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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."