According to an independent survey of 500 chief information officers (CIOs), virtualisation has the potential to transform data protection. In order to achieve this, greater strides need to be made in server replication; particularly in support of disaster recovery, an area where IT risk is escalating.
Key findings were:
- 94% of CIOs say virtualisation can transform data protection strategies
- Top three barriers preventing increased server replication include cost of hardware (given by 60% of respondents), cost of replication software (52%) and complexity (42%)
- For enterprises that deploy server replication, in the event of outages CIOs estimate cost savings on average of $417,391 per hour
- 87% of CIOs say that recovery times from large-scale disaster are growing as the number of business critical servers within the enterprise increases
At a time when virtualisation is helping drive greater efficiency in server costs, many would assume that some of these barriers to server replication would fall. However, this is simply not the case. 80% of CIOs said that due to the agent-based approach of traditional replication solutions, there is minimal difference between physical and virtual machines when it comes to the actual volume of data that can be replicated.
The key issue uncovered in the 2010 study remains in 2011: the physical world mindset is being applied to virtualisation. This limits not only the true potential of the technology, but also enterprise efforts to improve data protection strategies.
Server replication, unlike general backup, is a process of copying data to production standard hardware that can be brought quickly online in the event of an outage. The top reasons for server replication include: protection from data loss (given by 85% of respondents), protection from hardware failure (70%), protection from regular human error (49%) and protection from data centre failure (49%).
Currently 22% of enterprises do not use such an approach. However, in those enterprises that do use server replication it only protects on average 26% of business critical servers.
Worryingly, CIOs estimate the cost of outage to the remaining 74% of the business critical server estate that is not replicated at $436,189 per hour. With the average server recovery time at 4 hours, this means that each major outage of business-critical data costs an enterprise over $1.7 million.
The report reveals that tough decisions are being made around what is deemed as truly business critical data. These decisions will become even more difficult as businesses generate more and more data and in turn expose greater risks. In fact the study revealed that in 79% of enterprises the current tools used for disaster recovery, a critical component of enterprise data protection strategy, will become less effective.