Cloud or Hardware? The Battle of the Back Ups

Did you know that 58% percent of small businesses aren't prepared for data loss? That is over half and the stats just get worse. It is estimated that out of those businesses that have a data loss, 60% will actually shut their business down in less than 6 months. As a Managed Service Provider for almost 20 years, we have seen our share of business owners that come to us when it is too late. It's critical for small businesses to start backing up their data and come up with a disaster recovery plan.

Backup options come in two main forms, hardware and The Cloud.

It's time to take a look at the difference between hardware backup and cloud backup solutions, this way you are educated and can choose the right option for your business.

Hardware Backup


  • Security: Hardware backups are more secure. Remote hackers can not access them because they are kept offline.

  • Cost: Hardware backups involve the purchase of LTO equipment or hard drives, which are fixed one-time costs. On the other hand, cloud backups are ongoing monthly costs. The downside is that the upfront cost is often higher.

  • Network: No internet is required for Hardware backups, therefore they do not consume bandwidth. When backing up large files (e.g. video)., they are also commonly faster.


  • Complexity: Hardware backups must be set up and configured properly or they will not be effective.

  • Upfront cost: There is a a higher upfront cost. The payback period for the investment could be months or years. Hardware may also need to be replaced over time.

  • Security: Hardware backups require dedicated security measures against both theft and destruction. If an office building burns down, you could lose all of the data forever and have no way to recover the data

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup services have become common simply due to ease of use and affordability. Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other tech giants maintain large server farms that leverage economies of scale to safely store the data for thousands or millions of individuals and businesses. This is a good option but our recommendation to our clients is to use a hardware backup with Cloud storage capabilities. This two pronged approach assures that nothing gets missed or lost.


A little about the author. Applied Integration is a Managed IT Service Provider that works with companies to add to or supplement their IT Departments. Operating in Salt Lake City servicing companies in Utah and nationwide for over 20 years, they specialize in IT Solutions, computer support, IT Management and software support including Microsoft 365, Windows 10 and Spruce POS systems.

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