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Drobo Survey Reveals Small Businesses Slow to Adopt Public Cloud Storage in 2013

More Than Half of Respondents Choose Hybrid Storage With Auto-Tiering to Meet Requirements; Performance Remains a Key Challenge for Data Protection

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/05/12 -- Drobo, maker of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, today announced the results of a survey of 239 SMBs and departments in larger organizations about their current storage preferences and future expectations around protecting business data. The majority, 53 percent, chose hybrid storage with SSDs and auto-tiering to meet their primary business storage requirements. Forty-six percent of businesses revealed that they do not find public cloud storage a fit, with another 26 percent choosing to back up select data to the cloud in conjunction with an on-premises backup solution. The results indicate that SMBs are pursuing both onsite and offsite backup storage solutions.

Challenges for SMB

Limited bandwidth and quality of network between sites were the top challenges facing 38 percent of SMBs when setting up offsite backup and disaster recovery solutions. The budget for a second site and the network and infrastructure for that site were also top issues for 32 percent of SMBs surveyed. These findings indicate that the network infrastructure, budget and bandwidth for backup and disaster recovery are distinct business challenges for SMBs and need be addressed.

Storage Strategies

Some SMBs have already considered implementing new solutions for on-premises backup. Fifty-two percent of respondents revealed that for better onsite backup retention they would use SAN storage on a different box from their primary storage to save on budget. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they would use deduplication in their existing backup software to more effectively carry out their backup and further reduce cost.

Respondents also revealed that when it comes to data replication to increase business continuity, data replication would be most effectively placed within their software architecture: 64 percent preferred a software technology fueled by new virtual appliance and hypervisor-based offerings vs. 36 percent who felt storage-based replication was the best place for their architecture.

Infrastructure Considerations

The infrastructure size for each SMB respondent varied, but the top challenges and motivators were relatively consistent, indicating a preference for onsite backup with SAN storage and software-based replication to meet backup needs. Of the 239 SMB or department respondents, one third used 5 or fewer servers in their business infrastructure while 20 percent used 50 or more servers for their business. So it seems that infrastructure size is based more on business needs than the size of the company.

"The survey findings are consistent with what we hear from the hundreds of SMB customers we interact with on our live demos every week, seeking a storage solution that meets their virtualization and data protection requirements at the right cost," said vice president of marketing at Drobo, Mario Blandini. "The architecture for SMBs like larger enterprises includes on-premises and offsite storage, where hybrid storage with SSDs coupled with new data protection software technologies fit the cost points for future buying decisions."

Survey Methodology

The online survey was conducted between September 21 and November 9, 2012, and asked for the opinions of SMBs (75 percent had fewer than 250 employees) conducting business in the U.S.

Respondents represented the following demographic:

  • 54.4 percent employed by companies with fewer than 100 employees
  • 20.5 percent employed by companies with 100 to 250 employees
  • 12.2 percent employed by companies with 250 to 1,000 employees
  • 13 percent employed by companies with 1,000 or more employees

Titles ranged from IT Director to Systems Administrator.


About Drobo
Drobo makes award-winning data storage products that provide an unprecedented combination of sophisticated data protection and management features, affordable capacity, and ease of use. Based on the patented and proven BeyondRAID™ technology, Drobo's ability to deliver "Big Storage in a Small Box" creates the best storage experience ever for hundreds of thousands of SMBs and individual professionals worldwide, who use it to support their file backup and media archiving, server virtualization, and email application needs. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @drobo.

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