SMBs Not Confident of Flawless Data Recovery

Paul Mah

A Q4 survey conducted by managed online provider BUMI (Backup My Info!) concluded that only 55 percent of respondents are confident that their data will be restored completely within hours of a disaster. This figure is somewhat surprising, given that these same businesses also said that the reason they back up their critical data has to do with disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) motivations.


While the sample is relatively small at 117 stakeholders from various small- and mid-sized businesses, it does shed interesting light into what SMBs consider important, and the level of confidence they have in their own DR and BC plans. I highlight some interesting nuggets of information according to the press release that I obtained from BUMI via e-mail:


  • Disaster recovery (89 percent), business continuity (73 percent) and security (52 percent) were the most common reasons to back up a company's critical data.
  • Most organizations (40 percent) believe that "within four hours" is an acceptable recovery window (the time it takes for your recovered data to be accessible) for critical data. However, in terms of non-critical data, the majority (42 percent) believe that one business day is an acceptable timeframe.
  • Only 52 percent of respondents check their backup process on a daily basis. Fourteen percent of respondents say they check on a weekly basis, while 9 percent say they never check


When it comes to the type of files that businesses consider to be important, the consensus appears to be along the following order:


  1. Database files (83 percent)
  2. Financial data (79 percent)
  3. E-mail (73 percent)
  4. Productivity Apps (52 percent)
  5. Video files (19 percent)


Remember to Bring the Software Along


When looking through the type of data considered to be important by SMBs, one point that immediately came to mind was how the backed up data is not useful without the relevant application software, which depending on the backed up data could be an e-mail client or the entire accounting system. So unless the disaster is solely limited to a case of data corruption, any DR regime that doesn't make provisions for the recovery of application or server-side software will likely see its recovery window stretched beyond recognition.


Monitoring Not Optional


Among other suggestions, BUMI also asserts that data backup has to be continuously monitored by professionals cognizant of both your business environment and your disaster recovery plan. In a nutshell, data backup is not a "set and forget" operation as is often the de facto scenario for manpower-strapped SMBs. Having experienced my fair share of trying to fix systems where the backup stopped working (or ran out of disk space) some time ago, I'm particularly aware of the temptation for SMBs to pay system integrators a fee to put together a backup regime, and then expect it to continue working maintenance-free forever.


Do you have any backup suggestions or anecdotes to share? I would love to hear about them from you.

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