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Virtual environments also lose data

by Brian Sims

Eighty percent of companies believe that storing data in a virtual environment decreases or simply does not impact their organisation’s chance of data loss. Yet, 40 percent of companies leveraging virtual storage experienced a data loss from those environments in the last year. Kroll Ontrack says that two in five companies relaying in virtual environments lose data annually. A survey carried out by the company indicates that having a virtual environment is not enough to guarantee total data recovery in case of an emergency. Kroll recommends having a professional data recovery service too. Key findings indicate that 84 percent of corporations are leveraging virtualisation for storage, and nearly one-third of respondents have 75-100 percent of their current environment stored in a virtualised environment. Of those that store data in a virtual environment, 40 percent experienced at least one data loss event in the past 12 months” down from 65 percent in 2011. Interestingly, 52 percent of corporations actually believe virtualisation software decreases the chance of data loss. ” It is a common misconception that virtual environments are inherently safer, or at less risk from data loss, than other storage media,” says Paul Le Messurier, data recovery operations manager, Kroll Ontrack UK.” Although virtual servers have redundancies built-in, increased complexity generally means more potential causes of data loss, including file system corruption, deleted virtual machines, internal virtual disk corruption, RAID and other storage/server hardware failures, and deleted or corrupt files contained within virtualised storage systems. The effects are also usually far more serious because the volume of data stored in a virtual environment is exponential to that stored on a single physical server or storage device.” The survey revealed that only 33 percent of companies were able to recover 100 percent of their lost data, which represents a 21 percent decrease from 2011, when 54 percent were able to recover 100 percent of their data. The other 67 percent of respondents disclosed that they were not able to get all their data back from their most recent data loss event. When asked about how organisations attempted recovery, the largest portion of respondents, 43 percent, actually rebuilt the data. Only one in four looked to a data recovery company.

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