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More Companies Using Cloud Storage and Backup, says Symform

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Cloud storage and backup service providers StorageCraft and Symform announced on Thursday they have released a new study that shows that more companies are turning to the cloud for data storage and backup.

The research supports the notion that there is a huge opportunity in selling cloud storage solutions to companies, and should only encourage more hosting providers to offer this service as a value-add.

The February study surveyed nearly 600 companies across a wide range of industries about current data volumes, data growth expected, current data backup practices, and challenges surrounding data backup.

Nearly 40 percent of respondents currently use a cloud-based solution for either primary or secondary backup, while two-thirds ranked costs of cloud or backup systems as a problem for them, and only 15 percent said they were very satisfied with their current solution or procedure for data backup.

Network Attach Storage devices ranked highest for primary data backup, which is typically centralized on-premise data storage, with nearly 50 percent currently using NAS devices.

This was followed by external hard drives at 42 percent and cloud backup at 35 percent. Only 2 percent of respondents reported doing nothing for data backup, which is significantly lower than a recent IDC study which reported that 15 percent of companies do no data backup.

While best practices and cloud usage show a positive trend with this audience, many companies are still experiencing significant challenges with data backup.

First, the companies are forecasting continued growth in their data volumes, with the majority expecting 10 to 40 percent growth and some expecting their data volumes to increase by more than 100 percent in the next 12 months.

The greatest challenges across companies of all sizes were around backup failures, restore times, cost of cloud solutions, and the overall cost of backup systems and procedures.

“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,” said Margaret Dawson, vice president of marketing and product management at Symform. “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.”

Nearly 20 percent of respondents are doing nothing for backup disaster recovery, 42 percent are using physical hardware rotation, and 39 percent are using cloud backup services. Finally, 28 percent are using replication to a secondary location over company network.

The survey also found that more than 30 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with their current solution or procedure for data backup.

Satisfaction rates vary by industry, with IT service providers and business consultants showing the greatest level of satisfaction, while companies in the healthcare and advertising/marketing industries reporting the highest levels of dissatisfaction.

Several backup providers have launched cloud storage platforms in the past few weeks, including Gladinet, Basho, and SoftLayer.

Talk Back: Do you currently offer a cloud storage and backup solution? After taking into account this new research, are you reconsidering? Let us know.

About the Author

Justin Lee has been a staff analyst with theWHIR since 2004. He writes about a range of web hosting and IT-related issues facing the industry on the WHIR website, as well the print version of the WHIR magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Justin_theWHIR.

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