Companies Take a Step Back in DR Readiness, Symantec Report Finds
November 30, 2010 Alex Woodie
It shouldn’t be surprising that virtual and cloud environments are more difficult to protect from a disaster than your standard un-virtualized, on-premise application. After all, there is an extra layer of technology separating you from your critical data, and that complicates the disaster recovery (DR) initiative. But what is surprising, and just a little disturbing, is a recent report from Symantec that found that companies are doing a worse job at protecting this kind of data than they were last year.
The most telling piece of data from Symantec’s self-titled “Symantec 2010 Disaster Recovery Study” may be this: that 60 percent of virtualized servers are not included in their current DR plans. By comparison, when Symantec asked the same question a year earlier, the answers indicated that 45 percent of virtualized servers weren’t part of the DR plan. In terms of numbers, that’s a 33 percent increase in lack of DR readiness, and that’s not a good sign.
Considering that the use of virtual servers is increasing faster than the overall server market Symantec’s finding shows that organizations are letting their DR readiness slip at a significant rate. Symantec’s survey found that between one-quarter and one-third of applications resided in a virtual environment, so a large chunk of an organization’s total data is not part of the overall DR plan.
As the developer of the NetBackup and BackupExec products that are widely used in the wild X64 world, Symantec profits when fear of disasters, and uncertainty over their consequences, are high; all vendors in the DR and high availability (HA) markets do. Nonetheless, there is little chance that Symantec is strumming up the fear drum as a profiteer. For starters, the study, conducted in October, covered 1,700 respondents from 18 countries around the world. It was done scientifically, and carried a margin of error of 2.4 percent.
Symantec’s study also found that 82 percent of respondent’s backups occurred weekly or less frequently. Symantec recommends customers back up daily, although this may be overkill for certain types of data.
On the topic of data replication and high availability, Symantec sounded a bit surprised to find that “only” 20 percent of respondents were using this type of data and system protection. In the IBM i world, the number is likely less than that. Readers interested in how DR and HA stacks up in the IBM i world will want to read about Vision Solutions‘ latest State of Resilience report, which the company is due to unveil next month.