Focusing on the business value of backup, we compiled the industry’s first detailed report of data recovery trends. It provides empirical evidence about how often, how much and what kind of data organizations recover when they perform a restore.

The report captures data recovery patterns and statistics over a 30-month period (ending August 1, 2016), across 1,089 organizations consisting of enterprises and small businesses in 134 countries and in eight vertical markets.

The report - “Data Protection Trends: Validating Recovery” -allows business leaders to assess their IT operational efficiency and compare their organizations with others in their vertical market and across other industries to learn if their recovery activities are in line with their peers. Businesses can also use data from the report to evaluate their current data protection solution and determine if that solution provides coverage for the most common recovery scenarios and if it does so at a fair price.

Key Trends and Insights

The results reveal some surprises. The report shows that ransomware attacks and data loss from cloud-based platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce are likely driving data recovery requests. The findings also provide insights into the equity of pricing models for data recovery services, depending on whether the costs for these services are based on the actual percentage of data restored or not. By focusing on the specifics of data recovery instead of simply backup capabilities, the report provides the metrics to examine the bottom-line business value of data recovery services and the fairness of varying pricing models.   

Key insights about current data recovery trends include:

On average, organizations recovered less than 5 percent of their data during data restores. This figure was consistent year over year during our reporting period. It is notable that companies do not recover 100 percent of their data, even when given the option.
The average size of datasets recovered was 13 GB. Remarkably, most organizations large or small recovered roughly the same average amount of data.
The most common type of data recovery request across all vertical segments was to Access a Previous Generation of Data, averaging at 52 percent.
The second most common reason cited for a data recovery is User Error/Accidental Deletion, at 13 percent.
The most common data type restored was from file systems.

To view the full report, download Data Protection Trends: Validating Recovery.For an overview of key results, download Asigra’s infographic Bringing Data Back: A Current View of Data Recovery Practices.

The Business Case for Data Recovery

One of the report’s most intriguing results finds that most companies recover only a very small portion of their total stored data, even though they have the potential to recover much more or all of their backed up data.

Restoring only the select datasets required to get your business up and running may seem like a smart disaster recovery or business continuity strategy, but it raises the question that if the data shows that businesses recover on average less than 5 percent of data, why do many vendors charge as if organizations recover 100 percent of the data?  

Also, as a rationale for data recovery, access to a previous generation of data is consistent with the growing frequency of ransomware attacks. Once a computer system is infected, its owners have a choice. They can pay ransom to have their system unlocked. Or, if they subscribe to a comprehensive data protection solution, they can rely on their provider to perform multiple rollbacks to a pre-infection recovery point and reinstate the uninfected data.

User Error and Accidental Deletion is the second most commonly cited reason for restoring data. This can in part be attributed to data that is deleted or lost on popular Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms such as Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps. While these cloud platforms offer high availability and uptime, they are not as focused on providing long-term data protection services that meet an organization’s needs for compliance, business continuity, and data recovery.

For instance, vendors such as Salesforce charge their customers a fee for data recovery, and after 15 days, Salesforce customer records sent to the Recycle Bin can only be restored with the help of support at a cost of $10,000 per recovery. After 90 days, these Recycle Bin files are unrecoverable. Office 365 and Google Apps have similar policies.

Organizations using these services can pay the SaaS vendor to back up their data. But if the system goes down, as it did for Salesforce in May 2016, the backup the organization paid for and is counting on could be in the same data center – and perhaps on the same servers – that suffered from the data outage. Then your business is stuck trying to perform data recovery from dead equipment.

Unfortunately, traditional data protection strategies that protect data in the data center are not able to protect data in the cloud. Organizations need a comprehensive data protection solution that offers secure and reliable backup and recovery of data in cloud platforms, as well as all other endpoint devices.

How does your data recovery profile stack up?

Comprehensive data protection is critical for today’s organizations. The greatest financial consequence of a data breach is lost business and diminished customer trust, which can impact short- and long-term financial results. Beyond purely financial considerations, another potential long-term consequence is brand impact. Publicity surrounding a data breach is negative, and can affect not just existing customers but prospective customers as well.

Our “Data Protection Trends: Validating Recovery”reportdemonstrates the critical importance of a robust data recovery capability as a key feature of an organization’s data protection strategy.  Our findings emphasize that the ultimate value of data protection is not only backup, but also the ability to recover data quickly and efficiently as the essential element of business continuity and disaster recovery scenarios.

(About the author: Eran Farajun is executive vice president at Asigra where he is responsible for the company’s global expansion, marketing, business development and long-term strategic activities for the company's cloud backup and recovery software platform, as well as strategic relationships with Asigra’s technology and channel partners. )

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