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SMBs overwhelmed with data turn to cloud services

SMBs are expected to spend between $30B and $60B on data protection this year

October 12, 2010 11:10 AM ET

Computerworld - Millions of small- and medium-sized businesses are vastly underserved by suppliers of data protection hardware and services, even though the organizations have many of the same needs as large enterprises, a new research report revealed.

In its first report on the topic, research firm Storage Strategies NOW (SSG-NOW) said that SMBs are experiencing an explosion of data growth not dissimilar to the one larger business counterparts experienced years earlier.

The study, titled "Data Protection and Recovery in the Small and Mid-sized Business pointed to three key findings: There is a disconnect between the size of the business and the amount of data it needs to protect; SMBs are moving to cloud-based technologies because of a lack of IT resources; and an overwhelming majority of SMBs are moving away from tape to disk-based or cloud-based backup as their primary mode of data protection.

SSG-NOW said it obtained its information on the SMB market from a number of sources, including vendor questionnaires and interviews, SMB end-user and managed service provider interactions, and publicly available census and market data.

According to Deni Connor, principal analyst at SSG-NOW, SMBs consume a wide variety of data storage capacity, from 500GB at the low end to 100TB at the high end. In some instances, such as video, the data can grow into the petabyte range just in the production of a single movie, Connor said.

SSG-NOW's report outlines technology offerings from more than 50 leading hardware, software and hosted service vendors and includes detailed specification and pricing information. It also lists best practices for selecting, deploying and managing data protection solutions and includes real-world use case scenarios, Connors said.

"There are approximately 5.75 million SMB organizations in the United States alone, each with a unique set of challenges and requirements that must be met to protect the viability of companies," Connors said.

SMBs in the U.S. are expected to spend from $30 billion to $60 billion on data protection technologies, such as backup arrays, tape libraries and online cloud services this year alone, she said.

Connors said the small business segments that often have the largest amounts of data include energy exploration and extraction, engineering, health care practices, law firms and motion picture/video production, "to name a few."

Lucas Mearian covers storage; disaster recovery and business continuity; financial services infrastructure; health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter Twitter@lucasmearian, send e-mail at lmearian@computerworld.com or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed Mearian RSS.

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