More companies are turning to the cloud for data storage and backup, according to new research from cloud storage and backup service provider Symform. According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of respondents currently use a cloud-based solution for either primary or secondary backup.
However, two-thirds of respondents ranked the costs of cloud storage or backup systems as a problem for them, and only 15 percent of those surveyed expressed that they were very satisfied with their current solution or procedure for data backup, according to the study. Challenges around data restore issues also topped the list of concerns.
Network-attached storage (NAS) 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 making a strong showing with 35 percent of the vote.
In the Symform study, only 2 percent of respondents reported doing nothing for data backup, which is significantly lower than a recent IDC study, as well as other analyst research, reporting 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. Amid this wave of data growth, the report said it was not surprising that 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, its 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 secondary backup, also called backup disaster recovery (BDR), which is a recommended best practice. Among those doing secondary backup, physical hardware rotation (tapes, USBs, DVDs, etc.) ranked first, at 42 percent; followed by cloud (online) backup services, at 39 percent; and replication to a secondary location over company network, at 28 percent.
The survey also found that more than 30 percent of respondents show dissatisfaction with their current solution or procedure for data backup. Satisfaction rates varied by industry, with IT service providers and business consultants showing the greatest level of satisfaction, while companies in the health care and advertising/marketing industries reporting the highest levels of dissatisfaction. The report noted these are also industries that report high data volumes as well as security or compliance issues.
The February 2012 report, co-sponsored by StorageCraft, was based on a survey of nearly 600 companies across a wide range of industries, with 83 percent representing organizations with 1,000 employees or lessthe small and midsize business (SMB) segment. Some 200 respondents represented IT service providers or consultants, which serve as a critical channel to the SMB market. The survey queried respondents about current data volumes, data growth expected, current data backup practices and challenges surrounding data backup.