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40% of firms lose data virtually each year

27 Sep 13

A whopping 80 percent of companies believe that storing data in a virtual environment decreases or simply does not impact their organisation’s chance of data loss.

Yet, 40 percent of companies leveraging virtual storage experienced a data loss from those environments in the last year.

This survey, conducted by Kroll Ontrack, provided insight into virtual environment data loss frequency and recovery management.

Key findings indicate that 84 percent of corporations are leveraging virtualisation for storage, and nearly one-third of respondents have 75-100 percent of their current environment stored in a virtualised environment.

Of those that store data in a virtual environment, 40 percent experienced at least one data loss event in the past 12 months, down from 65 percent in 2011.

Interestingly however, 52 percent of corporations actually believe virtualisation software decreases the chance of data loss.

“It is erroneous to believe that virtual environments are inherently safer or at less risk for data loss than other storage mediums,” says Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations, Kroll Ontrack.

“Virtual data loss can result from a range of causes, including file system corruption, deleted virtual machines, internal virtual disk corruption, RAID and other storage/server hardware failures, and deleted or corrupt files contained within virtualised storage systems.

"And, the ramifications are usually far more serious because the volume of data stored in a virtual environment is exponential to that stored on a single physical server or storage device.”

The survey went on to reveal that only 33 percent of companies were able to recover 100 percent of their lost data, representing a 21 percent decrease from 2011, when 54 percent were able to recover 100 percent of their data.

The other 67 percent of respondents disclosed that they were not able to get all their data back from their most recent data loss event.

“While the use of VMware as a common infrastructure has matured and less incidents seem to occur, companies still suffer from critical data loss,” said Todd Johnson, vice president of data recovery operations, Kroll Ontrack.

“The decreased ability to fully restore data proves that not engaging an experienced data recovery service after a virtual environment data loss creates a high risk of permanent data loss.”

When asked about how organisations attempted recovery, the largest portion of respondents, 43 percent, actually rebuilt the data. Only one in four looked to a data recovery company.

“Rebuilding data should not be a company’s first go-to option, as this method costs companies an abundance of time and resources," Pederson says.

"Experienced data recovery companies like Kroll Ontrack have processes, technologies and experience recovering complex virtualised environments, so you can get your organisation back up and running to the exact point it was prior to failure."

Does your business suffer from data loss? Tell us why in the comments below

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