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Backup/recovery is a good use case for cloud storage. The two important attributes for a reliable backup solution are:
- Backup files should be off-site.
- Backup should be as close to real time as possible.
Traditionally, folks would backup data on tapes and transport them periodically to a safe storage location. While this is a good solution for backing up huge data, it is cumbersome due to the logistics involved during backup, as well as storage.
In the case of cloud storage, data is offsite and can be backed up on any schedule. Backup and restore is simple. The main drawback is the bandwidth required for very large data sets.
Usually for extremely large data backup, companies ship the data on disks and the cloud storage provider transfers the data to the cloud storage. As Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon Cloud services observes, "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a FedEx box". Once this initial process is complete, ongoing backup is more efficient because only the changes to the dataset are backup up using the Internet.