Data Backup, Protection Posing Problems for Small Businesses

According to a Veeam Software report, 80 percent of SMBs are facing complexity-related challenges with their data protection.

Many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are experiencing significant issues with the cost, complexity and lack of capabilities of their data protection for virtual environments, according to backup, replication and virtualization management solutions specialist Veeam Software’s inaugural SMB Virtualization Data Protection Report, which surveyed 500 SMBs in the United States and Europe.

In particular, 85 percent of SMBs are experiencing cost-related challenges with backup and recovery, including high ongoing management costs (51 percent), expensive licensing models (48 percent) and backups either requiring or using too much storage (44 percent).

In addition, 83 percent reported capability-based challenges, including backups taking too long (40 percent), recovery taking too long (34 percent, suggesting that the majority are happy with 4 hours’ recovery time), difficulty recovering virtual servers (25 percent) and file- and application-level recovery being too difficult (22 percent).

"More and more, SMBs are being subjected to the same IT challenges and business pressures as large enterprises," Ratmir Timashev, president and CEO of Veeam, said in a statement. "As such, any disruption to their IT infrastructure can have severe consequences. This is why it’s particularly worrying that the vast majority of SMBs reported cost, complexity and capability challenges with backup and recovery. When you also consider that 1 in 6 recoveries simply don’t work, it’s clear that the issue of data protection is a ticking time bomb in the SMB community."

According to the report, 80 percent of SMBs are facing complexity-related challenges with their data protection, including backups needing ongoing management (52 percent), too many virtual servers to back up (35 percent) and backup tools being difficult to configure and use (32 percent). More than half (55 percent) of SMBs surveyed said they are planning to change their backup tool for virtual servers by 2014.

More than 1 in 6 (17 percent) recoveries of backed-up machines cause SMBs problems, increasing recovery times and the cost of downtime. This is not surprising considering only 8 percent are tested, while 41 percent of SMBs stated that downtime in the event of an IT failure costs $150,000 or more per hour--meaning that outages can cost these organizations $600,000 or more based on the recovery times given.

Recovery of individual files such as emails takes up to 12 hours, 8 minutes, which may be due to the fact that 62 percent of SMBs often have to recover more than needed to retrieve a single file or application item. Just more than two-thirds (67 percent) of SMBs’ backup tools use agents, which can add to complexity: 76 percent of those SMBs encounter problems such as difficulty managing agents, slow performance and both backup and recovery failing too often.

"Virtualization has been crucial in giving SMBs IT capabilities that can transform their business," Timashev said. "However, virtualization is capable of much more than simply increasing the scale of IT infrastructures. If SMBs can recognize and address the issues they face with data protection there are a whole host of more advanced techniques to take advantage of, thanks to the scalability and speed virtualization offers. For example, previously unattainable techniques such as replication are now within the reach of SMBs, allowing them to significantly reduce downtime and the associated costs in the event of a disaster."