The good thing about incremental forever backups to the Cloud is that backup times are reduced significantly and recovery is granular. The biggest challenge for incremental forever backups to the Cloud is the seeding process. It can take days or weeks to complete, and only at the end of the process does the user understand the efficiency of the backup data optimization technologies on his data, the time that backups will take, and the true cost of the Cloud backup.
Having seeded the backup to one Cloud provider, the process is so onerous that organizations and individuals are very reluctant to change unless they absolutely have too. For a start, the change over is likely to leave data unprotected for some period of time.
Implementing Cloud backup requires an understanding of your data prior to the initial seed to eliminate data that shouldn’t be backed up. This can be done with a combination of tools and manual processes or with automated technologies. A key integration challenge is to accurately estimate compression rates and ultimately the amount of data that will be pushed to the Cloud
Action Item: The key activity to monitor in a Cloud backup project is the initial understanding of the data and what should and should not be backed up. Organizations need to understand and define retention rules and policies, define tiers of storage, understand the cost of storing data on different tiers, test the compression and de-duplication rates for their specific data and understand the implication this is going to have on elapsed time for seeding and in the cost of ongoing backup services.