Cloud-based data storage is a more popular option than ever for companies. But many are unhappy with the associated costs. The good news for IT vendors specializing in cloud-based data storage: more companies than ever are turning to a cloud solution for their primary or secondary backup. The bad news: the costs associated with that cloud backup make them very, very unhappy. Those are the results of a survey sponsored by cloud-services firms StorageCraft and Symform, which queried nearly 600 companies about their storage habits. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reported the costs associated with cloud or backup systems was a “problem,” according to a March 29 research note released by Symform. The majority of those surveyed companies were SMBs (small- to midsize businesses) of 1,000 employees or less. Only 15 percent reported some level of satisfaction with their current data-backup habits. Some 50 percent of businesses deployed Network Attach Storage (NAS) devices as their primary data backup, followed by external hard drives with 42 percent, and cloud backup with 35 percent. Around 2 percent did nothing to back up their data, which will only compound their problems in the event of a worldwide zombie apocalypse. But 20 percent of companies also neglect a secondary backup or some form of backup disaster recovery (BDR). Of those who opted for a secondary backup, 42 percent chose a physical hardware rotation such as USBs or tapes, while another 39 percent went with a cloud-based service. Another 28 percent had decided to replicate their data over a company network to a secondary location. “This research validates that small and medium businesses are turning to the cloud in increasing numbers to leverage the agility and ease of management,” Margaret Dawson, vice president of marketing and product management at Symform, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “However, it’s clear there is room for improvement around overall costs and data restore capabilities.” Those cost challenges, she added, are why nearly a quarter of surveyed companies chose only a single-tier backup, “which puts their business at a huge risk if they were to have a local data loss event.” If the cost of cloud-based storage declines, however, will some of those businesses prove less reluctant to take the plunge? Already, some of the bigger names in cloud storage have begun to reduce their prices. Google recently lowered the prices for its Cloud Storage, which lets developers use the search engine giant’s servers as a data repository, following Amazon’s rate cuts for its own cloud infrastructure. Rumor has it that Google will also soon launch Google Drive, a storage locker (and Dropbox challenger) for individuals and SMBs in need of a few extra gigabytes. Image: Ronen/