A poll of 500 SMEs in Europe and the US shows that 85% are experiencing cost-related challenges with backup and recovery, 83% with lack of capabilities and 80% with complexity.
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Other problems include high ongoing management costs (51%), expensive licensing models (48%) and backups either requiring or using too much storage (44%).
This means there is a maximum of 15% of SMEs that currently have no issues with data protection, said backup, replication and virtualisation management firm Veeam Software, which commissioned the survey.
Recovery of individual files such as emails, takes up to 12 hours according to the firm’s SME Virtualisation Data Protection Report.
This may be because 62% of SMEs often have to recover more than needed to retrieve a single file or application item, the report said.
The study showed that 67% of SMEs’ backup tools use agents. This can add complexity, the report said, with 76% of those SMEs encountering problems such as difficulty managing agents, slow performance and both backup and recovery failing too often.
Some 63% of SMEs believe their backup and recovery tools will become less effective as the amount of data and servers in their organisation grows.
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While 41% of SMEs stated that downtime in the event of an IT failure costs $150,000 or more an hour. This means that outages can cost $600,000 or more based on the recovery times given, the report said.
Around 17% of recoveries of backed-up machines cause SMEs problems, increasing recovery times and the cost of downtime, with only 8% of respondents saying they conducted regular tests.
The study found that an average of 33% of an SMEs’ virtual infrastructure is not backed-up and 55% of SMEs are planning to change their backup tool for virtual servers by 2014.
“More and more SMEs are being subjected to the same IT challenges and business pressures as large enterprises,” said Ratmir Timashev, president and CEO of Veeam.
“As such, any disruption to their IT infrastructure can have severe consequences. This is why it’s particularly worrying that the vast majority of SMEs reported cost, complexity and capability challenges with backup and recovery,” he said.
Considering that one in six recoveries simply do not work, Timashev said it was clear that the issue of data protection is “a ticking timebomb” in the SME community.