Cloud Backup Definition & Meaning

Cloud backup refers to the practice of copying a file or database to a cloud-based server so it can be restored as part of a disaster recovery plan. Cloud backup may also be referred to as online backup or online data storage. The alternative to a cloud backup is an in-house backup, which requires expensive hardware investments and time-consuming maintenance but offers more control.

Enterprise-grade cloud backup solutions typically offer essential features like archiving and disaster recovery. Archival tools make it possible for an organization to retain backup data that no longer needs to be synchronized with current versions but could be needed for compliance with legal requirements in the future. The remote nature of a cloud backup also ensures critical data remains safe if the enterprise’s local data is jeopardized by a disaster such as a fire, flood, malware attack, or employee theft.

Pros and cons of cloud backup

Advantages of cloud backup include:

  • No need for hardware investment or maintenance
  • Flexibility to add or remove capacity as needed
  • Data is accessible from any location with an Internet connection
  • Easier to automate backup at more frequent intervals

Disadvantages of cloud backup include:

  • Requires an Internet connection
  • Full recoveries are more cumbersome than small recoveries
  • Less visibility/physical control over backup data
  • Reliant on third party service’s security

What is the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup?

Although they are very closely related, cloud storage and cloud backup serve different purposes. Cloud storage provides virtual capacity to save and access files, similar to a physical storage device like a hard disk drive or solid state drive. Cloud backup, on the other hand, is a duplicate of the data that can be restored if something disastrous happens. To open a file then edit and save it, a user would access the cloud storage platform—not the cloud backup. A cloud backup is only modified when it needs to reflect the most recent changes in a storage device.

Top 5 questions related to cloud backup

  1. What is cloud computing?
  2. What is online backup?
  3. What is remote backup?
  4. What is online data storage?
  5. What is enterprise cloud backup?

More cloud computing articles from Webopedia

  1. Cloud Computing Dictionary: 42 Cloud Terms Defined
  2. Open Source Small Business Cloud Computing Applications
  3. Slideshow: Cloud Computing Security Challenges
  4. Cloud Computing White Papers and Resources for Small Businesses



Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

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