Disaster Recovery remains an afterthought despite increasing frequency of failures and outages

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Disaster Recovery remains an afterthought despite increasing frequency of failures and outages

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 04:42

iland research reveals that despite 85% of respondents experiencing a failure or outage at some point, only 65% of organizations have a company-wide DR plan in place.

London, UK – 27th January 2021 - iland, an industry-leading provider of secure application and data protection cloud services built on proven VMware technology, today released the findings of its research into organizations’ disaster recovery readiness. It found that less than two-thirds of organizations surveyed have a documented company-wide disaster recovery plan in place whilst only a comparatively small number of respondents rely on the cloud for their replication, suggesting that the move to the cloud – and DRaaS – has been slow among larger businesses.

The research: When Plan B Goes Wrong: Avoiding the Pitfalls of DRaaS surveyed 150 technical and business decision makers from organizations drawn from a wide cross-section of UK enterprises, each employing a minimum of 500 people. The objectives of the research were to establish what DR systems organizations currently have in place, how often plans are tested, and whether enterprises are confident in their ability to recover from disaster as easily and swiftly as possible.

Key Findings Include:

  • 65% of contributing organizations had a documented, company-wide DR plan in place.
  • Failures and outages are more common than many people realize. 85% of contributors had experienced failure at some point. Two thirds of that group had experienced the outage within the last 12 months and half of those within 6 months.
  • 59% retained a second, separate on-premise data center for DR purposes.
  • DR testing frequency is very low. 57% are testing only annually or at less frequent intervals. 6% didn’t test their DR at all.
  • Of the organizations testing less frequently, the results of their last test led 44% of them to believe that their DR may be inadequate. 22% encountered issues that would have led to sustained downtime.
  • Those testing more regularly are far more likely to have more ambitious objectives for data recovery than those who test less frequently. 15% expected to recover data in seconds or minutes and 16% actually did so. 61% expected recovery within hours and 62% achieved it.
  • The most frequently encountered problem with failback to original sites is network problems, experienced by 53%.

Commenting on the research findings Sam Woodcock, Senior Director, Cloud Strategy, iland said “The results of the survey lay bare the relatively low priority that DR continues to be given by many organizations despite the prevalence of outages. In most circumstances I think this is based on some misconceptions of what constitutes a disaster. When determining budgets, executives assess the likelihood of datacenters being hit by a plane or falling into a sinkhole and determine, correctly, that the chances of these events actually occurring is very low indeed. However, our research has shown that smaller scale disruptions generated by human error are regular events. 85% of those contributing to our research had had to restore data or services within the last year.”

“Another surprising revelation from the research findings concerns testing. Any reader of this paper is likely to be hyper-aware of the dynamic and fragile nature of technical ecosystems - which makes the finding that more than half of organizations represented in this research are testing annually at best rather worrying.  The results of infrequent testing are predictable. Almost half of those practicing infrequent testing fear their DR may be inadequate, which is a classic example of a head-in-the-sand approach. Failure to test DR will, at some point, lead to a recovery failure. It really is only a matter of time.”

“But it’s not all doom and gloom,” concluded Sam Woodcock. “We’re aware that for many organizations DR has the potential to seem every bit as complex as the infrastructure it is protecting and our research has demonstrated that a significant number of businesses are looking for DRaaS solutions to help them manage this complexity – as well as reduce the costs inherent in running a second physical datacenter. DRaaS solutions like our own can help to simplify organizations disaster recovery plans, offering increased flexibility, customized runbook functionality, optimized RPOs, and near-zero RTOs so businesses have more control over their disaster recovery plans.”

Read the full research report here.