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Only 33 percent of companies that experienced a loss in the last year were able to recover 100 percent of their data

LONDON: Eighty percent of companies believe that storing data in a virtual environment decreases or simply does not impact their organisation’s chance of data loss. Yet, 40 percent of companies leveraging virtual storage experienced a data loss from those environments in the last year.


This survey, conducted by Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery, information management and e-disclosure products and services, today provided insight into virtual environment data loss frequency and recovery management. Key findings indicate that 84 percent of corporations are leveraging virtualisation for storage, and nearly one-third of respondents have 75-100 percent of their current environment stored in a virtualised environment. Of those that store data in a virtual environment, 40 percent experienced at least one data loss event in the past 12 months – down from 65 percent in 2011. Interestingly, 52 percent of corporations actually believe virtualisation software decreases the chance of data loss.

“It is a common misconception that virtual environments are inherently safer than, or at less risk from data loss, than other storage media,” said Paul Le Messurier, data recovery operations manager, Kroll Ontrack UK. “Although virtual servers have redundancies built-in, increased complexity generally means more potential causes of data loss, including file system corruption, deleted virtual machines, internal virtual disk corruption, RAID and other storage/server hardware failures, and deleted or corrupt files contained within virtualised storage systems. The effects are also usually far more serious because the volume of data stored in a virtual environment is exponential to that stored on a single physical server or storage device.”

The survey went on to reveal that only 33 percent of companies were able to recover 100 percent of their lost data, which represents a 21 percent decrease from 2011, when 54 percent were able to recover 100 percent of their data. The other 67 percent of respondents disclosed that they were not able to get all their data back from their most recent data loss event.

“As the use of VMware® has matured into a more mainstream infrastructure and it appears fewer data loss incidents are occurring, organisations are still experiencing these incidents,” said Phil Bridge, managing director, Kroll Ontrack UK. “The decreased ability to fully restore data proves that by not engaging an experienced data recovery service after a virtual environment data loss the risk of permanent data loss increases.”

When asked about how organisations attempted recovery, the largest portion of respondents, 43 percent, actually rebuilt the data. Only one in four looked to a data recovery company.

“In-house data rebuilding should not be a company’s go-to option, as this method costs them an abundance of time and resources. Experienced data recovery companies like Kroll Ontrack have specialised processes, technologies and experience in recovery from complex, virtualised environments so you can quickly get your organisation back up and running to the exact point it was prior to failure,” added Le Messurier

Seven hundred and twenty four IT professionals participated in this survey in August 2013. Two hundred and twenty three respondents took the survey in-person at VMworld® 2013 in the U.S., while 466 from EMEA and 35 from APAC responded to the survey online.