Data recovery plans seen lacking in cloud deployments

Asia Cloud Forum editors
24 Sep 2012

A cloud survey byKroll Ontrack has revealed that while 62% of respondents are leveraging the cloud or virtualization or both, only 33% of themtest data recovery plans regularly to ensure proper protocols are in place to protect this data.

Conducted at VMware Forums globally, 367 IT professionals participated in the survey, with 51% representing enterprises and 32% service providers.

Although 49% of organizations reported experiencing some type of data loss last year, those cases were not necessarily from the cloud. From the survey, 55% lost data from a traditional storage device in contrast to 26% from a virtual environment, 3% from the cloud and 16% from both a virtual environment as well as the cloud.

"It is clear that the cloud is quickly gaining ground among organizations looking to streamline their technology infrastructure and cut IT costs, as 26% of respondents reported leveraging infrastructure as a service (IaaS), 16% reported leveraging software as a service (SaaS) and 13% reportedutilizing both IaaS and SaaS," said CK Lee, country manager of Kroll Ontrack Singapore, which provides data recovery and management solutions. "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.

"The key to minimizing a data loss risk and successfully recovering from a loss is asking the right questions prior toadopting a new storage medium and amending your policies and procedures accordingly."

When asked about their cloud provider's ability to properly handle data loss incidents, only 29% revealed a lack of confidence, compared to 55% of respondents in 2011. However, just 17% of respondents test their data recovery plan regularly to validate technical and personnel readiness against cloud or virtual data loss technical recovery capabilities and 13% do not have a data recovery plan.

"Virtualization is the engine of cloud technology. If virtualization fails, the cloud fails," added Lee. "Whether it is human error or an operating failure, it is important to know who to turn to. Only 14% initially turn to a data recovery provider. The first chance of recovery is always the best chance, so it is critical to have a data recovery provider that is experienced in complex storage platforms such as virtual environments denoted in your data recovery plan."

Questions to consider before incorporating cloud storage

  • 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?

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