The reseller's friend? Online storage dissected Part 3

IT services organisations have their eye on online storage as a way to save time and money for their small business customers. Part three of our online storage report explains why.

Small business owners often dislike IT intensely. Many perceive it as expensive, over-rated and ultimately disappointing.

For resellers serving the small business community, this makes it hard to convince their customers that investment in storage mismanagement hardware and software is worthwhile. Simple solutions prevail, and data integrity is seldom assured due to under-investment and scant attention being paid to the processes that protect data. The result? Failed attempts to restore data only re-enforce cynicism.

Online storage has the potential to rectify this situation in two ways, one of which is automation of backups. Online storage providers' software that incrementally backs up data every time a PC shuts down makes it far more likely that SMES will back up consistently, while the fact their data then goes into a (presumably) well-managed data centre means successful restoration of data becomes more likely.

The other way online storage can assist SMEs was introduced to during September's Storage Networking World Conference.

Several resellers who stopped at our booth expressed considerable enthusiasm at the prospect that online storage would let them manage their SME clients' data online, instead of having to visit their premises to restore files.

Doing so lowers' resellers costs and, they believe, improves their customers' experience.

That desire harmonises with Spheritec Managing Director David Glavonjic's beliefs about his own online storage product.

"You need to put restore capabilities back into the hands of the end user," he says. "Give the user total control."

"We are not saying we want no involvement. But the fewer points where end users want to get in touch with you, the better."

How many storage administrators of conventional equipment wish they could say the same?

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