Data Protection: Adapting To The Sea Change (I)

Enterprises may be over-investing in some areas of data protection, while exposing their IT assets to unacceptable risk by under-investing in other areas of data protection.

For example, an enterprise may not understand the importance of logical data protection. An Ontrack study showed that nearly 40% of the causes of data loss or downtime are logical, not physical, problems.

Yet enterprises may not have in place a high availability (defined as seconds or minutes of annual downtime) logical recovery approach for critical applications. (The tendency is to think in terms of physical solutions, such as mirroring, which are not the answer to logical data protection problems.)

The report shows enterprises how to think about where they need data protection, as well the degrees of data protection that are required to meet those needs.

They can then better determine whether or not they are over-investing or under-investing to be able to meet particular data protection needs. The old bromide “one size does not fit all” applies to how enterprises fulfil their data protection requirements, but not for the basic principles of data protection.

Some large enterprises can afford to have a triad of data centers to ensure a high level of availability in the case of a disaster, whereas other enterprises simply use tape vaulting for disaster recovery, trading lengthy application restores for lower cost.

However, all enterprises have to take into account both the need for disaster recovery to a remote site and operational recovery for problems that can be corrected at a local site.

Likewise, all enterprises need to take into account physical problems, such as disk failures, and logical problems, such as database corruption or a computer virus, for both disaster and operational recovery situations.

The choice of individual data protection technologies is up to the enterprise — but overall data protection should fit within a common framework that applies to all enterprises.