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Security specialist Symantec  announced the global results of
its sixth annual Symantec Disaster Recovery Study, which demonstrates
the growing challenge of managing disparate virtual, physical and cloud
resources because of added complexity for organizations protecting and
recovering mission-critical applications and data. In addition, the
study shows that virtual systems are not properly protected.

The study highlights that nearly half – 44 percent – of data on virtual
systems is not regularly backed up and only one in five respondents use
replication and failover technologies to protect virtual environments.
Respondents also indicated that 60 percent of virtualized servers are
not covered in their current disaster recovery plans. This is up
significantly from the 45 percent reported by respondents in 2009.

Using multiple tools that manage and protect applications and data in
virtual environments causes major difficulties for data center
managers, the study found. In particular, nearly six in 10 of these
respondents (58 percent) who encountered problems protecting
mission-critical applications in virtual and physical environments
reported this to be a large challenge for their organization.

In terms of cloud computing, respondents reported that their
organization runs approximately 50 percent of mission-critical
applications in the cloud. Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent)
report that security is the main concern of putting applications in the
cloud. However, the biggest challenge respondents face when
implementing cloud computing and storage is the ability to control
failovers and make resources highly available (55 percent).

Respondents state that 82 percent of backups occur only weekly or less
frequently, rather than daily. Resource constraints, lack of storage
capacity, and incomplete adoption of advanced and more efficient
protection methods hampers rapid deployment of virtual environments. In
particular 59 percent of respondents identified resource constraints
(people, budget, and space) as the top challenge when backing up
virtual machines.

In addition, survey respondents stated that the lack of available
primary (57 percent) and backup storage (60 percent) hampers protecting
mission-critical data: 50 percent of respondents said they use advanced
methods (clientless) to reduce the impact of virtual machine backups.

“While organizations are adopting new technologies such as
virtualization and the cloud to reduce costs and enhance disaster
recovery efforts, they are currently adding more complexity to their
environments and leaving mission-critical applications and data
unprotected,” said Dan Lamorena, director, of Symantec’s storage and
availability management group. “We expect to see organizations adopt
tools that provide a holistic solution with a consistent set of
policies across all environments. Data center managers should simplify
and standardize so they can focus on fundamental best practices that
help reduce downtime.”