Symantec Survey Says DR Planning and Testing Are Inadequate
October 29, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It’s a story you hear over and over again in the data center. Disaster recovery plans are only as good as the changes you make after you test the plan and see that it fails. According to a study performed by Symantec, which sells the Veritas stack of file systems and related tools used in clustered Unix, Windows, and Linux environments, IT departments have some work to do on their disaster recovery plans.
The Symantec study indicates that 91 percent of the IT organizations polled that have disaster recovery plans carry out full scenario testing of those plans, but when they run the test scenarios, the plans fail in some significant way about half the time. The Symantec study shows that 48 percent of the companies polled have had to implement their disaster recovery plans. Some 77 percent of CEOs apparently do not show up for DR planning committee meetings, either, which doesn’t help motivate organizations to take DR seriously.
Symantec did not present any disaster occurrence frequency for companies with DR plans, which is odd, but did say that 44 percent of the companies that said they had no DR plan have had a disaster hit them, 26 percent said they had it happen two or more times, and 11 percent said they were affected three or more times.
In terms of what drives IT managers to do DR planning, 69 percent said natural disasters were the primary reason, followed by computer virus and malware attack (57 percent of respondents), and war or terrorism (31 percent of respondents).
“IT executives are taking a fresh, hard look at their disaster recovery and business continuity strategies,” explains Sean Derrington, director of storage management product marketing at Symantec. “To protect against downtime, organizations must implement high availability and disaster recovery across their enterprise environments. They must also maintain procedures for non-disruptive disaster recovery testing that continually evaluate the effectiveness of their disaster recovery strategy without impacting the production environment.”