Recently I’ve been exploring my options around backup solutions for my personal data and I came across a number of services that were aimed at personal, SME and large enterprise sized clients. It dawned on me that the personal SME focused services were easily accessible, consumable and purchasable on a monthly basis.

There was nothing new to report here apart from the discovery of one recommendation that was no longer trading. This got me thinking about how people should go into contracts with pay per month services with open eyes and be transparent about any risks with the business, in the same way you would for a project.

Compute power, storage, network, operating systems and software paid for on a monthly basis have completely changed the way we think about deploying and running applications but we must all do our home work when it comes to service level agreements, contracts and suppliers business continuity plans. If one can’t be provided we must make our own, but this will result in added project costs.

If we focus on backups for the moment – interest in backing up to the ‘cloud’ (public or private) is growing and for good reason. The hardware, software and operational side of backups is costly and with budgets in the spotlight, being able to present per GB costs for your backup solution makes the subject of storage everyone’s business. A long term contract with a service level agreement and business continuity plan could be priceless when it comes to needing to call on your cloud backup service for a real life restore.