From The Expert Feature Article
March 14, 2013

Data Losses Clobber Unprepared SMBs

“Oops.” That’s the nicest word IT uses when hit by a crashed computer and the loss of data.

A recent survey by SpiceWorks of 1,000 SMB shops shows the extent of the problem. The survey was sponsored by Carbonite, whose commercials have brought great consumer awareness of online backup.  

SMBs know they need disaster recovery and data protection planning, and have made it a priority. That doesn’t make it easy, or the backup and restoration 100 percent effective. In 45 percent of these shops, there has been a loss of data, with an average cost of $9,000 to try and get the data back.

In a little more than half of these cases, failing hardware was the culprit, so says the report, "Backing up SMBs."

"Data is the lifeblood of any business – big or small," remarked Deni Connor, founding analyst of Storage Strategies NOW. "The opportunity to provide small and mid-sized businesses with better and more cost-effective ways to protect and recover data is huge. While these companies may have smaller IT staffs, they collectively account for a significant portion of the total backup and recovery market."

SMBs spend an average of about $5,700 annually for backup and recovery, with 30 percent of those surveyed saying these efforts aren’t enough to truly protect their environments.

Even more troubling, some 42 percent say their disaster recovery plans are insufficient and nearly a third don’t trust that their data would be recoverable in the event of a disaster.

Despite the proliferation of cloud backup services, such as those from Carbonite, 60 percent of SMB shops rely on direct-attached storage. Less than a third today use hosted backup.

When looking at a cloud service, over three quarters of respondents are eying either a hybrid or private cloud approach. With a hybrid solution, the primary backup is on-premises, and a backup of that backup is held in the cloud.

This way, if disaster strikes the customer site, a full recoverable backup is safe in the cloud.

A pure private cloud, meanwhile, can be vulnerable if the building where it’s held is hit by a disaster. “While small and mid-sized businesses recognize the importance of having a data protection and recovery plan, many are using on-premise hardware that leaves them vulnerable to data loss from device failure, performing manual backups infrequently or on-premises problems that affect both the original copy and backups, such as power surges, natural disasters or theft,” noted Piyum Samaraweera, director of product management at Carbonite.

"Cloud backup solutions are an affordable alternative that are simple to manage, secure and reliable, and easily scalable as a business grows."

Edited by Braden Becker