Virtualized Environments Causing Data Loss for Businesses: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Common causes of data loss from virtualized environments include file system corruption and deleted virtual machines.

Sixty-five percent of organizations frequently experience data loss from a virtual environment, according to 369 IT professionals surveyed by data protection specialist Kroll Ontrack. That figure represents a 140 percent increase in virtual data loss when compared with last year's survey.

Key findings indicate that 53 percent of those surveyed experienced five virtual data loss incidents in the past year and 12 percent of respondents experienced data loss more than five times in the past 12 months.

Common causes of data loss from virtualized environments include file system corruption, deleted virtual machines, internal virtual disk corruption, RAID and other storage/server hardware failures, and deleted or corrupt files contained within virtualized storage systems. Seventy-nine percent of those who took part of the in-person survey considered themselves VMware or virtualization subject matter experts. A recent Forrester-DRJ survey noted that 15 percent of respondents knew the cost of their business's downtime; it averaged nearly $145,000 per hour.

"Successful organizations realize that any disruption within the virtual infrastructure, regardless of how small, will have an amplified impact on the business as a whole," said Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations at Kroll Ontrack. "Virtualization contracts often claim no liability for data corruption, deletion, destruction or loss. As a result, it is critical for IT leaders and business continuity planners to proactively include a data recovery service provider in their contingency plans."

In addition to implementing virtual data centers onsite, organizations are increasingly turning to third-party cloud providers as a means of data storage. When asked about their cloud provider's ability to properly handle data loss incidents, 55 percent revealed a lack of confidence. Only 39 percent of respondents said their cloud provider educated their organization on how they would approach a data disaster/data recovery situation from the cloud.

"Users of the cloud need to demand more than offsite storage, asynchronous/synchronous replication or tape backups in the SLA," said Pederson. "The best 'umbrella' to have when adopting cloud technology is to require your cloud service provider to partner with a reputable, full-service data recovery company. A cloud provider that has partnered with a reputable data recovery service provider is demonstrating that data availability is more important than system uptime or accessibility."