Dissatisfaction with the current state of backup

ExaGrid Systems announced the results of a survey of 1,200 IT managers which shows widespread dissatisfaction with the capabilities of many existing backup systems to keep up with requirements for faster backups with permanently short backup windows as data grows, disaster recovery, virtual server backup and recovery, and backup system costs.

The dissatisfaction stems largely from delayed investments by many organizations in modernizing backup systems in recent years, which leaves existing backup systems often unable to protect growing amounts of mission-critical data.

Nearly 40 percent of IT managers report that their routine nightly backups exceed the backup window, with 30 percent saying their companies exceed the backup window by more than four hours. Many IT managers report that legacy backup systems are inadequate to meet business imperatives for low total cost of ownership (TCO), seamless scalability, ease of administration and management and WAN-efficient replication.

The use of tape-based systems is expected to decline as IT departments move to modernize their backup infrastructures, with increased investments in disk-based systems, according to the survey.

Important trends and perceptions about existing backup systems:

Backup challenges mounting – Among the top nightly backup challenges cited by IT managers are the following:

  • 54 percent said that their backup windows are taking too long.
  • 51 percent said they are facing growing business requirements for more reliable and efficient disaster recovery
  • 48 percent said they face long restore and recovery times.

Widening expectations gap – There is a growing gap between what outdated backup systems can achieve and even greater requirements for faster backup and recovery that come with explosive data growth.

While 75 percent of respondents said low TCO was extremely important or very important, only 45 percent said their systems delivered this effectively. In addition, 72 percent said avoiding costly “forklift upgrades” and product obsolescence was either extremely important or very important, but just 41 percent said their current systems were able to deliver this.

Protecting virtualized servers – Existing backup solutions need improvement to meet goals for protecting virtualized servers.

Just 44 percent of respondents said their current backup system either meets or exceeds their offsite disaster recovery goals for virtualized servers. In addition, only roughly half said their systems are meeting goals for protecting virtualized servers with regard to backup windows and restore/recovery times.

Data is vulnerable – IT managers have major concerns with the capabilities of their backup systems to keep their data secure:

  • The vast majority of IT managers (97 percent) believe that their data is somewhat or extremely vulnerable to data protection or security incidents, and most have experienced one or more of these incidents in the past year.
  • Following a data protection incident, it takes an average of about seven hours to resume normal operations. IDC estimates that it costs businesses an average of $70,000 per hour of downtime, further highlighting the need for enhanced backup and recovery.

Disk investment increasing – IT managers are interested in disk-based backup solutions with deduplication in a grid architecture, citing the advantages of faster backups, reduced management burden, no expanding backup windows as data grows, avoidance of forklift upgrades and elimination of potential unexpected costs over time:

  • Among respondents using tape only, 75 percent said they expect to be using a disk-based method within 12 months.
  • Usage of disk-based data deduplication appliances is expected to increase by 48 percent among respondents using tape only.
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