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Unitrends' Fifth Annual Cloud and Disaster Recovery Survey Reveals Data Loss Remains Stubbornly High

Unitrends announced survey findings from its fifth annual Unitrends Cloud and Disaster Recovery Survey. This year's survey offers insights into the challenges and trends that IT departments and admins face when protecting data from downtime and disasters as data volume and importance grow. More than 400 respondents from organizations of all sizes and industries took part in the survey, which additionally addresses recovery time objective (RTO), data loss, and the growing use of cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DraaS).

The survey compares current trends with data from past years to reveal best practices and new ways to protect enterprise data that is growing many times faster than the IT budgets associated with them. Key survey findings into the state of data protection, cloud and DRaaS include:

Organizations are still contending with unacceptably high rates of data loss and downtime. Since the survey's inception, Unitrends has found that 30 percent of responding organizations report losing data as the result of a data center outage. This remains stubbornly high, even as new data protection tools have emerged such as cloud workloads, DRaaS, and greatly improved data backup and recovery appliances. More than 40 percent of respondents reported having a period of downtime in 2019.

The use of the cloud as a tool in data protection strategies has greatly increased over the last four years. Sixty percent of responding organizations report using cloud features such as short-term data storage, cloud archiving, and/or DRaaS as a backup location. Of the 40 percent of organizations not currently using the cloud for data protection, 53 percent plan to adopt it within the next year. Companies are also increasingly protecting mobile workforce PCs and laptops using the cloud. And, for the first time in the life of the survey, protecting SaaS applications like Microsoft Office 365, G Suite and Salesforce with cloud-based backup made the list of the top five cloud-based data protection technologies deployed. If these plans hold true, by 2020, 80 percent of all organizations will be using the cloud for some form of data protection. 
The most widely deployed role for the cloud in data protection is off-site data and file storage. The number of organizations reporting that they are required to protect over 100TB of data jumped from 11 percent in 2016 to 31 percent in 2019. The overall increase in data volumes requiring protection has prompted organizations to look for new strategies to control storage costs and reduce the capital expenses of physical storage devices.

Cloud-based DRaaS is now an accepted and widely adopted tool in data and application protection programs. Twice as many organizations that use DRaaS (30 percent) are able to recover failed applications in less than an hour, compared to organizations (16 percent) that do not use DRaaS. Additionally, the majority of DRaaS users surveyed reported no downtime last year (61 percent), while only 39 percent of organizations who do not employ DRaaS had a downtime-free 2019.

"Findings from this year's Unitrends Cloud and Disaster Recovery Survey underscore the importance of cloud and DRaaS solutions as organizations continue to be tasked with protecting more and more data," said Joe Noonan, vice president of product management, Unitrends and Spanning. "The fact that 30 percent of respondents are still experiencing data loss, and 40 percent suffered downtime, shows that organizations continue to require support to successfully implement and leverage backup and disaster recovery solutions and best practices. Unitrends is committed to empowering enterprises and MSPs with the solutions they need to protect and recover their data."

A full copy of the survey report is available here:

Published Thursday, June 27, 2019 3:12 PM by David Marshall
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