Online storage services are emerging as a clear alternative to in-house SAN and NAS construction, even as issues of security and reliability still dog the industry.
A recent report in Processor laid out the pros of online storage pretty clearly: low cost, automatic remote backup and recovery, and faster scalability than internal solutions. And security concerns are being addressed by the latest encryption offers.
In fact, the article claims one of the biggest challenges in online storage is selecting the right service provider: one that offers full backup on a regular basis and is geared toward the size and system architecture of your enterprise.
Online storage is likely to become the preferred method for many small businesses, according to itbusiness.ca. While it's true that storage hardware and software costs are dropping, when you add the total cost of backup, archival, recovery and other admin-related tasks, many small firms are looking to outsource. Again, scrutinize potential service providers very carefully to ensure they have the capacity, connectivity, and resources to suit your needs.
A good place to start evaluating providers is this article on Small Biz Resource. It pitted five of the leading vendors against each other to see who had the best chops. We won't spoil their fun by revealing the results here, except to say that expensive doesn't mean better and "theoretically unlimited storage" isn't necessarily something to sneer at.
One thing to keep in mind is that while the folks at itbusiness.ca surveyed Berkeley Data Systems' Mozy service for the piece, the company recently launched a new service aimed at business customers. MozyPro offers things like a multitenant administrative console that simplifies central management and near-continuous data protection to provide back-up services without overloading your own network resources.
While it's tempting to treat online vs. internal storage as an all-or-nothing prospect, the truth is that most organizations are likely to adopt a mixed bag. As an adjunct to network storage, online services certainly have a lot to offer.