Pricey, Buggy Services Stymie Cloud Backup Market

Posted on March 29, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez

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Nearly 40 percent of companies are turning to clouds for primary or secondary backup, according to a survey of 600 companies -- 83 percent of which are categorized as SMBs -- commissioned by StorageCraft and Symform. It's an encouraging statistic that bodes well for the cloud storage market.

However, the news isn't as good on the customer service front.

The data shows that as cloud backup and disaster recovery adoption grows, a majority of customers are dissatisfied with the data safekeeping technology.  Two thirds of those surveyed, a staggering 66 percent, identified high costs as a sticking point.

Dodgy data restore processes and procedures also ranked as a top pain point for users. Only 15 percent of those surveyed reported being "very satisfied" with their cloud solution.

Cloud Backup Growing Pains

These statistics indicate that cloud storage providers are still struggling with lingering challenges, especially pertaining to disaster recovery for SMBs. In an InfoStor report last year, Jeff Byrne and Jeff Boles of the Taneja Group, identified a wide array of factors that put the brakes on cloud-based disaster recovery efforts.

They argue that "the promise of cloud-based [disaster recovery] DR has not yet been realized for many SMEs."  Byrne and Boles also note, "Early adopters have run into a wide variety of complications, including challenges around access, security, ease of use, recovery time and effort, and provider lock-in."

Failure to remedy these problems could end up hurting both SMBs and the growing cloud storage market, according to Symform's vice president of marketing, Margaret Dawson. "This research validates that small and medium businesses are turning to the cloud in increasing numbers to leverage the agility and ease of management; however, it's clear there is room for improvement around overall costs and data restore capabilities," she said in a statement.

Worse, these quirks are inhibiting SMB adoption, causing small businesses to rely on barebones backup strategies. "These challenges are why nearly 25 percent of the companies are doing only single-tier backup, which puts their business at a huge risk if they were to have a local data loss event," she added.

Of those respondents with disaster recovery procedures in place, 42 percent use physical media like tape, DVDs and USB drives, followed closely by cloud backup services at 39 percent. Offsite replication over a company network was used by 28 percent of those polled.

Also,according to the survey, a shocking number of businesses have no disaster recovery strategies to speak of. "Nearly 20 percent of respondents are doing nothing for secondary backup," said the report.

A healthy 35 percent of those surveyed said that they use cloud services for their primary backups. In terms of on-premise primary backups, network-attached storage was the top technology with 50 percent reporting that they employ NAS hardware. Forty-two percent use external hard drives. Only a miniscule 2 percent throw caution to the wind and use no primary backup solutions at all.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.


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