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What costs are associated with cloud backup services for SMBs? What are some examples of vendors?

Greg Schulz explains the costs behind cloud backup services and which cloud backup providers offer cloud services to SMBs in this expert response.

What costs are associated with cloud backup?
Costs for cloud-based backup services for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) vary depending on service levels, hidden fees and/or charges for special functionality and amount of data to be backed up among other factors. Fees for cloud-based backup services can be a flat rate per gigabyte or terabyte, and are backed up per month. Some fees also stem from additional costs for services added to all-inclusive packages.

But be sure to keep an eye out for what appears to be a service that offers a low monthly cost per gigabyte -- they might also have hidden fees for excessive bandwidth charges. Either that or they might put limits on the number of restores, copies or other capabilities. Also, look into what the fees are for a bulk restoration. Cloud backup services may also charge for shipping your data to you in the event of a disaster on magnetic tape, removable hard disks or other mediums; plus, they may charge you for the associated time to get the data to you. Also, take a look at what the service-level agreements (SLAs) are regarding data privacy (physical and logical including encryption), audit trail reports, protection, availability and accessibility and what remediation you have.

There are many vendors that sell hardware and software that can be used to build your own or supply to other cloud providers. But examples of cloud backup services that host a cloud service and your data backups include the following: Carbonite Inc., EMC Corp. Mozy, Hewlett Packard (HP) Co., IBM Corp., Iron Mountain Inc., Microsoft, Seagate i365, Terremark Worldwide and Wells Fargo Bank.

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