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Unitrends: Data Loss ‘Stubbornly High’ Despite New Tools

Businesses still are contending with unacceptably high data-loss rates and downtime. That’s according to the fifth annual Cloud and Disaster Recovery Survey by Unitrends, a Kaseya company.

More than 400 respondents from organizations of all sizes and industries took part in the survey, which also addresses recovery time objective (RTO), data loss and the growing use of cloud-based DRaaS.

Some 30% of organizations report losing data as the result of a data-center outage, while more than 40% reporting having a period of downtime in 2019.

Joe Noonan, vice president of product management for Unitrends and Spanning, tells Channel Partners his company hoped to see some improvement this year, but “sadly we didn’t despite all the new technologies” as loss rates remain “stubbornly” high.

Unitrends' Joe Noonan

Unitrends’ Joe Noonan

“The answer why is a combination of several possible reasons including decreasing IT budgets and headcount, as well as the increasing complexity of IT infrastructures,” he said.

MSPs must help their clients understand the importance of strong data backup hygiene, and use their expertise to advise and develop processes that safeguard their customers’ data and enable for quick recovery, Noonan said.

“In this day and age, it’s unrealistic for any organization to think that they can avoid a data-loss incident,” he said. “So the best strategy is to proactively plan for those types of events and leverage the right backup solutions, whether that be on premises, in the cloud or a combination of both — that will minimize downtime and get your business back up and running quickly.”

Sixty percent of organizations report using cloud features such as short-term data storage, cloud archiving and/or DRaaS as a backup location. Of the 40% of organizations not using the cloud for data protection, 53% plan to adopt it within the next year.

Companies also are increasingly protecting mobile workforce PCs and laptops using the cloud.

“For the first time in the five-year survey, protecting SaaS applications with cloud-based backup made the list of the top five cloud-based data protection technologies deployed by the survey respondents,” Noonan said. “This is ‘old news’ to Unitrends’ sister company Spanning Cloud Apps, but we’re glad to see more organizations are on board and see the value in backing up their SaaS apps like Office 365, G Suite and Salesforce.”

The number of organizations reporting that they’re required to protect more than 100TB of data jumped from 11% in 2016 to 31% in 2019. The overall increase in data volume requiring protection has prompted organizations to look for new strategies to control storage costs and reduce the capital expenses of physical storage devices, according to Unitrends.

Twice as many organizations that use DRaaS (30%) are able to recover failed applications in less than an hour, compared to organizations (16%) that do not use DRaaS. Additionally, the majority of DRaaS users surveyed reported no downtime last year (61%), while 39% of organizations who do not employ DRaaS had a downtime-free 2019.

“The rate of downtime and data loss continues despite the adoption of new tools such as the cloud, DRaaS, and enhanced data backup and recovery appliances,” Noonan said. “However, the data also shows that adoption of DRaaS by small and midsize organizations is increasing as it has evolved from a ‘bleeding edge’ service. Nearly a quarter of respondents plan to add the technology to their data protection portfolio in the next 12 months, and an equal number would like to add it but have no real plans to do so. This is good news for businesses as the survey found a direct relationship between the use of DRaaS and very fast recoveries and reduced downtime.”


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