent to the vendor’s remote cloud datacenters.

For those of you who are wary about migrating to a cloud backup solution because it’s hard to trust your business data to a solution built on consumer-grade cloud infrastructure, that makes sense. The big consumer cloud backup services have all had well publicized issues with security, downtime, and recovery performance.

So, to benefit from best practices in server backup and recovery while saving costs and time spent managing backups – requires an appliance-less enterprise-grade hybrid cloud backup solution. This type of next-generation cloud backup, like Zetta Disaster Recovery, would deliver significant advantages, like the most optimal combination of local and off-site backup to ensure speed, reliability, quick recovery, compliance and cost reduction.

Zetta Staff
Zetta Staff

Zetta’s pioneering cloud backup and recovery technology provides the surest path from data disasters to business as usual.