Almost 90 percent of firms have triggered a disaster recovery failover in the last 12 months, but planning may be lacking
The large majority of UK companies have adopted disaster recovery (DR) technology to ensure resilience in the event of a potential outage.
A study of 250 UK corporate decision makers considered their IT DR plans, looking at how organisations are approaching and leveraging DR.
The findings reinforce the need for DR, as 87 percent of respondents said they were forced to trigger a failover in the past 12 months. While over half (58 percent) are using on-premise solutions for DR, well over one third (38 percent) use a cloud-based solution, with both larger and smaller businesses adopting DRaaS (disaster-recovery-as-a-service) at similar rates.
Outages happen more frequently than many probably believe. The research found that a staggering 95 percent of respondents faced an IT issue that resulted in an outage or data loss over the past 12 months.
Problems ranged from a system failure (53 percent) through to human error (52 percent), and corrupted data (37 percent), cyber-attack (32 percent) and “unexplained downtime” (30 percent). Notably, only 20 percent of the respondents indicated IT issues stemmed from an environmental threat such as floods, storms, fire or power outages.
While 82 percent of respondents that executed a failover were confident it would be successful, more than half faced issues during the process. This is concerning since 69 percent reported mere minutes of downtime could have a “highly disruptive or catastrophic impact to business”.
Testing and training are key, but currently insufficient among the survey sample. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents claimed to have a trained DR team, and test DR plans either quarterly or twice a year. However, given the prevalence of failover issues reported, this training and testing appears to be lacking.
The remaining 37 percent either have a “lightly trained” or untrained team while DR testing is infrequent or non-existent. This significant number highlights the need for more awareness on the importance of DR testing, and illustrates that DR providers should enable easy, non-intrusive testing that can be performed regularly and on demand.
“In today’s business world, the question is no longer if a company will need to trigger a disaster recovery plan, but when,” said Justin Giardina, CTO at data centre services provider iland, which commissioned the research.
“When evaluating DR solutions, companies must look closely at security, compliance, manageability, support and testing capabilities, particularly because options vary greatly –
whether on-premise or in the cloud,” said Giardina.