However, a recent survey conducted by storage provider Drobo suggests most small and mid-sized businesses aren’t quite ready to take the full leap into the cloud.
Drobo polled over 250 respondents from SMBs around the world. Here are a few stats which caught our eye:
-99% of respondents said they will not move all of their data storage to the cloud.
-The majority of the respondents pointed out that 75% or more of their storage will remain on-site.
-89% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the current plans offered by online storage companies. They cited a need for affordably priced plans which support server virtualization, Microsoft Exchange, and file backup.
-76% of respondents said on-site backup is a high priority.
We can pull two conclusions from these findings. First, the majority of SMBs definitely want better prices from online storage and backup providers. Second, they still prefer to have on-site backup, excluding or in addition to a backup that’s in the cloud.
Let’s consider pricing. Here are prices from three popular online backup companies to perform a 500 GB backup on a Windows server:
Server license ($6.95 per month) + Storage rate of $0.50/GB per month ($250 per month) = $256.95 per month
Business Premier plan for 500 GB (includes server license) =
$599 per year
Server license ($5 per month) + Storage rate of $0.15/GB per month; first 10 GB free ($73.50 per month) =
$78.50 per month
Carbonite offers the best price of the three. But with these monthly or annually recurring costs (for just half a terabyte of storage), it’s understandable why many SMBs prefer to make a one-time investment for high capacity, on-site backup storage. (Plug: check out the video at the end of the article, which features one of Drobo’s professional data storage products.)
Online backup services, though, are popular, especially with businesses that want easy to manage backup storage for desktop machines and laptops. And it’s particularly a godsend for companies whose team members work in different locations. For such businesses, the convenience of automated online backups is well worth the price.
Regarding our second conclusion from the Drobo survey, many SMBs are probably leery of trusting their business-critical data to cloud service providers in light of recent service failures (like Amazon EC2) and network security breaches (such as the hacking of Sony and Gmail).
Hopefully, as cloud service providers overcome these growing pains and become more stable and secure, these worries by SMBs should diminish.
And if service prices also begin dropping, a few years from now SMBs may not think twice about data storage in the cloud.
(Photo credit – Nasuni)