Global disaster recovery index and why you should care

Acronis sponsored a Ponemon Institute study that attempted to rank confidence in backup and disaster recovery readiness. The key question is should you care?

My inbox is suddenly full of press releases promoting vendor-sponsored studies. I'm often quite skeptical of these studies because they are often self-serving and deeply flawed. Recently Acronis' PR team sent me a release describing a survey the company sponsored. This time, I viewed the study as being interesting and potentially useful to many IT decision makers.

Here's how Acronis describes the key findings of the study

New virtualization findings, being released on February 15, from Acronis’ 2012 Disaster Recovery Index, reveal that 44 percent of U.S. SMBs don’t back up their virtual machines (VMs) as often as their physical ones and almost half (48%) only backup their VMs on a weekly or monthly basis. And, with the Index showing that SMB virtualization adoption will grow at a rate of 21 percent – 50 percent higher than Gartner’s projected growth rate (14%) for enterprises – greater risks of not backing up data are fast approaching.

Other interesting virtualization findings from the index, which surveyed 6,000 SMBs in 18 countries, include the fact that:

  • 59 percent of U.S. SMBs use separate backup and recovery solutions for their physical and virtual environments
  • 76 percent of U.S. respondents said the best way to improve backup and disaster recovery would be to have an integrated (physical, virtual, cloud) solution
  • 40 percent of U.S. SMBs agreed that migrating to a virtualized environment would help ensure their backup and disaster recovery procedures run more smoothly and 25 percent believe it will help increase their IT efficiency
  • 89 percent of U.S. respondents already have some portion of their IT infrastructure virtualized with 29 percent expecting to have more than half of their IT virtualized by the end of next year

Snapshot analysis

Although my first thought was to ignore this study as just another deeply flawed, self-serving marketing tool. This time, I was forced to take notice because it appears that a supportable methodology was used and the resondents represented a very broad array of IT practitioners. Responses from almost 6,000 IT practitioners representing 18 countries, were included.

Unfortunately, backup and disaster recovery aren't often considered priorities by IT decision makers in the small to medium business segment of the market.  It takes a disaster in which a significant amount of critical data is lost to refocus their thinking.

Acronis clearly wants to change this thinking and bump this important procedure up to near the top of the priority list.  The company has long offered easy-to-use disaster recovery products. Acronis believes that once an IT decision maker starts thinking about preventing or avoiding the pain caused by disasters that its products will be even more attractive.

The study, by the way, was executed by the Ponemon Institute.

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