Survey: Cloud Data Recovery Increasing, Testing Stalls
It’s unfortunate that this comes as little surprise, but according to the results of a survey conducted by Kroll Ontrack, only 33 percent of organizations test their data recovery plans regularly, even as more businesses look to the cloud and virtualized environments to build out their data recovery strategies.
Kroll Ontrack is a provider of data recovery, e-discovery and information management products. In its survey of 367 enterprises and service providers, it found that 49 percent of respondents admitted to experiencing some type of data loss in the last year. That’s not necessarily cloud data loss. In fact, the company broke down the data further and found that 45 percent of respondents said they had some sort of data loss from traditional storage devices. The good news is cloud and virtualized environments fared even better, with only 26 percent of organizations suffering data loss from virtual environments and 3 percent that lost data from the cloud. Sixteen percent admitted to losing data from both a virtual environment as well as from the cloud.
Whether that means virtual and cloud environments are really any better than traditional storage environments for data recovery is anybody’s guess. It’s still safe to say there are more traditional storage environments in place when compared to virtualized or cloud environments, but one of Kroll Ontrack’s takeaways from the survey results is that cloud is gaining ground in the data recovery world.
Abhik Mitra, data recovery product manager at Kroll Ontrack, noted 26 percent of respondents said they were leveraging IaaS, 16 percent were leveraging SaaS and 13 percent said they were using both.
“However, if there is anything that technology has taught us, it is that data loss can occur in any environment, regardless of the specific technology,” Mitra said in a prepared statement. “The key to minimizing a data loss risk and successfully recovering from a loss is asking the right questions prior to adopting a new storage medium and amending your policies and procedures accordingly.”
Some of those key questions to consider when incorporating cloud into a storage architecture include:
- Are backup systems and protocols in place? Do these systems and protocols meet your own in-house backup standards?
- Does your cloud vendor have a data recovery provider identified in its business continuity/disaster recovery plan?
- What are the service level agreements with regard to data recovery, liability for loss, remediation and business outcomes?
- Can you share data between cloud services? If you terminate a cloud relationship can you get your data back? If so, what format will it be in? How can you be sure all other copies are destroyed?
Unfortunately, there is still some lack of confidence when it comes to the ability of cloud providers to properly handle data loss incidents. When asked, 29 percent of respondents revealed a lack of confidence — an improvement over the 55 percent of respondents who indicated the same in the 2011 survey. There is still some work to do, though, to remove those concerns.
Perhaps a bigger problem is that only 17 percent of respondents said they test their data recovery plans regularly. More alarming is that 13 percent said they do not currently have a data recovery plan in place.
There’s an opportunity for channel partners to not only help customers develop data recovery plans, but also ensure the plans are being properly enacted and tested on a regular basis.