SMBs Hedge Their Bets on Cloud Storage

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Cloud computing provides many advantages with which it is difficult to argue and, to a great extent, SMBs are listening. However, these businesses, which often lack the IT and telecommunications expertise of enterprises, are not ready to move to the cloud for all their storage needs.

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How IT Can Save SMBs Big Money

If there is an evergreen discussion theme at conferences or other gatherings of IT managers and executives, it's on ways of reducing costs while upping productivity.

In-Stat research released this week suggests that network-attached storage (NAS), an on-premise approach, is not fading. Indeed, according to the firm, it is a growing complement to cloud-based schemes:

... over seven in ten small and medium-size businesses that use cloud-based storage solutions also use networked-attached storage (NAS). While SMB NAS represents a smaller portion of the total NAS market, SMB NAS is expected to grow at a much faster rate over the forecast period with revenues reaching $2 billion in 2015 ...

While In-Stat approached the SMB/cloud/on-premise question by inference - suggesting that on-premise NAS is growing - Drobo takes it on directly in a survey that also was released this week.

The firm's research found that the idea of the cloud as the panacea for all of SMB's storage needs was resoundingly rejected. Ninety-nine percent of respondents said that they will not move all of their storage to the cloud, and a majority - a precise number is not given in the press release - will keep 75 percent of their storage on premise. Drobo said that it received more than 250 responses to the survey from North America, Europe and the Middle East. InformationWeek provides input on both the In-Stat and Drobo findings.

Intel just recently introduced the Intel AppUp Small Business Service, which it says enables SMBs to access a hybrid cloud-based and on-premise platform. StorageCraft is among many companies that will supply applications to AppUp Small Business. Earlier this month, KineticD, a Toronto-based provider of backup, recovery and data access services, said that it has extended its channel partner program for its cloud-based service. The company says that the service has more than 1,000 channel partners served at about 40,000 SMBs worldwide.

It is easy to see all the advantages of cloud storage for SMBs. Like all cloud services, it offloads non-core tasks from smaller and highly stressed IT staffs, changes capex to opex and tends to accelerate technology upgrades. And, indeed, SMBs are taking advantage of vendor offerings. At the same time, however, they are opting for a mixed environment in which not all of their data is stored elsewhere.