Only 20 Percent of Business Data Protected in VMs: Survey

IT managers of 1,700 large enterprises also indicated that 56 percent of data on virtual systems is not even regularly backed up at least once per month.

Virtualizing servers and storage arrays is certainly among the biggest trends right now in the IT world. However, properly protecting all those virtual machines and the data they handle apparently is not among those trends.
Data storage and protection provider Symantec revealed Nov. 22 in its annual disaster recovery survey that only about 20 percent of IT managers are using replication and failover technologies to protect mission-critical data in virtual environments.
"A lot of companies look at backup as their fallback archive, and it's not the same at all [as replication and failover]," Symantec Senior Product Marketing Manager Peter Elliman, who supervised the Symantec 2010 Disaster Recovery Study, told eWEEK.
"It was surprising to us that what often is the most important business data wasn't being protected completely in virtualized environments."
The survey also indicated that 56 percent of data on virtual systems is not even regularly backed up at least once per month.
"Part of that is because some of that data is test dev data, so people feel there's no need to back that up. But in other instances, it's a selective decision about what they [storage and IT managers] want to do," Elliman said.
The study also found that nearly 60 percent of respondents use multiple tools to manage and protect applications and data in virtual environments, which can cause security problems for data center managers.
Large sampling, worldwide scope
Symantec asked Applied Research West to survey more than 1,700 IT managers in large organizations [5,000 employees or more] in 18 countries and across a span of industries to understand issues associated with business IT disaster recovery.
Two-thirds of respondents -- as is about standard in all surveys of this type -- reported that security concerns are still the main roadblock to deploying enterprise applications in a cloud service rather than on site. Control of failovers and making resources highly available were key issues for 55 percent of respondents.
"There's no question that virtualization and cloud, while they provide lots of benefits to different parts of the data center organization, they do introduce complexity into the DR process, because companies are basically bridging physical and virtual systems, handling data at rest in one location and mixing in cloud stuff," Elliman said.
"The question is: How can they manage all that while feeling confident that you have the right levels of protection in these niche-type, if you will, virtual or cloud environments?"

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...