Changing face of data recovery
COMPUTING| Dec. 12, 2011, 9:38 a.m.
Vision Solutions, a provider of information availability software and services for the Windows, Linux, IBM Power Systems and Cloud computing markets, has released its "State of Resilience" report for 2011.
Findings from the report include how directives for 24/7 data and application availability within companies are affecting technology choices for business continuity, including adoption of virtualisation and cloud computing methods.
In today's business climate in which more data is being created, analysed, and shared every minute, data protection and recovery schemes remain core elements of a resilient organization.
This year's State of Resilience shows the challenges to data protection and organizations' resilience, with revealing results.
• Organisations are highly engaged with disruptive technologies, such as virtualisation and cloud computing, that create new business value and potentially replace other technologies in use. More responding companies than ever before have virtualized their servers for production applications, while the number of organizations that have implemented or are planning to implement cloud computing has also gone up.
• New technologies do not necessarily guarantee efficient, automated data protection and recovery. Greater system complexity requires a comprehensive approach to data protection management. While individual backup solutions might be easy to implement, configuring multiple products into a comprehensive protection plan requires deep expertise. True resilience calls for cohesive protection solutions integrated for interoperability and ease of use. Businesses must consider a single protection scheme that spans multiple platforms.
• The research shows that, in general, companies are using the same mix of data protection technologies as last year, with tape predominant. Virtualized shops, however, were making deliberate choices among protection technologies, using different data protection schemes for physical versus virtual servers. Overall, IT shops experienced more unrecoverable data loss and showed greater tolerance for data loss; clearly, these are vulnerabilities that must be addressed. Findings also show that professionals' confidence in their disaster recovery plans decreased significantly this year.
• Business directives to provide 24/7 data availability to users appear to be driving the adoption of high performance, high availability technology. However, organizations must align their data protection schemes strategically and operationally with these business directives. Speed, accessibility, and recovery capabilities will be key considerations. It remains to be seen whether users' needs for 24/7 access could change the use of tape in the data center and drive even more organizations to disk-based and software-based recovery solutions.
The fourth annual "State of Resilience" provides analysis of new and existing technologies that IT professionals are employing to protect their critical information and ensure business continuity. This year's report addresses the most challenging issues facing companies this year, from escalating storage needs within organizations and the explosion of user-generated data to mobile computing and the proliferation of servers.
The year-long study focused on responses from approximately 6,300 technical professionals and executives that manage or oversee Windows, IBM AIX, IBM i, IBM z/OS, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, and other operating environments.
Alan Arnold, Chief Technology Officer at Vision Solutions, commented, "We are seeing a change in the way companies are approaching their business continuity and disaster recovery strategies, as their concept of 'resilience' is evolving. In past years, enterprises assessed their resilience primarily in terms of IT disaster recovery and risk management, such as averting loss of data from hardware failures and natural disasters such as floods, fires, and tornadoes.
However, this year's data shows that IT professionals have been pressured to evaluate resilience in terms of their company's ability to supply on-demand information at all times to customers, suppliers, and employees. While the amount of data loss that would be deemed acceptable has gone up, the speed of recovery after a failure event has gone down dramatically, as downtime becomes less acceptable. Far-seeing enterprises are taking a fresh view of resilience, focusing on business profitability via availability of data at any time, in any place."
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