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Survey Finds Disconnect Between Server Backup, Disaster Recovery Expectations

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Jul 24, 2003


If the population sampled in Waltham, Mass.-based AmeriVault's latest survey is representative, enterprises may be in for a shock should they need to implement their disaster recovery plans.

A survey of backup and recovery practices found that enterprises' disaster recovery precautions and their disaster recovery expectations don't jibe.

A recent survey conducted by the online data backup services vendor found that although enterprises often leave their server backup tapes on-site, should disaster strike, they anticipate being up and running quicker than they would have been a year ago.

Conducted online, the survey examined the backup and recovery practices of 119 enterprises within a variety of industries, including banking, computer services, education, financial services, and healthcare. Of the enterprises represented in the survey, 62 percent had annual revenue greater than $2 million, with the most enterprises (38 percent) citing revenue in the $2 million to $25 million range.

Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents, 57.6 percent, back up their servers to tape. One-quarter of respondents rely on an online solution, and 2.5 percent don't back up their servers at all. Post-tape-backup procedures were split evenly among a courier service picking up the tapes, the tapes remaining on-site, and an employee bringing the tapes home.

If a disaster were to occur, more than 76 percent of these enterprises are expected to have their servers completely up and running again within 24 hours, and 38.5 percent and are expected to have the servers back within five hours.

While these findings may seem at odds from the start, AmeriVault finds the disconnect most evident in the following results:

  • More than 45 percent of enterprises surveyed retain their backup tapes on-site.
  • Following a disaster, more than 30 percent of enterprises surveyed are expected to be up and running more quickly than they were a year ago.
  • Only 50 percent of respondents believe they can meet their recovery time objective with the current backup and recovery technologies.

Bud Stoddard, president & CEO of AmeriVault, was not surprised with the results. "These survey results reveal what we have known for a long time -- that there is a huge disconnect between existing enterprise backup and recovery practices and management expectations."

"Common natural disasters are a leading cause of data loss, and leaving backup tapes on-site leaves not only the tape itself vulnerable but ultimately the company to routine disasters and security risk. If a company's office burns down one evening the tapes will go with it, and recovery will be impossible," Stoddard added.

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