2012: The Year Data Finally Spirals Out of Control

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

10 Way to Improve Data Backup

Every aspect of the data center environment can stand a little improvement. But if your backup capabilities are like most, they are in dire need of an upgrade.

There's a lot of excitement these days about Big Data, virtualization and cloud computing. But from a storage perspective, these trends are coming together in ways that make an already difficult job almost impossible to manage.

It's becoming less expensive to acquire and store massive amounts of data, and that data will rarely stay put as virtual machines increasingly move around the enterprise. The end result is that only a small percentage of data is actually being backed up.

In fact, a new survey of over 300 IT professionals conducted by UBM TechWeb on behalf of Syncsort found that only 14 percent of respondents say they are totally confident that they could restore 100 percent of their applications after losing their entire data center.

Worse yet, Peter Eicher, senior product marketing specialist for Syncsort, notes that many IT organizations are simply not backing up certain data simply because they can't keep pace with the growth in size of the data volumes that need to be handled. In fact, the survey found that one in five respondents state full backups take more than 24 hours to complete. In addition, only 18 percent say they have 100 percent average nightly success rates for their backup jobs, while only 58 percent report success rates between 91-99 percent.

Perhaps more troubling to end users, the survey also found that 47 percent of respondents say recovery of files such as emails, contacts or calendar items can take between one and six hours.

Unfortunately, things are probably going to get a lot worse before they get any better. Most companies don't have a proactive data management strategy in place. As a result, there is no real prioritization when it comes to deciding what business data needs to be backed up first. All data tends to get treated equally even as the sheer volume of that data continues to grow exponentially.

Eicher says this lack of a clear-cut process for managing data is a bigger issue than acquiring the tools, which are now designed to allow IT organizations to implement a policy-based approach to backup and recovery. The real challenge is getting the business and IT sides of the house to come together to identify the data that is most important to the business. It's hard to get anybody to really focus on the problem, which will only get bigger with the addition of more Big Data.

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