According to a 2013 poll conducted by Harris Interactive, only 30% of computer users claim to have never backed up their data.
Here are a few significant numbers explaining why it’s important to speed up and optimize cloud backup.
The other 70%, mostly driven by the fear of critical data loss, have tried, at least once in their lives, to backup data.
Of course, the numbers have improved since then, as individuals and businesses increasingly realize that data disasters could potentially ruin their lives.
A report released by the Aberdeen group suggests that 70% of companies that suffer a disaster, go out of business within a year.
Additionally, only 6% manage to recover and survive the long haul.
And that number, according to Quorum, only covers natural disasters, which make up 5% of the overall disasters that affect enterprises.
The remaining failures emanate from:
Hardware failure — 55%
Human error — 18%
Software failure — 22%
With that in mind, a significant number of businesses have turned to the cloud as a secondary data backup solution.
Although the cloud has many benefits, including:
We know it’s not all rosy, especially when it comes to speed.
It’s way faster to copy a couple of files to and from a backup disk, than the cloud, even when you have a stable internet connection.
While speed and optimization greatly depend on a particular cloud service provider, individual users also play a role in determining their overall download and upload speeds.
As the former progressively continue developing the cloud space, to boost efficiency, optimal performance is only achievable with additional efforts from the latter.
So, what can you do to speed up and optimize your cloud backup software?
What You’ll Need to Speed Up and Optimize Cloud Backups
Stable internet connection
Good cloud backup service provider
A cloud capable device such as a computer or smartphone
Computer cleaning software
Step 1: Clean Your Device
It’s no secret that redundant files significantly affect the overall performance of a computer — especially on Windows.
Deleting unnecessary files reclaims critical disk space, while helping a device run and manage its applications, faster and smoother.
While many users know about the importance of cleaning out junk files, only a few are aware that they also affect the efficiency of cloud backups.
Cleaning your computer of junk files boosts not only software performance but also the general handling of cloud applications, including uploads and downloads.
Plus, it eliminates redundant data, which would have otherwise gotten uploaded to the cloud.
Now, of course, anyone can scroll on their computer or phone, identifying and subsequently deleting unwanted files.
However, they get harder to weed out when you realize redundant temporary system files are among them.
So, how do you get rid of hidden junk files? Usually, I use CCleaner because it’s free and efficient.
On my iPhone, I rely on PhoneClean.
To clean your computer, launch the application and click “analyze” to check the number of redundant system files populating the PC.
Click “Run Cleaner” to get rid of all unnecessary files, and your computer should now be free of unnecessary system files.
Step 2: Prioritize Important Files First
Regardless of your cloud backup provider of choice, overall system performance depends on the number and size of files you’re updating.
Usually, immediately after registration and installation, your backup service will start backing up all the data on a PC.
And this initial process can take days, weeks, or months; depending on the size of your internal HDD and internet connection speed.
As a CrashPlan user, I configured it to backup my Local Disk D first, before choosing other directories (after the initial backup was complete).
By systematically prioritizing files, I was able to backup my most critical data first, before uploading executable files, and unrecognizable file types — which I could afford to lose.
Step 3: Disable Default Sleep Settings
A computer’s sleep functionality is very efficient in reducing power usage and limiting the processor’s load when it’s idle.
Unfortunately, since it kills a bulk of ongoing processes, data backup cannot proceed when the computer is at rest.
So, to speed things up, it’s advisable to disable default sleep settings for the duration of a large file backup.
That allows your backup client to run uninterrupted and complete its job smoothly and effectually.
For a Windows user, go to Start> Control Panel> Hardware and Sound> Power Options.
If you’re a Carbonite User, choose the Carbonite Backup plan, which is an automatic option that comes during the installation process.
Go to “Change Plan Settings”, to configure the computer’s sleeping schedule.
At the “Put Computer To Sleep” option, scroll and choose “Never” for both On-battery and Plugged-In instances.
For users who aren’t using Carbonite, just alter the settings on your PC’s current power plan.
Step 4: Manage System Resources
Some system resources reserved for a cloud backup client, go a long way in determining the backup process’s overall performance.
Usually, the more you reserve, the better it’ll perform.
Resource allocation, however, should be adequately balanced to serve all computer processes running at a particular time.
Therefore, it’s advisable to strategically allocate maximum CPU power to a cloud client, only when you’re not using the computer.
To do this on CrashPlan, click on the “Settings” tab, then “General”.
Increase the amount of CPU power, your client can use, especially if you’re away.
The ideal amount of CPU processing power to give big data backups and restorations — should be around 90-95%.
If that negatively interferes with the overall performance, you can always go back to the settings and tone it down a bit.
Click “Save” to lock-in the configuration.
Step 5: Configure Frequency
A majority of cloud backup clients assume that your work is so valuable, they prioritize backing up the most recently changed files, as soon as possible.
On CrashPlan, for instance, the default rate is backing up new data after every quarter of an hour.
With that timing, you’re promised timely data protection, and the possibility of easily reverting to previous file versions, with every change you make.
But, here’s the catch — frequent updates translate to higher system CPU usage.
The fewer time allowances between updates, equals more workload on your computer.
To limit that workload, you should extend the default backup frequency time.
To do so on CrashPlan, for example:
Go to Settings> Backup> Frequency and versions> Configure.
Extend the New version interval to a longer period, like 8 or so hours.
Step 6: Configure Network
Internet connectivity, as you may already know, is the prime factor to consider when it comes to cloud speed and efficiency.
Usually, it’s widely perceived that fast internet wins you proportionally faster cloud performance.
While that’s true to some level, performance will remain constant if your internet speed exceeds the cloud service’s shared bandwidth limit — though we do have a guide on how to speed up your internet connection if you need it.
The best cloud backup providers strategically expand their data centers, to increase bandwidth capacity, and subsequently deliver good upload and download speeds.
While reviewing your service provider’s infrastructural strategy, it’s important to note that you can also maximize cloud transfer rates, to optimize on speed and overall efficiency.
Remember, while LAN is for data transfers through a local area network, WAN transfers data via the internet.
You can edit both of them, and configure optimal speeds according to your internet connection and computer performance.
By now, I assume that you’ve already noticed I’ve only outlined general settings that apply to most cloud backup services. If you need an optimization guide particular to your service, it’s advisable to look for additional settings you can tweak, since they differ from one service to another.
You can also visit your provider’s Help, FAQ, and knowledge-base pages to learn more. So, go ahead and let us know, in the comments section below, about how you like speeding up cloud backups.