The storage cloud is very appealing to small companies for several reasons. It’s easy to get started – simply install a piece of software on the user’s computer and you’re ready to go – and thanks to the practice of monthly billing payment is easy. But as a small company grows the economics change, making that direct-to-cloud storage option less attractive. So it makes sense for an SMB to explore other ways of getting into the cloud, like a network attached storage (NAS) appliance with cloud connectivity.
If the yearly cost of a cloud-based file sharing service is ~$500 per TB of capacity, then a company with 5 employees using cloud storage would be paying $2500 each year. That’s less than the cost of a good SMB NAS. But when that company grows to 10 cloud accounts, it’s more, and they pay that every year. The other thing about cloud services is you pay upfront for the capacity you don’t use and once you hit that mark the cost bumps to the next level. When an SMB grows even a little, the cloud can look much less appealing. But there’s more to consider.
What about backup? The company could buy a separate cloud backup service for each computer but that would obviously increase expenses. They could also use the cloud storage service for protecting data but file sharing services only protect the files that are shared and only for the people with cloud accounts. They also don’t capture the system state required when you need to recover more than just files. An SMB NAS, on the other hand, can back up all the desktops and laptops in the company at no extra cost. And, they can provide full system, or “bare metal” recovery, as well as restoring files.
The other thing about an SMB NAS is it can still connect with cloud-based services to augment local storage, file sharing and comprehensive backup. The cloud is an excellent solution for getting data off-site for DR purposes too. An SMB NAS that’s also an efficient cloud gateway can open the door to a host of cloud-based applications for office productivity, financial services as well as industry-specific applications.
The cloud is an attractive option for small companies, but how they get into the cloud it is an important decision, as is the impact of a cloud strategy as they grow. For many, an SMB NAS can be the right solution.
To learn watch the above video…
Western Digital is a client of Storage Switzerland