Despite been ‘burnt,’ companies still unprepared for disasters

  • Despite experiencing average of 34 instances of data loss and IT outages, disaster recovery testing not a priority
  • Many of those surveyed continue to rely on ineffective manual processes and tape backup systems

A SURVEY of 189 IT managers and executives in the United States found that 42% are still not adequately armed with modern disaster recovery solutions, even though they experienced at least one instance of data loss in the past year.
Many of those surveyed continue to rely on ineffective manual processes and tape backup systems. However, most respondents anticipate an ‘evolutionary move’ toward highly available, automated systems with data replication within the next 18 months.
The survey, based on an independent “Disaster Recovery Trends and Metrics” quick poll, was conducted by disk-based data protection company FalconStor Software Inc in partnership with IDG Research Services.
“In conducting this survey, we found it surprising that participating companies experienced an average of 34 instances of data loss and IT outages; even with this level of system failure, disaster recovery testing was not a priority for these businesses,” said Janet King, general manager and vice president at IDG Research Services.
“This poll illustrates why companies must remain vigilant on the topic of data protection by implementing automated solutions that eliminate unexpected losses.”
The survey also found that tape backup was the most pervasive data backup solution, with 23% of large enterprises, 48% of medium enterprises and 27% of small businesses relying on this technology, FalconStor said in a statement.
Additional survey findings include:

  • 65% of respondents reported using manual disaster recovery processes; however, 83% reported that they believe automated disaster recovery and data replication technologies will be more widely used in the next 18 months.
  • 72% of overall IT leaders stated that their disaster recovery plans are only tested an average of once a year, with 82% of large enterprises completing disaster recovery testing one or more times yearly as compared to 75% of medium enterprises and 63% of small businesses.
  • 42% of respondents said their organizations experience at least one data outage per year, with an average of 34 instances across enterprises of all sizes; of these companies, the majority of respondents stated that downtime in excess of four hours for any outage is unacceptable.
  • 53% of organizations responded that an outage of more than four hours is unacceptable, with the most common consequence being loss of productivity as reported by 67%, followed by 27% reporting harm to reputation, financial loss and loss of irreplaceable data.

Despite been ‘burnt,’ companies still unprepared for disastersDriven by decreased IT budgets and the conventional perception of disaster recovery as a manual, time-intensive process, IT has not quickly adopted new automated solutions, FalconStor said in its statement.
Data protection and disaster recovery technology is an insurance policy for today’s data centers, which must be able to operate 24/7 without IT downtime. In part, the delay in adopting these automated service-oriented recovery technologies lies in the education of the market and the executives who must approve these new systems, the company added.
“As demonstrated recently by Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the Northeast, businesses must have a plan in place to quickly restore both data and IT services to curb the cost of downtime,” said Ralph Wynn, senior product marketing manager at FalconStor.
“With the increased adoption of virtualization and the extraordinary amount of time required for tape backup, companies are turning to disk-based solutions,” he added.
The online poll conducted by IDG Research collected information from 189 IT leaders across all market segments that were using or planning to use disaster recovery and data protection technologies.
Thirty-two percent of these individuals worked at firms with more than 5,000 employees; 23% of these individuals had between 1,001 and 5,000 employees; 37% of these individuals had between 101 and 1,000 employees; and 8% had between 50 and 100 employees at the time of the survey.
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