Difference Between Cloud Storage and Backup

Cloud storage and cloud backup have different definitions, but both still exist under cloud computing. Use them together to elevate your cloud data strategy.

Data storage and recovery has become increasingly important as individuals, businesses, and organizations have come to rely more heavily on computing for their everyday needs.  

The cloud allows you to access your files and documents remotely from many different devices, offering a powerful solution for those who require offsite storage and backup for their most important data. 

Managed storage solutions offer more capacity at a lower cost. They ensure added protection from vulnerabilities, attacks, and data loss. By storing data on external servers, the cloud acts as a backup to local storage. This approach means less infrastructure and a smaller IT footprint, which saves space for you and your business. 

Cloud storage and backup are complementary solutions to data storage. It’s important to take an integrated approach to cloud computing, and users should make sure to always have a cloud backup for their cloud storage. 

What’s the Difference between Cloud Storage and Backup?  

Cloud storage is used to save data and other important files in an offsite location that can be accessed either through the public internet or a dedicated private network connection. On the other hand, cloud backup is used to create redundancy by copying important information and storing it on a separate protected server.  

Cloud Storage 

Cloud Backup 

The primary goal is to make files easily accessible, easy to work with, and easy to share.  

The primary goal is to protect data and make files and data easily restorable.  

Primary stored data 

Secondary stored data 

File organization, sharing, and movement of information within the cloud must be done manually. 

Backup and associated maintenance are done automatically. 

Cloud backup can only store files and documents.  

Cloud backup can store files, documents, applications, and hidden or locked files. Plug-ins allow integrated tools to be backed up as well.  

Both cloud solutions offer a means for organizations and businesses to store their files and data offsite so it can be accessed when needed. 

Make Files Accessible vs. Make Data Restorable 

Cloud storage solutions are designed for accessibility while backup solutions are primarily intended for restoring lost or stolen data.  

Users of cloud storage will be accessing and managing files in real time. This use model means they’ll want tools for quickly viewing, editing, and downloading any information they might need to retrieve.  

Cloud backups, on the other hand, are primarily intended for optimizing disaster recovery planning and data retrieval. Many enterprise users will want more space and redundancies to ensure all their files will be protected.  

Cloud storage servers provide a more generous amount of bandwidth but will cost more for storage. Cloud services designed for backup might allow less daily traffic, and will usually limit the amount of data that can be accessed at a time, but will be easier for full restores of all information at once. 

Manual Primary Storage vs. Automatic Secondary Storage 

For individuals and businesses that use cloud storage, it’s often their primary way of accessing data. Cloud backups are generally used more sparingly.  

Cloud storage devices can be mounted on local drives or accessed through a web UI as though they are on a local computer. This interoperability gives users the ability to actively use the cloud as a replacement for their local disk. Users will generally access storage manually, adding and removing files as needed. 

Cloud backups are more often used for long-term storage solutions, with users accessing the information only in specific cases. This use model means that information will generally be uploaded in bulk at specific intervals. Cloud backups occur automatically and will copy all the information within a specific folder or directory. 

Limited in What Can Be Stored vs. Expansive 

Cloud storage devices are generally more limited in the types of files that can be uploaded while backups tend to be less particular. 

With cloud storage services, users are restricted to specific file sizes and types, making it more difficult to upload or recover some data. Smaller files and a more limited scope of what can be stored make it difficult to create redundancies for large-scale operations. 

In the case of cloud backups, there are fewer restrictions for users who need to back up large amounts of data. This modality allows individuals and businesses to protect even the largest files and documents without hassle. 

Cloud Storage vs. Cloud Backup vs. Cloud Sync 

When addressing the question of the difference between cloud storage and backup, another option for individuals and businesses that need to protect their important files and documents is cloud sync. Cloud sync offers users an automated way to get their data into the cloud by synchronizing set folders or file paths in real time. 

Cloud Storage 

Cloud Backup 

Cloud Sync 

The primary goal is to make files easily accessible, easy to work with, and easy to share.  

The primary goal is to protect data and make files and data easily restorable.  

The primary goal is to create synchronized folders between computers and cloud storage/backup services. 

Primary stored data 

Secondary stored data 

Copied/shared data 

File organization, sharing, and movement of information within the cloud must be done manually. 

Backup and associated maintenance are done automatically. 

Sharing of manually altered files between all synced devices is done automatically. 

There are limitations to what can be stored—only files and documents can be stored.  

Cloud backup can store files, documents, applications, and hidden or locked files. Plug-ins allow integrated tools to be backed up as well.  

Any files within a specific folder can be shared. Data loss can occur if one of the devices starts syncing corrupted files. 

Regular cloud sync is different from cloud storage and cloud backup because it’s a service rather than a solution. Cloud sync is a method for creating synced files between different user devices. Where the data is actually stored isn’t as important. 

How Do Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup Work Together?  

Storage and backup are best used together to optimize data storage for enterprise operations. While cloud storage can offer businesses an easy way to remotely access files and important documents, backups provide redundancy, ensuring that any work done through the cloud isn’t lost.  

Cloud storage and backup, when used together, will give you the flexibility to grow your business. The use of cloud storage for creating, editing, and sharing important projects and cloud backups for automated data protection saves time and energy for getting more important things done. 

Using Cloud Storage for Backup 

While it might be more limited, cloud storage can work as a simpler backup solution for those who only need a place for basic files and documents. Personal storage space on the cloud offers a fast, reliable way to back up and protect important information.  

Although using cloud storage for backups can be effective, the limitations may not be right for some projects. Users seeking the most robust solution for protecting their data should use both and create cloud backups for their cloud storage efforts.  

Lyve Cloud for Enterprise Backup Solutions 

So, what’s the difference between cloud storage and backup? Data storage has traditionally meant using complicated IT solutions that are slow and inefficient with siloed platforms that can be scattered across multiple cloud locations.  

Seagate Lyve Cloud is working to build a more comprehensive solution for enterprise users that works with their existing cloud infrastructure to remove barriers and drive growth. 

Lyve Cloud provides a secure and seamless experience for data storage, transfer, and migrations. Discover dynamic automated data capture solutions so you can effectively scale your company's cloud needs. 

Learn more about what Lyve Cloud can do to organize and protect vital data