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Why More SMBs are turning to Cloud-Based Data Backup



How lax are small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) when it comes to data backup? According to a study by AVG Technologies, owners and managers spend more time straightening up their desks or ordering business cards than they do on backing up data. Although 30 percent believe more than half of their data is sensitive, one in four don’t even require a weekly backup.


Another study found that 53 percent of organizations don’t conduct daily backups. Approximately one-third of administrators feel this is not an efficient use of their time. These are the people organizations rely upon to protect their data.


Finally, a large percentage of SMBs don’t implement a data backup and disaster recovery plan until after disaster strikes, according to the 2013 State of Cloud Backup study from Itronis. That’s like buying homeowners insurance after your house burns to the ground.

The biggest challenge faced by SMBs is limited IT personnel. Many IT solutions are designed for large enterprises that have plenty of IT resources, and data backup is no exception. SMBs need a data backup solution that is easy to deploy and manage, and makes it simple to restore data and applications. Fortunately, much of the data backup technology built for the enterprise has been simplified for SMBs.

There are four general data backup options available:

  • Disk: Backing up data to disk allows for more frequent backups and fast access to data when primary disks are inaccessible. Today’s disk-based backup solutions offer high capacity at a relatively low cost.
  • Network-attached storage (NAS) appliances: NAS devices centralize disk storage on local area networks (LANs) through an Ethernet connection.
  • Cloud: Cloud-based backup is a popular option for SMBs because it allows them to take advantage of a service provider’s IT staff, enterprise-class backup technology and virtually unlimited storage capacity. New cloud backup offerings have helped to alleviate previous concerns about speed and security.
  • Hybrid: A hybrid approach uses a combination of these backup options. For example, mission-critical data may be backed up on disk while archival data is backed up in the cloud.

Cloud-based backup offers a number of advantages over onsite backup options. Deploying a cloud-based backup solution is typically very simple and requires minimal upfront cost. Instead of continually purchasing additional hardware and software and worrying about under- or over-provisioning, you can expand or contract storage requirements as needed. Also, a service provider generally has more redundancy and better security and support than SMBs.

The beauty of the cloud is that it can be used for more than data backup. Cloud-based data archival allows you to move rarely accessed data offsite. Primary storage, which has traditionally been kept in a local storage system, can be moved to the cloud and accessed whenever needed. A cloud service provider can also host a secondary storage environment that stores replicas of primary data. SMBs that want to share data without investing in file servers should explore cloud-based secondary storage.

When choosing a cloud-based backup solution, you first need to find out about security and accessibility. Your service provider should also be able to provide high performance without bandwidth restrictions. Make sure the provider you choose understands and adheres to regulatory requirements, and look for a scalable, flexible solution capable of growing with your business.

ICG offers cloud-based backup as well as traditional backup and recovery solutions. Let us help you develop a backup strategy and platform that makes sense for your business.