Hurricane Season Brings Attention to Data Protection

Michael Vizard

Now that the first named storm of the season has reached landfall in the form of tropical storm Debbie, the subject of data protection in the enterprise usually starts to get a lot more attention.

This year the people who track such weather phenomenon are predicting that in 2012 there will be 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major Category 3 hurricanes or higher.

Disaster recovery, of course, has been on the top 10 list of yearly priorities for IT as long as anyone can remember. While IT organizations by and large have had mixed success when it comes to disaster recovery, the primary issue says the folks at Acronis, a provider of backup and recovery software, is not the competency of the IT department, but rather the rapid introduction of new technologies such as virtualization that wind up introducing a range of untested dependencies between the hardware and the software. Add in all the mobile computing devices that now exist and, according to Blaine Raddon, general manager for the Americas at Acronis, the odds of being completely successful when it comes to protecting data start become slim.

Raddon says the issues that most companies run into when coping with a disaster is first they generally don’t have a real plan in place that has actually been tested. They also need to have solutions in place for different types of physical and virtual machine environments, and they should utilize cloud computing to make sure they have remote access to restored IT environments, make greater use of disk imaging to speed recovery and not be dependent on hardware-based solutions that require specific types of appliances and servers to be available.

A recent Acronis survey found that nearly 50 percent of the 600 U.S. companies surveyed still fear substantial downtime in the event of a disaster. Much of that fear stems from the simple fact that IT organizations tend to think of disaster recovery as an event rather than a defined set of processes that should be readily executed. As a result, it’s almost inevitable that some part of the recovery process will go awry if for no other reason than there is no institutional memory about what to really do when a disaster strikes.

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