Cloud Storage & Backup – The Best Way To Go For SMEs

Cloud Storage

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TechsPlace | Enterprise productivity requires smoother flow of data. This means, easier and faster accessibility for parallel instead of sequential work flow. It is also very important for enterprises that this data is always available and rarely, if ever, lost. These are the two basic requirements of an enterprise, regardless of scale. These requirements are addressed by using data storage and backup solutions. It can be enterprise cloud storage, on-premises storage, on-premises backup or cloud based backup.

Basically, there are a lot of options for enterprises when it comes to effective data storage and backup.

In the remainder of this article, I explain why I think Small to mid-sized Enterprises (SMEs) should acquire cloud storage and backup instead of getting local storage and backup appliances.

Why should SMEs use Cloud Storage and Backup?

Why get Cloud storage and avoid Storage appliances?

Consider an SME work environment, data needs to flow within a department and then from one department to the other. If tape storage like USBs or External hard drives are used, then there are a number of risks involved. There’s the risk of getting data corrupted or having malware transferred from one device to the other or if the storage device is lost or malfunctioned, that basically means data loss. Using such solutions is simply not practical for an enterprise.

This is not the complete list of limitations either. Here’s another one for your consideration. If you are using tape storage, then you’re restricted to your workstation. If you need to access your data, you have to bring it along with you; you can either use a laptop or tape storage to do so. That’s tedious, also risky and costly and still not efficient enough. Instead, you can simply use a cloud storage solution.

Using a cloud storage solution resolves all your accessibility concerns. You are not restricted to a single device, location or time anymore. All you need are the right credentials and access to the internet. Comparatively, the cost of cloud storage is a lot less than tape storage solutions; not to mention, you can expand them with a single click within moments. This is exactly why I strongly recommend cloud storage solutions to enterprises in general and SMEs in particular.

Why get Cloud backup and skip past backup appliances?

The other thing in my recommendation list is the acquisition of an online backup service. Why is that?

I’m not typically against backup appliances, how good they are depends on the vendor, but I’m not going to discuss that. From an SMEs perspective, they are pretty expensive to acquire, setup and then maintain; bear in mind, maintenance is a dynamic cost.

You also have to consider, hardware failure in a backup appliance means data loss and disruption. Again, this depends on the appliance and the vendor but this is a risk nevertheless.

Instead of getting an expensive backup appliance which doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of data loss, SMEs should get cloud backups instead. The payment model of the backup cloud depends on the service provider but most service providers support pay as you go methods. Without upfront payments, you can have a reliable location to keep your backups. With services like Veeam direct restore to Microsoft Azure you can setup a reliable way of recovering your data.

If you choose to integrate a software-defined solution (SDS) in this mix, then you can have automation to support your processes. This is great for SMEs because it means they need fewer resources to manage their data flow. They don’t need appliance specialists or a team of IT professionals. A smaller number of IT staff can effectively manage this entire setup quite nicely.

I also highly recommend SMEs to setup an effective disaster recovery service as part of their data protection but why SMEs need a backup and disaster recovery plan is a different discussion entirely.

Another benefit of setting up a cloud based storage and backup is that it’s easier to integrate disaster recovery services with it as compared to a solution comprising of local storage and backup infrastructure.

I’d like to mention one more basic benefit of cloud centric solutions before concluding this article. Enterprises transitioned to the cloud globally because of its ability to scale up without disruption and with ease. That’s the biggest benefit for SMEs. They don’t have to invest upfront for storage and backup and it can be scaled out as required.